Pears for Baby
Not only are pears super tasty, but they are also a great source of fiber, Vitamin C and potassium. These important nutrients are vital for a healthy heart, immune system and digestive tract! Many practitioners even recommend pears to be one of the first fruits introduced to babies since they're easy on under-developed digestive tracts. When grabbing a pear to snack on, think twice before peeling. A pear's skin contains three to four times as many antioxidants as the flesh and have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties! The skin, which is thin and has good flavor, also contains more than half of the pear's dietary fiber. Add pears to a smoothie for a nutrient boost, or puree them with apples for a delicious take on apple sauce for kiddos and baby.
Highlighted Nutritional Importance of Pears
Vitamin C - strengthens blood vessels and helps to minimize bruising from falls and scrapes
Vitamin K - vital for the blood clotting process and bone health
Vitamin B1 - essential for baby's brain development and aids in the normal functioning of the nervous system, muscles and heart
Vitamin B2 - important for baby's muscle and bone health and helps to promote growth and good vision
Copper - helps to form collagen which is essential for healthy bones and connective tissue
Potassium - works with sodium to help control water balance in the body and helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure
Calcium - necessary for building strong bones and teeth and for converting food into energy
Magnesium - this mineral is essential for maintaining a steady heart rhythm and strong bones
Pears are a Hypoallergenic Food
Healthcare practitioners are excited about pears and their potential hypoallergenic (low allergy) properties. People often eat pears when they are following a low-allergy diet plan and many individuals report having fewer allergy-related symptoms when consuming pears versus other fruits. Since pears have better digestibility than other fruits and seem to have a decreased allergic response, it's easy to see why they are a great choice for baby!
How to Select and Store Pears for Baby Food
According to the EWG, pears are not listed on the Dirty Dozen list, meaning they aren't at risk of being heavily contaminated with fertilizers and harmful pesticides. Buying organic is a personal choice.
When shopping for pears at the farmers market or grocery store, look for pears that are slightly ripe, but not overly squishy, by gently pressing the top of the pear by the stem. If that spot gives in to pressure, the pear is probably optimally ripe for eating. The pear should have a smooth skin that is free of bruises or mold and should be free of punctures or dark soft spots. If you notice that some pears are multi-colored and have brown-speckled patches, this may mean the pear has a more intense, delicious flavor! Since pears are very perishable when ripe, you will probably find most grocery store pears to be unripened and hard. To speed up the ripening process, place the unripened pears in a paper bag and keep them at room temperature.
Fresh pears are delicious eaten as-is and are perfect cut into pieces for toddlers and babies. Since they tend to oxidize and go brown very quickly, you can squeeze a few drops of fresh citrus juice to preserve their color and taste. Pears are also perfect for puree's for baby and can even be added to baked goods, like muffins or breads, for a tasty nutrient boost.