Asparagus has a delicate flavour and contains many important nutrients – including some protein! It can be a little difficult to digest, so is not recommended as a first vegetable and is better left until baby reaches about 10 months, when the digestive system is more mature. Watch out for bloating and wind when giving baby asparagus.
Asparagus is good for baby (and you):
There are several varieties of asparagus, but all are equally nutritious.
Fresh asparagus provides lots of vitamin C and some B vitamins, as well as containing the fibre that is so good for the digestive system. It is also a source of iron, folate, and calcium – and five steamed asparagus spears will provide two grams of protein.
Hints on buying and storing:
- Asparagus is often sold in bunches.
- Asparagus ‘spears’ should be fresh-looking, not dull.
- Tips should be firm – not soft or turning brown
- Inspect the spears for size – thick spears take longer to cook, so try to select all the same thickness.
- Keep in the refrigerator and use within a few days.
Tips on cooking:
- Asparagus spears have a ‘woody’ end which must be cut off, or snapped off by holding the spear at the stem end and part-way up the stalk then bending it gently – discard the woody part.
- There is no need to peel, as nutrients and fibre may be lost.
- Steam spears over boiling water – keeping them as upright as possible, or placed into boiling water with the tips out of the water (tie in a bunch with string). Cover and cook for 5 to 8 minutes.
- Cut into pieces and stir/fry in butter or oil for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Microwave with a little water for between 4 and 7 minutes depending on size – turning once.
Ideas for ways of including asparagus in your baby’s meals:
- Use cooked spears as finger food.
- Combine with cooked carrot, white potato, summer squash.
- Mix into cooked brown rice, pasta, or lentils.
- Add to chicken dishes.
Please remember: Always consult your baby’s paediatrician or doctor about introducing new foods.
This information presented to you acts as a guide which contains researched information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.
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