It is important to introduce a variety of healthy foods to babies when they start to eat solid foods so they can meet their nutritional needs (source: WHO).
Whether you follow the traditional spoon-feeding or the baby-led weaning approach, asparagus is one vegetable to consider adding to your babies’ meals. It’s a great source of a variety of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Asparagus is rich in vitamin K for proper blood clotting, calcium that promotes bone health, folate to support healthy cell formation, potassium for organ function, fiber to support better digestion, and many more (source: WebMD).
Asparagus Pea Puree
The soft green peas complement the fibrous flesh of the asparagus in this easy three-ingredient baby food puree recipe.
1. Wash and cut asparagus stalks into 1-inch pieces. Place asparagus and peas in a steamer. Steam until soft. Once vegetables are tender, set aside to cool slightly.
2. Place in a blender/food processor with water. Pulse until smooth, and adjust the addition of water when the consistency is to your liking.
- Place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 2-5 days and in the freezer for 2-3 weeks.
- Green peas, also known as garden peas, are lightly sweet, starchy vegetables that are high in protein and support healthy growth (source: NutritionData).
- For this recipe, you can also make just plain asparagus puree and skip the addition of green peas, or substitute green peas for other vegetables or fruits like apples, pears, avocados, or chickpeas.
- Fruit and vegetable purees are one of the first solid foods you may serve to your babies and progress from there as they age.
- For a smoother puree, remove the skins of the green peas when washing them and pass the puree through a fine strainer.
Asparagus Potato Soup
A tasty and filling soup meal for babies or toddlers and a hearty appetizer for the main meals of the whole family.
|Asparagus, washed and chopped
|Potatoes, peeled and chopped
|Salt to taste
1. In a saucepan, heat olive oil. Saute the onions and then the garlic until soft and translucent. Add in chopped potatoes and asparagus. Season with salt.
2. Pour in the stock. Let the soup simmer until the vegetables are tender.
3. Place half of the soup in a blender, and pulse until smooth. Mix in with the unpureed half for a textured soup.
- Serve soup as is with small pieces of vegetables for toddlers. When serving to babies, place all the soup in a blender and blend until smooth.
- This filling soup can also be served with toasted bread and crackers for toddlers up to adults.
- Jazz up this recipe by seasoning it with mild spices, and adding herbs.
Lemon Roasted Asparagus Stalks
A simple recipe to serve tender asparagus stalks is a great food item for baby-led weaning.
|Fresh lemon juice
|Salt to taste
1. Wash asparagus thoroughly, and cut about an inch of the dry ends. Then cut the stalks into two to three pieces.
2. Place asparagus in a parchment-lined baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, and lemon juice, then sprinkle lemon zest and salt.
3. Toss to coat the asparagus with the seasoning.
4. Bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven for 10-15 minutes or until asparagus is soft. Let it cool slightly. Serve.
- Top with cheese or bread crumbs for added texture, you may also use mild spices to season the asparagus.
- Baby-led weaning is an approach where babies are given independence to self-feed and eat together with the family (source: Current Nutrition Reports).
This feeding style is growing in popularity nowadays among mothers because of its possible positive outcomes, better appetite control, motor skills, and oral development, to name a few.
Other examples of food you may serve for this include cooked pasta, roasted sweet potato wedges, peeled bananas, etc. (source: Revista Paulista de Pediatria).
Asparagus Tomato Frittata
This frittata recipe, as a combination food, is a rich source of a variety of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber.
|1 cup/6 stalks
|Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
|Milk, of your choice
|Salt and pepper to taste
1. Wash asparagus thoroughly, and cut about an inch of the dry ends. Then chop asparagus into 1-inch size pieces.
2. In a bowl, crack the eggs and whisk with the milk until fluffy. Season egg mixture with salt and pepper.
3. In a frying pan, heat olive oil. Saute onions and then the garlic until translucent and aromatic. Add in the asparagus. Continue sauteing until soft.
4. Add in the cherry tomatoes and cook until blistered.
5. Pour in the egg mixture. Stir to distribute the vegetables. Cook covered over low heat until the sides are set and the bottom is golden brown.
6. Flip the omelet to cook the other side. Once the omelet is firm, set it aside to cool slightly. Slice then serve.
- You may tweak this recipe by replacing the tomatoes with other vegetables like spinach, zucchini, squash, and carrots.
- Be mindful when introducing this baby food recipe to your baby, as eggs are a common food allergen (source: Nutrients Journal).
- When dealing with fresh eggs, make sure to cook thoroughly and be able to reach the proper cooking temperature to avoid salmonella (source: CDC).
How to Cook Asparagus for Baby
Fresh asparagus, tends to have a tough and fibrous texture, so when preparing to serve this to your baby, it’s best to cook it properly.
- First, wash the asparagus spears thoroughly and trim the dry woody ends (this is usually about an inch, depending on the freshness of the raw asparagus). Cut into desired pieces and cook accordingly.
- For pureeing: Cut into small pieces, then steam until soft. Place steamed asparagus in a food processor, add water, and pulse until pureed. Strain puree to remove fiber threads of the asparagus to avoid choking hazards.
- For baby-led weaning: You can steam, roast, or pan-fry asparagus stalks until tender, then serve.
- Cooking time for asparagus may vary depending on its thickness this can take about 8-10 minutes for thinner stalks and 12-15 minutes for thicker stalks.
In more ways than one, the nutrient-rich asparagus can be enjoyed by your baby and the whole family in tons of recipes. It may even be served raw in a salad if your little one is at least 18 months of age.