We love when Moms ask Ruth questions because (1) the questions are always so great and (2) we feel that that for every question asked, thousands of other parents have the same question and will have their question answered! A mom recently asked the following question to Ruth about parsley.
Hi Ruth. My son is almost 8 mos. old. I’m reading your chapter (in Super Baby Food) about what to feed at 8mos and love the idea of throwing some cooked parsley in the mix, but I’m confused. You say that at 8 months they should only eat cooked parsley, but you also say that cooked parsley tastes bitter. Do you think the cooked parsley mixed with something sweet, like sweet potato will mask the bitterness?
Or should I wait until he can eat it raw? Thanks.
Absolutely you could mix the cooked parsley in with sweet potatoes and other things he likes to decrease bitterness. However, he can eat it raw soon (by 9 months) but you have to be careful to wash it thoroughly, as with all raw produce, because his little immune system is still immature. I wouldn’t use a microwave – steam it instead.
Here is more interesting information:
Within the last few weeks I read where microwave ovens destroy more of some phytonutrients than steaming. Organic produce is best and is definitely worth the extra dollars in my opinion because babies don’t eat too much and pesticides get concentrated in their little bodies since they eat lots of food for their little sizes. Make sure it has the certified organic symbol.
I’m finding out that raw parsley is up there with kale, maybe even better, and you know how I adore kale if you read my section in Super Baby Food on Super Greens. AND now the AAP says spices (super sources of phytonutrients) are OK for babies starting around 6 months. Don’t use imported spices which may contain heavy metals. Frontier is a nice organic brand you can trust.
I am just beginning to feed my second child solid foods using your Super Baby Food book as a guide. Our CSA share this week included “vitamin greens” and I am wondering if they can be prepared as other greens and fed to my son when he is old enough for cooked greens. I also wonder about “bok choy”. Thank you for your help, and for writing such an excellent resource for parents.
Vitamin greens (I don’t why they call them that since all green leafy vegetables are loaded with vitamins) and bok choy should be introduced to your baby just as any other veggies. Use the 4-day wait rule.
Cook as you would kale. Thanks for writing!
What to do when your baby won’t eat a certain food?
It’s a worry for parents. The first thing to remember is not to push it. Put the food away and try again in a few weeks. Sometimes your baby will not eat something that is sweet and tastes good to you. With my baby, it was applesauce. I was surprised (but not upset!) that he simply would not eat it. A few months later, he began eating it with gusto and has loved it ever since.
If you’re afraid a toddler will not like a particularly healthy new food, such as kale, use a little reverse psychology to get her interested. Don’t give her any and eat it in front of her. She will want some. Be hesitant, but agree to give her some. If you’re lucky, she will love to eat it because it makes her feel like a big girl who fits in with the rest of the adults in the family.
Remember, too, babies will almost always make a face when offered a new food, especially if it has a strong flavor. Do not go by her facial expression. Offer her another spoonful and if her little mouth opens to accept a refill, continue feeding!
Everybody is talking about kale and how to prepare it to feed your baby. Kale is a Super Duper Green! Get your baby used to the flavor and stir a kale cube into your baby’s Super Porridge as often as possible!
To prepare Kale:
- swish in a sink full of cold water
- remove the stems
- Place washed greens in a dish and cover. (Don’t add water, the rinsing water still left clinging to the leaves is enough for cooking)
- Microwave on high about 7 minutes per pound.
- Stir halfway through cooking time.
- Let stand covered for 2 minutes
- Puree and freeze using the Food Cube Method for up to 2 months.
Baby must be at least 9 months old for cooked greens, 10 months old for finely chopped raw greens.
The FDA cautions that nitrates in kale, and other vegetables, could be dangerous to your baby before he is 7 months old.
Here is more information about nitrates in baby food from www.wholesomebabyfood.com.
Enjoy your kale!