If you’re a parent who has had this question and ever looked it up on the web, you know that any discourse you might find agrees on the fact that baby food should in fact be cooked. However, it is often quite rare to find any two platforms that would give you the same reasons for practicing this, which is why we’ve come up with this blog where we give you all the reasons to encourage you to steam the fruits & vegetables you give to your baby. Yes, here is the complete details on why should baby’s food be steamed? | Benefits of steaming fruits & vegetables for babies.
Steaming baby foods is one way to cook them. The benefits of steaming fruits and vegetables for babies are many. From increasing the nutrition to decreasing the risk of food borne illness. There are several other ways you may do that. Let’s first have a look at the importance of cooking fruits and vegetables which you feed your baby.
Why cook fruits & vegetables for your baby?
Decontaminates the food –
It is a well-known fact that heat is a very effective method of killing bacteria and other harmful microbes that might be present on the surfaces of any foods we consume. Since a baby’s immune system is weaker compared to an adult’s, cooking fruits & vegetables before feeding them to your baby acts as an extra layer of protection against your baby getting sick.
Softens up the food –
Raw fruits and vegetables pose a great risk of choking hazard as any piece that is not small enough can be hard for your baby to get down their oesophagus. Moreover, putting aside a few exceptions, many vegetables and fruits are quite hard and solid when raw.Your baby could very likely bite off a piece big enough to choke them. Cooking vegetables and fruits breaks them down and the result is a softened, mushy product that is easy to chew and swallow.
Ensures easier digestion –
Plant-based food items like fruits and vegetables have tough cell walls which makes it harder for our digestive system to effectively absorb nutrition. Cooking any kind of food does not only change its physical properties, but the exposure to heat while cooking also breaks down its chemical structure. Since babies already have underdeveloped digestive systems, cooking the fruits and vegetables before feeding it to them aids in easier digestion and higher nutrition retention.
Here’s a point to be noted; cooked does not equal steamed.
There are several ways in which a parent can cook their baby’s food and in theory, all forms of cooking produce the same result – food that is decontaminated, softened, and easier to digest. However, each method of cooking is not entirely the same. If you fry the fruits and vegetables, for example, they might be too fatty to give to your baby.
Boiling them keeps the caloric intake to a minimum but often results in a loss of nutritional components that seep into the water when vegetables and fruits are boiled. The reason we recommend steaming vegetables and fruits over other methods of cooking is because steaming preserves most nutrients inside the food, while it also achieves the above mentioned results.
Why is steaming baby fruits & vegetables a great option?
Most fruits and vegetables should be steamed before feeding until the infant is roughly 8 months old. Cooking is required for some harder, firmer foods, such as apples, only to soften them enough to purée. Steaming/cooking is optional for softer foods like mangoes or berries, but it can still be beneficial for babies 6–8 months old because cooking makes the food simpler to digest and allows the baby to obtain more nutrition.
When fruits and vegetables are cooked using methods other than steaming, they often tend to lose a lot of their flavour. The flavours of the many foods you steam concurrently do not get mixed up like they would if you boiled them, retaining their original flavour. Food remains moist and tender after steaming. It’s less likely for the cooking liquid to jiggle or absorb too much water because it never touches the food. This means the shape, color, flavour, and texture of the food is preserved. The benefits of steaming vegetables and fruits are very vast. Steaming vegetables in this manner is considered a healthy habit that brings many benefits to the human body. It can help fight different kinds of infections, balance the digestive system, and more. Not only that, it also helps protect the skin from damage caused by sunlight, which helps in keeping your baby’s skin healthy and wrinkle-free. Hence steaming your baby foods is definitely one of the best ways to get the most pure taste and health benefits out of it.