Broccoli is a vegetable that kids often have trouble with, so Moms prefer introducing it early. But can I give my baby broccoli? Let’s find out!
As the world gets smaller, we are introduced to different kinds of foods from around the world. One such ingredient that has become familiar in Indian supermarkets and homes is the crunchy vegetable that looks like a tree – broccoli!
In general green vegetables are nutrient-dense and broccoli is considered the king among them! Broccoli resembles cauliflower but it belongs to the cabbage family. Broccoli is believed to have been around for more than 2000 years. The varieties most commonly found in Indi are KTS-I, Solan Green, Lucky, Fiesta, Pushpa, Aishwarya, Palam Vichitra.
Broccoli is the best source of dietary fiber, protein, iron, calcium, vitamins A, C, K, E, B1 and B6, chromium, folate, potassium and copper. It is also rich in magnesium, manganese, phosphorus omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, niacin and selenium.
Health Benefits of Broccoli
- Naturally Detoxifies
- Prevents Cancer
- Reduces Cholesterol
- Maintains Heart Health
- Prevents Constipation
- Reduces Inflammation
- Prevents Allergic Reactions
- Aids Digestion
- Boosts Immunity
- Maintains Skin Health
- Improves Vision
- Maintains Bone Health
- Reduces Anemia
Can I Give My Baby Broccoli?
Generally, fruits and vegetables are considered to be ideal first foods for babies, but broccoli is an exception to the rule. Broccoli contains complex sugars and soluble fiber which is hard to digest and may cause gas in babies if not digested properly. Due to this, it’s advised to introduce broccoli at around 8-10 months after the baby is familiar with other basic foods.
At the beginning, broccoli can be introduced as a soft vegetable puree and then small pieces of steamed orcooked broccoli florets can be given as a finger food when baby is ready to handle it. Avoid giving raw broccoli to babies as it may have impurities even after washing.
While not mandatory, it’s better to follow the 3-day rule to be on the safe side, and start with a small quantity in the beginning. If your baby has trouble digesting broccoli, then it’s better to wait for a while and then try again. If the baby displays symptoms like watery eyes, canker sores around the mouth, itchy rashes, abdominal pain, burning sensation in the mouth, swelling of the face or shortness of breath, he needs to be rushed to the doctor right away.
Tips for Buying and Storing Broccoli
Here are few points which has to be considered while selecting broccoli.
- Broccoli has to be heavy and should feel firm to touch
- Choose broccoli with a dark green color, with a purplish-green tinge
- Make sure the broccoli has a uniform color and does not have any bruises
- Avoid broccoli with damp stalks or with tiny yellow flowers or grey parts
- Broccoli has to be refrigerated in an open bag in the vegetable basket and used within 4 days