Introducing a new food in your baby’s diet can seem tricky as you don’t know his/her reaction. A simple way to do it would be to add the “new” food to trusted and favorite ones so that the introduction will be progressive and smooth. This recipe is a very good example. Beets are an ingredient that definitely pops up both in terms of color and taste. Not spicy, not too strong but with a very peculiar flavor on the sweet side. In this recipe I combined beets with apple and banana, two of the most baby friendly fruits available. I also added chia seeds to thicken the puree and to add good fats to the recipe. Last ingredient, breastmilk to boost even more the nutritional value of it.
The final combination is a lovely baby puree, full of flavors and nutrients.
Chia seeds in baby food – when can I add them?
That’s a very good question that I receive on the blog. Pediatricians say that it is safe to introduce chia seeds in a baby’s diet even at 6 months of age. That being said, I would add…with moderation 🙂
Chia seeds are with no doubt loaded with good nutrients: protein, fiber, healthy fats. All good elements for growing babies. Another good point in favor of chia seeds is that they do NOT need to be ground for nutrients to be absorbed like happens to other seeds. My recommendation to use chia with moderation comes from the consideration that chia contains a lot of fiber that can cause tummy ache, diaper rash or gas in a little one. So..moderation is the key. Also, very important, never give raw chia seeds to your little one (like simply sprinkled on top of the puree). Let them soak in a liquid as they absorb up to 12 times their weight. In this recipe the chia seeds are mixed with the other ingredients and by the time the recipe is ready to be served they will have absorbed the liquid coming from the other ingredients (apple/beets/milk).
Can I use breastmilk in my baby food?
Yes, yes, and yes! Breastmilk is a powerful ingredient, almost a perfect one, contains all the nutrients a baby needs to survive and grow healthy for the first year of his/her life. Mother Nature is simply stunning. Solid foods is introduced at around 6 months of age but remember that breastmilk (or baby formula) is the main source of nutrient up until 12 months. Solid food is just an addition. If you are lucky enough to have extra breastmilk from the regular feedings you can easily add it to your baby food as a food thinner, to make the baby food more liquid reaching your desired consistency.
Only few suggestions.
- Add the breastmilk at room temperature, do not heat it or the good nutrients will go away. You can warm it up to room temperature from the cold of the fridge, but do not cook it.
- Add the breastmilk at the end, only to the quantity of baby food that you know your little one will eat. This is a way not to waste it. If you have any leftovers from the bowl used to feed your baby you will need to throw them away as they are contaminated by the saliva.
- If you don’t have breastmilk you can also use baby formula. Follow the same suggestions here above. You don’t want to waste baby formula either 🙂
Now let’s start preparing our lovely purple puree 🙂
First thing to do is to cook the beets. I usually place them in a sauce pan filled with water. Bring the water to boil, reduce to simmer and cook for a good 30min. Pending the size of the beets you will need more or less time. The trick to check if they are cooked is to insert a fork in the center. If it is easy to do, they are cooked. Uncooked beets are very hard, the fork will not even cut the skin.
Rinse the beets under running water and remove the skin with your fingers. Set them apart.
Peel the apple and finely grate it into a paste.
In a tall container add the grated apple, beets, banana and chia seed. Using and immersion blender (this is my trusted one that I’ve been using for the past years) transform everything into a smooth puree.
Transfer the quantity of puree that you know your little one will be able to enjoy in one meal in a cup and add few tablespoons of breastmilk (or formula milk) to reach the desired texture.
Mix and serve at room temperature.
Store the fruit puree without breastmilk in the fridge for up to 2 days or freeze it for up to 3 months. Enjoy!!
- 1/4 cup beets, boiled, peeled, sliced in small cubes
- 2 small apples, peeled, finely grated I used the Fall Delight variety
- 1 medium banana, ripen
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 2 Tbsp breastmilk or baby formula add only to the quantity that you will serve to your baby
Place the beet in a small pot full with water and boil the beet for 30 minutes from when the water starts boiling.
Peel the beet under running water and cut in small cubes.
Peel the apples and grate them finely.
In a tall container add the beet cubes, banana, grated apples and chia seeds.
Using an immersion blender create a smooth puree.
Remove the quantity you think your little one will enjoy in a meal.
Add one or two tablespoons of breastmilk or baby formula to thin the puree.
Serve at room temperature. Enjoy!