Cauliflower – good sister with broccoli, friend or foe for babies?

Thinking retrospectively about cauliflower or broccoli I do not remember being part of my 3-year culinary experience. Perhaps broccoli is not one of the vegetables that have been on all roads until recently, but we can not say the same about cauliflower. My mother cooks it, just like that. If I ever endeavoured to try it otherwise, I do not remember.

The fact is that once I discovered the cauliflower and the great ways you can cook it, I ticked it on the list of favourite foods. You can cook quickly or with a little extra effort, without fat, with little or very low fat, depending on how healthy you want to be or eat.

It is part of the same family as broccoli and cabbage. We generally recognize it as white, but there are also variations of greenish, orange or, rarely, purple.

When can I put cauliflower into my baby’s diet?

If you rely mostly on people’s sayings, cauliflower “is not good for that little” then very late, in no case before 1 year.

Contrary to these beliefs, however, the vegetable is suitable for babies as soon as they become accustomed to solid foods, ie around the age of eight months. The biggest concern for mums goes to the gases that cauliflower could cause to the little ones. If you have noticed such problems as a result of eating other foods by the child, it would be advisable to postpone the introduction of cauliflower into his diet for 9-10 months.

At the same time, our firm recommendation is to advise your pediatrician before introducing cauliflower into a diversified diet.

Also, consider applying the 4-day rule as an additional protection measure to prevent and observe possible undesirable reactions.

Cauliflower is not found among foods that are potentially high for allergies, but there are people who may develop allergic reactions to this food.

What nutrients contains?

Found among foods with high nutrient density, based on the calories contained the “superior cabbage”, as Mark Twain called it, contains potassium, vitamin C, calcium, vitamin A, manganese, folic acid, and other vitamins and minerals in smaller quantities.

Vitamin C and manganese are antioxidants that support the fight against free radicals and protect the body against cancer.

The fiber contained in cauliflower helps the digestive system (12 grams of fiber per 100 calories), vitamin K and omega 3 acids (present in cauliflower as alpha-linolenic acid) are anti-inflammatory nutrients.

How do I choose and how do I keep cauliflower?

Choose a heavy cauliflower for its size with fresh leaves – sign that the vegetable is fresh, not “passed”. Size does not matter either for taste or for nutritional qualities.

Cauliflower must have inflorescences strong enough, unloved, unspoiled.

The legume is kept well in the refrigerator for up to a week, if it is fresh, in a paper bag or even uncoated. We do not recommend the plastic bag because it keeps moisture, which leads to accelerated deterioration.

A good idea is to place the cauliflower in the fridge with the inflorescences upwards, just so the moisture does not flow into its “hat”.

How to cook it?

Can be consumed raw – in salads (children may be more difficult to eat), boiled in water or steam, toasted or baked.

During boiling, it can change its color in response to the material from which the pot is boiled. To preserve its color, you can add lemon juice to the water that boils cauliflower.

Canned cauliflower can be easily eaten as “finger food” by babies. If you choose to boil it, you can have a little turmeric powder at the end, while in the oven you can cook it in oil, salt, pepper and a little garlic powder. Flavours are special, and the taste will not disappoint the flesh.

Other spices that can accompany cauliflower in the dishes are rosemary, onion, pepper and thyme.

If you choose to boil, 5-8 minutes should be enough for cooking, if you cook it in the oven, the baking time is longer, about 20-30 minutes. If you boil or bake it for too long, the vegetable gets a bad smell and it’s too soft.

By boiling, water-soluble nutrients may be lost, so it is advisable to use water to boil cauliflower to thin the baby’s puree, thus retaining its nutrients.

Although the leaves are edible and even aromatic, they require longer cooking times and are not used frequently in dishes.

Leaves can be used, however, to add flavour to vegetable soups, as well as the lighter side of cauliflower, which we usually throw after we cut out inflorescences.


Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash


Carrot – Bugs Bunny’s and baby’s friend

Called even the “King of Vegetables,” given its widespread spread in dishes of all kinds, carrot can be ranked I in the ranking of the most commonly used vegetables.

As the color indicates, it is one of the beta-carotene-rich vegetables. Our body turns beta-carotene into vitamin A, useful for sight, especially at night. So if you want the prince to be healthy and can easily travel through the house at night, give him a lot of carrot. But not very often! Excessive consumption can damage the nose of the little one by coloring it orange. If you do, do not be impatient! Reduce carrot consumption and the situation will return to normal shortly.

What nutrients does it contain?

Carrot is the most important natural source of vitamin A. Vitamin A improves vision, alleviating the effects of eye aging and preventing the appearance of visual illnesses such as cataract, so widespread in older ages.

Carrots contain dietary fiber, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin B, potassium, iron, magnesium and calcium.

How do we choose and how do we store them?

If you can buy carrots with their leaves, you have an important clue about their freshness. The more green and fresh the leaves are, the more carrot is “new”. A too soft carrot, which grows small white or rather dry, is old and it can not provide us with the nutrients it held in its freshness.As for the carrot peel, it contains much of the nutrients. But if you have any doubts about the origin of the carrot, it would be wiser to drop it off before cooking it. And chemicals mostly concentrate on the bark of the vegetables.

The best way to cook carrots to keep the nutrients contained is steaming.The best way to keep the carrot and the nourishing substances in it is to store it in the refrigerator, in the special fruit and vegetable compartment.

When can I introduce carrots into my baby’s diet?

Carrot is an easily digestible food, it is responsible for allergies in extremely rare cases, it is easily accepted by babies, which recommend it as the first food to be introduced into the diversified food. If the pediatrician agrees with the age of 6 months as a start for diversification, the carrot becomes the candidate for the first solid food introduced into the diet. It can be eaten by the baby in the form of juice, shaved through a metal or glass jar, or passage.

Carrot bark must be removed if the carrot is consumed by a child less than 8 months because its digestive system can not digest it. For some time I’ve noticed the baby carrots in the supermarket shelves. I tried it, too, of curiosity. Being rather tasteless, I quickly abandoned them. I later read that the “real” are quite expensive to see for the wallet, and they are not so easy to find. The most accessible, the category in which the ones I try, are the regular carrots, cut off a “calapod”, all of the same size, without shell, and washed in special solutions.In conclusion, choose as natural as possible, organic if you have them, whose shells should not be removed.

How to cook carrot?

Unlike most vegetables, carrot is more nutritious when cooked, compared to its cruel version. Explanation – Thermal processing breaks cell membranes, fiber becomes more easily accessible to the body, as well as nutrients, while releasing carrot sugar (so the carrot becomes more sweet by boiling / baking).

A special quality of this vegetable is its ability to adjust the problems that can arise with the baby’s belly. He knows how to repair both constipation and diarrhea.If the baby’s intestinal transit raises some problems, you can make a raw puree, possibly in combination with raw apple.If diarrhea makes you headaches, you can prepare for your baby a soup / drink of 500g of carrots, cooked in a liter of water. Boil the carrot in this amount of water for one hour at low heat, adding water from time to time, so that after one hour of cooking you have 1 liter of liquid. Remove the boiled carrot, paste it very finely, with any tool you have at your fingertips, then incorporate it into the water it boiled in. Give the child as much as possible of the prepared soup to solve the diarrhea. If you are experiencing a more severe problem, we recommend you also call a pediatrician.

I want you kids healthy and at least curious to try carrot. Give it as an example to Bugs Bunny that he just knows what he knows!


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Carob powder, a cocoa substitute in the baby’s diet

The carobs are the fruits of the carob tree, a tree that grows up to 10m in height in the temperate and subtropical regions. Rosemary looks like green pods before it dries, and dark brown after it dries. Carob fruits have been known since ancient times and are also recorded in the Bible. It is said to have been the main food of St. John the Baptist in his years of rebellion, that is why redhead is also known as “St. John’s bread”. In ancient Egypt, the carob has been used as a sweetener; syrup of tomato is still a traditional drink during Ramadan; on the Mediterranean islands syrup is a traditional medicine for cough and sore throat.

However, the carob pods were mainly used as feed for animals, except for periods of famine or war, when they were part of the human diet. Carob pods were an important source of sugar before the sugar cane and sugar beet became widely available.

Nowadays, the carob are used in the dry state, sometimes whole, but mostly in the form of flour / powder, syrup or tea. The roasted and ground tomato slice is used as a cocoa substitute. The extract of carob is a food additive (E 410) 100% natural, healthy, non-toxic, which is used as a thickener and stabilizer used in the various food products (alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, dairy products, ice cream, sweets bacon, pudding, meat products and others).

What nutrients contains this powder?

Carob powder is an important source of calcium. Besides calcium, it also contains moderate amounts of minerals such as phosphorus, sodium, potassium, iron and manganese, vitamins such as E, B6 and folate. It has its own sugars, similar to those of fruits, with a sweet and sweet taste. This powder has a huge antioxidant level. It induces basicity in the body, being an alkaline food that does not stimulate gastric acidity. It also has expectorant properties. Contains no gluten or lactose. Among the beneficial effects of it we mention:- it does not contain caffeine, so it does not have an exciting or irritating effect, which makes the cocoa powder the perfect substitute for cocoa in baby food and children- acts as an antioxidant- improves digestion, opposes bloating and can be used to treat diarrhea in babies or children and adults- is used to treat cough, flu and anemia- is rich in calcium and phosphorus, therefore it is used in the fight against osteoporosis.

When can it be introduced into the baby’s diet?

Carob powder can be introduced into the diversified diet of the baby after the age of 8 months. Because it does not contain gluten or lactose, the carob powder is very well tolerated by babies. However, our recommendation is that you consult your baby’s pediatrician before introducing carob powder into a diversified diet and adhere to the 4-day rule.

How to keep the carob powder?

When purchasing carob powder, make sure that the packaging is sealed and that it does not have any traces of storage in a wet place. The carob powder is kept for several months (up to 1 year) in cool, dry places.


Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay