Cauliflower for Baby
Cauliflower is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables out there and is a great food to introduce to baby or kiddo. Like broccoli and Brussel's sprouts, cauliflower is a cruciferous veggie full of immune-boosting vitamin C and helps support healthy liver function and detoxification. Cauliflower is also packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants that have been linked to cancer prevention! The fiber content found in cauliflower is also impressive (9 grams for every 100 calories) and may help to alleviate some digestive discomfort and keep the digestive system working smoothly. With that said, the fiber content can prove to be a little troublesome for immature digestive systems, so watch for gassy symptoms after introducing to baby or kiddo. If they seem uncomfortable, you may want to wait to re-introduce until they are a bit older.
Highlighted Nutritional Importance of Cauliflower
Vitamin C - a potent antioxidant, vitamin C is crucial for a healthy immune system
Vitamin K - a critical fat-soluble vitamin for baby's cardiovascular system and is necessary for the blood's clotting capacity
Folate - an important B vitamin that helps support the brain and neurological system
Vitamin B6 - plays an important role in energy-production within the cell and helps to keep hormones balanced
Potassium - an electrolyte mineral that supports healthy cardiovascular and kidney function
Manganese - a potent antioxidant that helps protect each cell from damage
Magnesium - necessary for a healthy skeletal system and very important in regulating energy production inside the cell
Phosphorus - crucial for healthy teeth and bones and is used for growth and repair of body cells and tissues
How to Select and Store Cauliflower for Baby Food
According to the EWG, cauliflower is not one of the Dirty Dozen foods most contaminated with pesticides, so purchasing organic is a personal choice. When choosing cauliflower at your local grocery store or farmer's market, be sure to pick one that is brightly colored, has a lot of green leaves surrounding it, and is free from spots and discoloration. The dark green leaves actually serve as protection until it's time to prepare the cauliflower!
Store cauliflower in the refrigerator stem-side down in order to prevent water from pooling on the cauliflower florets, or curds. This will ensure your cauliflower lasts a bit longer. A whole cauliflower will last in the refrigerator for up to a week, but if you purchase cauliflower that is already cut up, it should be used in 1-2 days.
Steaming or roasting cauliflower is the best way to prepare cauliflower for baby or kiddo. For older babies and kiddos, cooked cauliflower can be a great finger food, but it is also great as a puree and resembles and tastes like mashed potatoes! As mentioned, the fiber content in cauliflower is a bit high, so it's important to monitor how baby or kiddo handles their first introduction. If they seem uncomfortable or gassy, it might be best to wait until their digestive systems are more mature to introduce cauliflower again.
Recipes Using Cauliflower-