The Goodness of Beets for Baby
Beets are very nutritious for your little one. These jewel-toned veggies are packed with calcium, fiber and Vitamin A, which all play a role in the healthy development of your baby. Beets are also a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains which have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification support in our bodies. This pretty veggie has also been shown to fight cancer, improve eye health and help protect against heart disease, making it one of the most nutritious veggies on earth. Beets are pleasing to the eye, a fun finger food for baby and add a fun pop of color and nutritional boost to any puree!
Highlighted Nutritional Importance of Beets
Folate - This important B Vitamin, also known as Folic Acid, helps build cells in our bodies and is crucial in making DNA
VItamin C - helps to form and repair red blood cells, bones and tissues and helps baby's gums stay healthy
Vitamin B6 - this vitamin helps to metabolize protein, fats and carbohydrates from the foods we eat and is crucial to your baby's developing brain and nervous system
Vitamin A - important for baby's vision, bone growth and immune system
Calcium - this mineral is very important for building healthy bones and teeth
Potassium - an electrolyte mineral that works with sodium to control water balance and healthy blood pressure
Copper - essential for forming red blood cells and boosts baby's ability to mend tissues and break down sugars
Magnesium - this mineral keeps bones strong, maintains a healthy heart rhythm and supports the immune system
Iron - responsible for making hemoglobin in blood (which gives blood it's red color!) which is oxygen-carrying and helps baby feel alert and energized
Beeturia and What You Should Know
According to WH Foods, an estimated 10-15% of US adults (and babies!) experience beeturia, or reddening of the urine or stool after consuming red beets. The pigments in red beets are so strong your baby may have pink to reddish poop or urine 1-3 days after consumption, but no need to be alarmed as this is a perfectly normal phenomena.
How to Select and Store Beets for Baby Food
According to the EWG, beets aren't one of the Dirty Dozen foods that are most highly contaminated with pesticides, so purchasing organic is a personal choice.
When selecting fresh beets at your farmers market or grocery store, look for beets about 2" in diameter that are unblemished and unbruised. When it comes to beets, bigger is not better, and they may not be as tender or tasty as a smaller beet. Beets come in a variety of colors including red, yellow, purple and orange. If possible, buy beets that have their green leafy tops attached so that they will stay fresher for longer.
To store beets, cut off the greens and place in an airtight container or baggie. Store them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator where they will remain fresh for about a week.
To prepare beets, roasting and steaming is a great option if you're preparing them as baby food. Both of these cooking methods make the beets mushy and very easy to puree. Removing the beet skins after cooking is a personal choice, but certain tummies may not be able to handle the tough skin.
Beware! Red or purple beets will leave you, your kiddo and whatever they touch stained a pretty shade of pink. Many people opt for gloves when preparing them, and removing all clothes from baby prior to snack time. If things DO get a bit messy, rubbing a lemon wedge on stained skin can help.
Recipes with Beets:
- Just Beet It - Yellow and Red Beet Puree
- Beets + Apple + Clove Puree
- Beets + Orange + Mint Toddler Finger Food
- Beet Pancakes + Cinnamon
- Oatmeal with Beets + Carrots
- Apple + Beet Toddler Applesauce
- Healthy Beet Pink Circus Animal Crackers
- Chioggia Beets + Radishes + Chia Seeds
- Turkey + Beets + Carrots + Cilantro Mini Burgers