Apples for Baby
Apples are a yummy, nutrient-dense first food for baby. They’re easy to digest, high in immune-boosting nutrients, and perfectly sweet on their own. We’ve all heard the saying “An Apple a Day…”, well there may be some truth to this – apples are high in polyphenols and phytonutrients, which are potent antioxidants that help protect baby and kiddos from disease and illness. In addition to antioxidants, apples contain insoluble and soluble fiber which will help protect baby from diarrhea and constipation . Apples may be best known for tasty apple sauce, but they’re very diverse and can be added to meat and veggie purees while also being the perfect addition to oatmeal and healthy baked goods. Apples are also nature’s perfect teething toy. Simply freeze large slices of apple and hand to baby for tender, sore gums!
Highlighted Nutritional Importance of Apples
Vitamin A – important vitamin for bone growth, eye health and baby’s immune system
Vitamin C – strengthens blood vessels and helps to minimize bruising from falls and scrapes
Folate – this B vitamin supports baby’s brain and nervous system health
Vitamin E – this antioxidant boosts the immune system and helps to body fight germs
Potassium – this mineral works with sodium to help control water balance in the body and helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure
Calcium – necessary for building strong bones and teeth and for converting food into energy
Phosphorus – this mineral works closely with calcium to help build strong bones and teeth
Magnesium – this mineral is essential for maintaining a steady heart rhythm and strong bones
How to Select and Store Apples for Baby Food
According to the EWG, apples are #1 on the Dirty Dozen list, meaning they may be highly contaminated with pesticides – purchasing organic is a smart choice even if you choose to peel them. When selecting apples at the grocery store or your local farmers market, look for fruits that are firm without squishy indentations, bruises or cuts. Apples are relatively hardy and can be stored in the refrigerator for about 2 months. This storage method will also help retain the most nutrients.
There are many different ways to prepare apples for baby and toddler, but roasting and steaming are two delicious, easy options. To peel or not to peel. This is a personal choice, but the majority of younger babies have a harder time eating and digesting the apple peel. Of course, there are many babies who do fine with apples with the skin on, so its best to use your own judgement.
Apples are easy to prepare, easy to digest and are full of wonderful nutrients for baby. They’re also versatile and a great addition to almost every sweet and savory puree, or eaten on their own with a sprinkle of yummy cinnamon. If you aren’t planning on using a whole apple, slice it and place it in cold water with a bit of lemon juice to preserve freshness and color for easy snacking. Whether served in a puree or on their own, apples are sure to be one of your kiddo’s favorite healthy snacks for years to come!
Recipes with Apple
- Apple + Cinnamon Puree
- Apple + Mint + Cottage Cheese Puree
- Apple + Raspberry + Vanilla Bean Puree
- Apple + Beet Toddler Applesauce
- Apple + Fennel Puree
- Cauliflower + Apple + Tandoori Puree
- Apple + Spinach + Pea Puree
- Mango + Apple + Dried Cherry Puree
- Apple + Green Beans + Broccoli Puree
- Roasted Banana + Apple + Cinnamon Puree
- Kale + Spinach with Apple Quesadilla