Green beans are not the easiest of vegetables to puree to a smooth consistency. The ‘skins’ are the main problem, but green beans are impossible to peel. However, they are excellent as one of the first vegetables to introduce – when baby is around 8 months of age – as they are packed with nutrition, and present a low risk of allergen.
When baby is older, and able to chew well green beans make a really nourishing finger food if steamed until really tender.
Green beans are good for baby (and you):
A portion of green beans will contain high amounts of calcium and manganese, vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Indeed, green beans offer many nutritional benefits that may help in preventing a wide variety of conditions – ranging from childhood ear infections, colds and flu, to certain cancers and heart disease later on in life.
Hints on buying and storing:
- Buy green beans that are as young as possible – big, older ones have even tougher skins.
- Really fresh green beans are firm, rigid and bright in colour – not soft, ‘bendy’ or dull.
- Store in a plastic bag, in the vegetable compartment of a refrigerator.
- Use within 5 days of buying.
- Only wash, trim and slice immediately before you are going to cook them.
Tips on cooking:
- Wash green beans well, remove ‘tops and tails’ and cut or pull off any stringy pieces down the sides.
- Steaming retains most nutrition, but dropping into about 3 centimetres (1 inch) of already boiling water retains more colour.
- Over-cooking will produce a softer texture – and not much nutrition will be lost, only colour.
- For the smoothest texture, push cooked beans through a fine sieve.
- Freezing may break down skin fibre a little more.
Ideas for ways of including green beans in your baby’s meals:
- Combine pureed green beans with carrot, white potato, or courgette (zucchini).
- Add to cooked lentils or brown rice.
- Include in beef or chicken dishes.
- Mash into tofu.
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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