Learn about beets and try some beets baby food recipe ideas too.
Beets Baby Food Recipes - When can baby eat beets and how to prepare beets for your baby.
Beets are very nutritious for your little one. A great color to engage your little one's eyes and pinching fingers, serve up some beets to your little one as a great finger food.
The Goodness of Beets for Baby Food:
Beets contain a wonderful amount of calcium, potassium and even vitamin A. Both Vitamin A and Calcium play a large role in the healthy development of your baby. It's hard to believe how high in fiber beets are; just 2 medium sized beets contain 2 grams of fiber!
When to introduce Beets to your baby - Age for Introducing Beets: 8-10 months
As noted above, many pediatricians suggest introducing beets between 8-10 months of age. As always, we recommend that you thoroughly discuss any feeding issues with your pediatrician as generalities may not apply to your child.
How to select and store beets for homemade baby food
According to the EWG, beets are not one of the "dirty dozen" foods that are most highly contaminated with pesticides - purchasing organic is a personal choice.
When selecting beets for homemade baby food, try to purchase fresh beets whenever possible. The medium sized beets are more tender and tasty than the large beets. Many recommend completely bypassing beets if they are over 3-4 inches in diameter. With beets, bigger is not better.
Choose unbruised or otherwise unblemished beets. Beets come in all types of colors including red, yellow and of course, that well known purple color. When possible, buy beets that still have their green leafy tops attached as as they will remain more fresh. Don't look at the dirt on beets as a negative, seldom will you find nicely washed and shiny beets in your grocery store.
To store beets, cut off the greens and then place in an airtight container or a freezer bag and put them in the "veggie crisper" or the far back of your refrigerator. Beets will remain fresh for about 1 week as long as they are kept cold.
The best way to safely prepare Beets for Baby Food
When preparing Beets, I like to roast or steam them. Steaming is really the very best method for cooking and preparing them if you want to use them for baby food. They will cook up a bit more mushy and more easy to puree when steamed. Steaming Beets also allows the Vitamin A beta carotene to be more bio-available and readily used by the body.
Beets should be peeled and the greens cut off when making baby food purées. Even adults should not eat the peel of beets as they are not easily digestible.
We have found that more often than not, the recommendation for introducing Beets is between 8-10 months old. Again, please see our Nitrates article for more in-depth information.
Tasty Beets Baby Food Recipes
Beets - Basic Purée
1 bunch of fresh beets
1. Wash then peel the beets (be sure to cut off the tops.) and then cut the beets into small chunks
2. Place chunks into a steamer pan with just enough water visible through the steamer basket. You may also boil them in a scant amount of water if you prefer.
3. Steam until tender
4. Do not reserve any left over water to use for thinning out the beets as Nitrates may seep into the cooking water
5. Place into your choice of appliance for pureeing and begin pureeing. We find a food processor works best to make a really nice textured beet puree.
6. Add water as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency.
1 cup of cooked mashed beets
2 cups of mashed potatoes
Mix beets and potatoes together and serve.
Add a 1/2 cup soft cooked diced carrots for extra eye appeal.
Purple Rice Casserole
2 cups of cooked sliced beets
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 small diced onion - sauteed
1 cup cooked shredded chicken or turkey
1/2 cup chicken broth (try a homemade chicken stock.)
3 egg yolks
splash of milk or 1/4 cup of whole milk yogurt
spices as desired
Combine the beets, rice, onion, and chicken or turkey in a bowl and stir to mix well.
Add the milk (or yogurt) and egg yolks, and stir to mix.
Wipe a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil, and spread the mixture evenly in a dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a sharp knife inserted in the center of the dish comes out clean. Remove dish from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
+ This dish was created when I could not find anything to do with the leftover chicken, near-ready to be tossed beets and extra brown rice. A nice way to get some color and beets into your baby or toddler.
Roasted Beet Shapes
5 medium sized beets
Thoroughly cleanse and then peel the beets. Cut the beets into thin slices.
Using small cookie cutters, cut out shapes from the beet slices. You may have to press really hard to do this.
Transfer shapes onto a oiled baking sheet and brush the beets lightly with olive oil.
Bake at 350 for approx. 10-20 minutes or until the beets are soft and tender. You may wish to cover the baking sheet with a strip of tinfoil.
You may also try to steam the beet shapes. I have never had luck with steaming beet shapes though I do believe that a thicker beet shape might steam well.
Serve as fun finger foods or simply mash and serve.
Mashed Turnip & Beets
1 very large turnip ( or many small ones)
4 medium Beets ( or as many as you like)
spice to taste
1. Peel skin off of the turnip then cut turnip into pieces... size doesn't matter, but the smaller you cut them the faster they will boil.
2. Place the turnip in saucepan with just enough water to cover then boil until fork tender.
3. Clean and peel then cut up the Beets and steam until tender - or steam Turnips and Beets together.
When Turnip & Beets are ready, put both in one bowl or saucepan and mash them together. Or you can mash them separately (food processor can also be used) and then mix them together. Add spices as desired.
Foods Good to Mix With Beets
Summer Squash - zucchini or yellow/crooked necked
Tofu - beets turn tofu a wonderful purple color.
Visit our Combinations page to see more Homemade Baby Food Combination Ideas