We all know that fresh vegetables are healthy for adults and babies alike. However, can babies safely have frozen vegetables?
Overall, babies can have frozen vegetables once the veggies have been cooked until they are soft. Frozen vegetables are a cost-effective way to purchase vegetables that last for a long time in your freezer, or to make your own baby food.
In this article, we will discuss more about the safety and nutritional information of frozen vegetables for babies. Read on!
Are Frozen Vegetables Safe or Healthy for Babies?
Frozen vegetables are a safe option for babies as long as the vegetables are thoroughly cooked until they have a soft texture and can be easily mashed. You can give babies frozen vegetables starting at six months of age as a thin and watery puree (source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).
When they are between seven and nine months old, your baby can have a thicker consistency puree. Finally, your baby can have small and soft pieces of cooked vegetables at ten months old.
Many also wonder if frozen vegetables are less nutritious and healthy than fresh vegetables. Actually, the opposite is true! As fresh vegetables age, they experience a loss of nutrients, especially during transport from their place of origin to the fresh produce section of your local grocery store (source: Cleveland Clinic).
However, frozen vegetables are frozen very soon after the vegetables are harvested, which helps to retain the nutrients. In addition, they are more suitable for longer shelf-life in your freezer rather than worrying about when your fresh veggies will go bad.
Finally, since they are much less likely to go rancid and need to go in the trash, they may be more cost-effective overall.
Frozen vegetables are preferable to canned varieties for babies because canned vegetables are often very high in sodium. Too much sodium is bad for your baby’s kidneys and therefore is unhealthy (source: National Health Service [NHS]).
However, there are frozen vegetable blends that are seasoned or salted. It is best to avoid the seasoned versions and opt for plain frozen vegetables that you can season yourself at home.
Can I Make Baby Food or Puree with Frozen Vegetables?
You can make homemade baby food or vegetable puree with frozen vegetables. Compared to using fresh, frozen vegetables will likely need to cook for a shorter time to get to the same level of softness. However, this can depend on the type of vegetable used.
Also, be careful not to overcook them because they can quickly become hard and rubbery, which can make them hard to mash or blend.
Can You Give Frozen Veg as Finger Food for Babies?
Frozen vegetables that have been cooked and then cooled slightly are an excellent option for baby-led weaning because the vegetables will be firm enough to allow your baby to pick them up and bring them to their mouth.
Make sure the vegetables you choose to give your baby as finger food are well-cooked to the point where they mash easily (source: Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital). For small and round vegetables, like green peas, make sure to smash them flat with a spoon or fork to reduce the risk of choking from them getting lodged in your baby’s throat.
As always, make sure the vegetables are cut up into small, bite-sized pieces.
I hope this article taught you how to safely and nutritiously incorporate frozen vegetables into your baby’s diet.