No wonder our mums were so keen for us to tuck into broccoli when we were little. Packed with Vitamins A, C and K as well as folate it’s up there with the super veg. Vitamin A is crucial for growth and development and important to keep the immune system and cells healthy. Vitamin C helps wounds heal and plays an important role in the growth and development of tissues and in making sure the immune system is working well. Vitamin K is also important for wound healing and for healthy bones. Folate works together with Vitamin b6 to help make red blood cells and makes sure our nervous system is working as it should be.
When to give to your baby
Broccoli can be introduced to a baby’s diet from quite early on. We recommend to start weaning at around 6 months, however every baby is different so follow your instinct or consult your health visitor if you are not sure. For more information on weaning visit our weaning section in ‘your journey’. If you find broccoli gives your little one gas, don’t be put off. Try leaving it for a few weeks before introducing it again as it can take a little while for your little ones digestive system to manage with digesting some fruit and vegetables, and like we said, every baby is different. It's worth persisting with as it's very important to introduce your little one to new flavours and not to only focus on the sweeter vegetables.
How to select them and how to store them for your baby
Wherever possible we like to use organic broccoli, which means that they have not been sprayed or treated with any nasties. When selecting your broccoli, look for the colour of the florets. These should be uniformly coloured and should have a rich dark green colour. If the florets have started to turn yellow, then this is an indication that the vegetable is quite old, so best to avoid. It is also important that is should have a pleasant smell and not too strong and be firm to the touch. Store the broccoli in the refrigerator for up to 4-6 days.
Best way to cook them for your baby
Broccoli, is perfect steamed in an inch of water until tender enough to puree. Try adding it to more familiar vegetables add more each time until your little one gets used to the taste. Once they are ready for finger food you can steam until tender and then leave the florets whole.