A healthy choice for baby's first food

Author Philippa Murphy

03 December 2016
A healthy choice for baby's first food


Red kumera, otherwise known as sweet potato in many countries, is a fantastic first food for you baby and the one that I recommend to families time and time again to not only be used as the first food but the base of all your infant’s meals until at least one year of age. That is how good it is in nutritional value. It’s also very easy on the digestive tract.

The kumera is a standout antioxidant food with some studies showing it can deliver more beta-carotene than green leafy vegetables and while beta-carotene in itself isn’t an essential mineral for us, the fact that it is concerted to Vitamin A, which is essential, helps make the Kumera a stand out option for your child. One cup of Kumera is 214% vitamin A, aiding healthy skin, mucus membranes, our immune system and good vision. Kumera is also high in vitamin C, manganese, copper and vitamin B6. It also has lesser but helpful amounts of biotin, which helps metabolise carbohydrates, fats and amino acids thus aiding digestion for baby’s first foray into solids, potassium, fibre and vitamins B3, B1, and B2.

Now, while I believe parenting choice is important and work with this throughout my care with families, I also feel it is important to speak up when research shows us that something doesn’t work for our newborns and in the case of feeding solid foods to our infants, Baby Lead Weaning (BLW) is one of those aspects. I personally advocate pureed food, or ‘traditional weaning’ over BLW for the digestive and overall physical health of the newborn along with the fact that there is minuscule research on BLW where as traditional weaning has been around for centuries with no adverse effects being proven. You can read more about the research around these two methods here. That said, let’s get to the ‘HOW’ of making your baby’s first, soft, delicious, kumera mouth full.

How to make pureed kumera

3 red kumera
1½ tbsp Olive oil – this will help aid bowel motions
Blender
2-3 Ice cube trays - vegetables can last up to 6 months in the fridge

6 months 10 months

Puree for 6-10 month olds

Freeze in blocks from 10 months

Peel your kumera and cut it into small cubes, then either steam or boil until soft. When your baby is around 10 months old you can keep the skin on the kumera and just wash it if you would like – the skin holds a lot of goodness. Once cooked, blend in a food processor, using the water they were cooked in, or over if you steamed them, to make them a very smooth, moist consistency. While blending you can add in the olive oil. Alternatively you can add a drop of olive oil for each teaspoon of kumera before you feed it. The oil quantity is trial and error for each baby but these portions are a good place to start. Once cooled, place into an ice cube tray in the freezer.

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