Parsnips for Baby
Parsnips are often overlooked as a food for baby and kiddo, but their sweet, nutty flavor is sure to please even the youngest of eaters! Related to carrots, parsnips are a winter vegetable full of vitamin C, lots of energy-enhancing B vitamins and a wide variety of minerals. In addition to the wide array of vitamins and minerals, parsnips also provide lots of fiber that may help prevent digestive issues and colon problems down the road. Parsnips are best when roasted or steamed, and are a great alternative to a potato puree. They also make fun, flavorful finger foods for older kiddos and baby.
Highlighted Nutritional Importance of Parsnips
Vitamin C – this potent antioxidant supports baby’s immune system, skin, eyes and bones
Folate – this ultra-important B vitamin is crucial for a healthy nervous system and brain health
Vitamin B6 – one of the best hormone-regulators, this vitamin supports normal brain development and function and helps regulate the body’s natural sleep cycles
Thiamin – another B vitamin, thiamin is essential for baby’s brain development and aids the normal functioning of the nervous system, muscles and heart
Vitamin B5 – otherwise known as pantothenic acid, this vitamin is important for hormone balance and a healthy immune system
Manganese – this potent antioxidant helps to form baby’s bone and cartilage
Potassium – an electrolyte mineral that supports healthy cardiovascular and kidney function
Magnesium – another electrolyte mineral necessary for baby’s bone and skeletal health and helps regulate energy production inside the cell
Phosphorus – vital for healthy teeth and bones (85% of your body’s phosphorus is found in bone!)
Copper – a trace mineral (needed in very small amounts), copper is essential for forming red blood cells and helps support a healthy heart
How to Select and Store Parsnips for Baby Food
According to the EWG, parsnips are not on the Dirty Dozen list, meaning they are not highly contaminated with pesticides and purchasing organic is a personal choice. When shopping for parsnips at your local grocery store or farmers market, select them like you would carrots. The parsnip should be free from any cuts, bruises and small roots growing from the top or along the veggie itself. Store parsnips in the refrigerator and only cut them when you are ready to use them.
Parsnips are best when roasted or steamed, and are a great addition to savory purees. Simply peel, slice and place in the oven or steamer, and you have an easy, nutritious snack or meal ready for baby or kiddo. Roasted or steamed parsnips also make delicious finger food and your kiddos will love the unique, nutty flavor!
Recipes Using Parsnip: