Bell Pepper Profile
Bell Peppers for Baby
Bell peppers are colorful and nutritious and a great first food for baby. These vibrant peppers all come from the same plant, and grow in a variety of colors ranging from green, red, yellow, orange, purple and black! The green and purple varieties have a bitter taste, whereas the red, orange and yellow peppers are much sweeter and almost taste fruity. These nutrient-dense veggies are high in immune-boosting Vitamin C, E and A, and have a wide array of B Vitamins that help baby’s cells produce energy. They’re also high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, and have been shown to support the liver’s detoxification process. Sliced bell peppers are a great finger food for toddlers and young kiddos, but they’re perfect as a puree for baby or even added to nutritious egg dishes. Your kids will love this colorful, immune-boosting veggie!
Highlighted Nutritional Importance of Bell Peppers
Vitamin C – bell peppers contain 157% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C! This vitamin is important for healing small cuts, boosting the immune system and fighting infections
Vitamin B6 – this vitamin is needed to metabolize protein, fat and carbohydrates and is important for baby’s developing brain
Vitamin A – crucial for healthy bone growth and vision and helps support baby’s immune system
Folate – this B vitamin helps to support a healthy nervous system and brain
Vitamin E – a potent antioxidant, Vitamin E boosts the immune system and helps the body fight germs
Potassium – an electrolyte mineral that helps keep baby’s heart muscles working properly
Manganese – this potent antioxidant helps to protect cells from damage
Phosphorus – crucial for building healthy bones and teeth (in fact, about 85% of the phosphorus found in our body is in our bones and teeth!)
Magnesium – this mineral helps regulate energy production within the cell and is necessary for healthy bones and teeth
How to Select and Store Bell Peppers for Baby Food
According to the EWG, sweet bell peppers are ranked #8 on the ‘Dirty Dozen” list; purchasing organic peppers is recommended in order to avoid excess pesticide exposure. When choosing peppers at your local farmer’s market or grocery store, it’s important to pick peppers that have deep, vivid colors and are free of soft spots, blemishes and darkened areas.
Unwashed peppers stored in the veggie compartment of your refrigerator will last about a week, but be aware that the amount of Vitamin C will begin to deplete after 7-10 days in storage. When ready to prepare, be sure to wash the peppers in cold water, not hot, so they retain more of their antioxidant capacity for you and baby. Cut the bell pepper in half and remove the stem and seeds, then you can either steam, lightly saute, roast, or serve the peppers raw for an older kiddo. Making a pepper puree is probably the best option for baby since the skins be tough and hard to chew. Peppers are delicious, versatile, easy to prepare and a nutritious, immune-boosting first food for little ones.
Recipes Using Bell Peppers