Beets are so darn healthy for baby (and you too!) because they contain calcium, potassium, vitamin C, and high fiber. With such a great nutritional report card, I know you are excited to get started feeding beets to your baby. Cooked beets can be fed to baby from 9 months old. A beet is a root vegetable and as such, nitrates are an issue. Babies who are under the age of 6 months old have not developed the stomach acids necessary to fight beet nitrates. Since I do not recommend feeding cooked beets to your baby until the age of 9 months your baby will be safe from nitrates.
How to prepare beet baby food
Beets can be baked, boiled, or steamed and then peeled and pureed. Note that you need a little time on your hands to cook beets:
Steam: Wonderful for holding in nutrients but you need the time, it takes about 60 minutes!
Boil: Simmer whole beets for two hours. Peels will easily come off and juices will be better retained in whole beets.
Bake: Wash thoroughly, place on a baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 90 minutes to two hours—the larger the beets, the longer the baking time.
Peel and purée: After cooking beets, remove stems. If you wish, slip off peels under cold running water before puréeing. Pureed beets will keep in the fridge for 3 days.
Mix: some great foods to mix with pureed beets: sweet potato puree, applesauce, and yogurt!
Freezing: Use the Baby Food Cube Method or Tray-Freeze Method, and keep for up to 2 months. Remember to store in a stainless steel ice cube tray and then store in a organic waxed paper lined plastic freezer bag.
Storing for later use: Immediately remove the greens so that they do not pull moisture from the root. Leave an inch or two of stem on the root, or it will bleed during cooking. Store beets in the refrigerator wrapped in organic, bleach-free wax paper and then in a plastic bag for up to 10 days.
Beet Baby Food Fun Facts:
Leafy green beet tops are edible
Lemon can help remove beet juice stains from your fingers while preparing cooked beets
Beets in your diet can: prevent cancer, boost your immune system, and reduce blood pressure later in life
Beets may put your baby in a good mood…a substance fond in beets, betaine, may relax the mind thereby improving your mood.
In a pinch, canned beets have lots of nutrition too…not as much as you would preserve making them yourself but enough to make it worth your while.
Gross but interesting fact: beets are a good indicator of the time it takes food to pass through your baby…let’s put it this way…you can’t mistake it!