Mar 182012
 

In a recent blog post, Ruth answered a question about feeding raw parsley to baby where she mentioned phytonutrients.  When it comes to phytonutrients (organic components of plants…thought to promote human health – thanks for the definition, WebMD!), which get destroyed during cooking, she mentions that it is better to use raw or steamed greens. Always remember to check the age-appropriateness of raw foods for your baby, though.  As Ruth mentioned with parsley – no raw parsley until baby is 9 months old!

Phytonutrients are the big thing now that have been discovered and proven in studies to really be good for you, although not all are “essential” for life. They are the plant nutrients that you may have been hearing about – lutein, lycopene, etc.. The supplement manufactures have jumped in head first and there are now lots of pills with phytonutrients, but don’t use the supplements. Use real whole food, which will have the entire realm of related phytonutrients in the proper proportions.

There’s lots of info on the net, but use only trusted sites that use scientifically proven info. Here’s a page you can trust: http://www.ars.usda.gov/aboutus/docs.htm?docid=4142   You are sure to hear more about phytonutrients from us in the near future!

 

Mar 072012
 

We love when Moms ask Ruth questions because (1) the questions are always so great and (2) we feel that that for every question asked, thousands of other parents have the same question and will have their question answered! A mom recently asked the following question to Ruth about parsley.

Moms asks:

Hi Ruth. My son is almost 8 mos. old. I’m reading your chapter (in Super Baby Food) about what to feed at 8mos and love the idea of throwing some cooked parsley in the mix, but I’m confused. You say that at 8 months they should only eat cooked parsley, but you also say that cooked parsley tastes bitter. Do you think the cooked parsley mixed with something sweet, like sweet potato will mask the bitterness?
Or should I wait until he can eat it raw? Thanks.

Ruth says:

Absolutely you could mix the cooked parsley in with sweet potatoes and other things he likes to decrease bitterness. However, he can eat it raw soon (by 9 months) but you have to be careful to wash it thoroughly, as with all raw produce, because his little immune system is still immature. I wouldn’t use a microwave – steam it instead.

Here is more interesting information:

Within the last few weeks I read where microwave ovens destroy more of some phytonutrients than steaming. Organic produce is best and is definitely worth the extra dollars in my opinion because babies don’t eat too much and pesticides get concentrated in their little bodies since they eat lots of food for their little sizes.  Make sure it has the certified organic symbol.

I’m finding out that raw parsley is up there with kale, maybe even better, and you know how I adore kale if you read my section in Super Baby Food on Super Greens. 🙂 AND now the AAP says spices (super sources of phytonutrients) are OK for babies starting around 6 months. Don’t use imported spices which may contain heavy metals. Frontier is a nice organic brand you can trust.