Worried about getting your kids to finish their broccoli? You might be worrying over nothing! It turns out broccoli is actually one of the most popular vegetables with American children.
That’s great news, considering the multitude of health benefits associated with cruciferous vegetables like broccoli. Broccoli and its increasingly trendy cousin, cauliflower, are nutritional powerhouses — and you can start introducing them to your children at as early as 6 months. Because they can cause gassiness, it’s best to introduce other vegetables first, then add cruciferous vegetables in small amounts. Some people wait until their babies are 8 to 10 months old before introducing broccoli or cauliflower.
Just what makes cruciferous vegetables so special?
Members of the cruciferous vegetable family (which also contains cabbage) are famous for their high phytochemical content, compounds that are said to prevent cancer. They’re also high in fiber, which promotes healthy bowel function for people of all ages. (If you’re looking to get even more fiber into your baby’s diet, try introducing sweet potato.)
Of the two look-alike veggies, broccoli packs a bigger nutritional punch, with very high levels of vitamins A, C, and K, and a respectable amount of iron, folate, magnesium, and phosphorous. These nutrients contribute to everything from a healthy immune system and digestive system, to the development of eyesight.
While broccoli is popular with older kids, the flavor can take a little getting used to for younger palates. A great way to help your child adjust to these veggies is by combining them with a sweet fruit.
This recipe for Apple, Cauliflower, and Broccoli Puree is an easy way to blend these cruciferous champions with apple to give your young one a slightly sweet, nutrient-packed meal. It takes nothing more than steaming and pureeing your vegetables and fruit, then pressing into pouches with your Infantino Squeeze Station.
This recipe is suited for children 6 months and older. Your baby can enjoy a pouch as soon as it’s cool, or you can store them for later. They’ll hold in the fridge for up to 24 hours, or up to two months in the freezer. Try the recipe below, and watch as your kids finish their broccoli without you having to ask!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 6-8 squeeze pouches (which hold 4 oz. each), dependant on cauliflower size
2 ripe organic apples, cored and diced (peeled or not, depending on your baby’s preference and age)
1 head of organic cauliflower (or 1 package frozen organic cauliflower)
1 stalk or head of organic broccoli (or 1 cup frozen organic broccoli)
1. Peel, core and cut apple
2. Cut cauliflower, and broccoli into small pieces.
3. Add water to a small pot and add the apple slices
4. Boil apple slices until soft.
5. Add water to another saucepan and bring to a boil on stovetop. Place steam basket on top of pan. Water added should not be above the steam basket.
6. Add cauliflower, and broccoli to steam basket. Steam for 5 to 7 minutes, or until tender. Save the water!
7. In food processor, combine steamed apple, cauliflower, and broccoli with 1 tbsp of reserved water. Process until desired consistency is achieved. Add more of the reserved water to thin the puree as desired.
8. Press puree into squeeze pouches using Infantino Squeeze Station.
9. Allow to cool. Serve immediately at room temperature, put in your fridge, or freeze for later.