What You Need to Know About Asparagus and Babies…
Asparagus for baby? I know, right? Many of us sort of shiver at the thought of the odiferous pee from eating a meal containing asparagus. But, truth be told, that unpleasant side effect might take a back seat to the potential for baby to have aspara-“gas.”
Because of this common digestive complaint when asparagus is consumed by baby, it’s best given to an infant after introducing common foundational foods (bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes, pears, carrots, plums, etc.) Always be sure you are comfortable with your baby’s digestive reactions and overall adaptability with new foods. In fact, if your baby has had any major digestive issues like colic, constipation, frequent loose stools or food intolerances, it would be best to introduce asparagus into the diet later rather than sooner. Because some parents find that asparagus gives their baby a bit of gassiness and bloating, it is always prudent to watch for these symptoms when you feed your baby asparagus.
Besides the odorous effects asparagus might have, it does make a smooth puree for baby, a tasty and simple finger food or a fun way to add some color to toddler meals. Not to mention it is packed with vital vitamins and minerals for your little one.
Highlighted Nutritional Importance of Asparagus
(nutrients and benefits found in one cup of cooked, pureed asparagus):
- Vitamin C - supports baby’s immune system, mucous membranes and respiratory system
- Folate – this is another B vitamin that supports brain and nervous system health
- Pantothenic Acid - this is a B vitamin that supports the immune system, healthy hormone production and basic metabolic functions of the body
- Niacin - this is another B vitamin that supports energy production in the body
- Thiamine – this is another B vitamin that supports a healthy immune system and functioning nervous system
- Vitamin K – this vitamin best known for its role in preventing blood clots, but is also important as a co-factor for bone growth and development, and vitamin K also supports a healthy cardiovascular system
- Potassium - this is an electrolyte mineral that supports healthy cardiovascular function and kidney function
- Magnesium – this is a mineral necessary to the body’s bone and skeletal health, and ultra-important in regulating energy production inside the cell
- Calcium – another mineral that regulate bone growth and skeletal development, and plays a critical role in some hormone production
- Phosphorus – this mineral works closely with calcium to help build strong bones and teeth
- Sodium – this is another electrolyte mineral that similar to potassium is needed to regulate cardiovascular function and water balance in the kidneys
How to Select and Store Asparagus for Baby Food
According to the EWG, asparagus is not one of the “dirty dozen” foods most highly contaminated with pesticides – so, purchasing organic is a personal choice. Asparagus is sold by the bunch. You should buy a bunch where the asparagus spears are relatively uniform in thickness so that the spears will cook and be done at the same time. Be sure to inspect the “flowers” (the tips) of the asparagus. These little flowers should be a bit firm and fragrant. Asparagus varieties may be green, white and purple, but there is not much difference in the taste.
Store freshly washed asparagus in a shallow glass container with cool, fresh water right on the counter top, or in a sealed glass container in the fridge until ready to use. The easiest way to cook asparagus is to roast it in the oven for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Just rub the spears in a little coconut oil and sea salt. Then, you can puree or mash and mix in to your baby food recipes.