Your baby may prefer the sweet taste of fruit when they first transition from milk to solid foods, but it’s important to eventually include vegetables in their baby food to give them variety. Baby food can be made from a wide variety of vegetables to provide your baby with the nutrients they need. Green beans are a nutritional choice for one of your baby’s first foods. As you prepare a green bean side dish for your own dinner, you can quickly prepare them for your baby as well.
In this article, you’ll learn how to prepare green beans to serve your baby, the health benefits of green beans for babies, and you’ll find a recipe on how to make the best green bean dish for your little one.
How to Serve Green Beans to Your Baby
Kids are often reluctant to eat their vegetables, and green beans are no exception. Luckily, you can get your child used to the mild taste of green beans early on by preparing it as a baby food. The best way to serve a green bean baby food to a baby of at least 4 months is by pureeing the vegetable.
Green bean puree is a common first baby food. Its mild taste is perfect for your baby’s palate, and it’s full of vitamins and fiber that will be beneficial to your little one.
It may be tempting to buy pre-made green bean baby food at the grocery store, but it’s unnecessary. Green beans are generally inexpensive and make a great side dish for many dinners. Green bean puree is easy to prepare at home – all you have to do is give the beans a quick steam and puree them in a food processor. You’ll end up with a smooth, creamy puree that is easy for your baby to consume. As your baby gets older, you can skip the pureeing and give your baby steamed green beans as finger food.
Benefits of Green Beans in Baby Food
Mashed green bean is a great choice as a first food for your infant, to give their growing bodies the nutrients they need. Like most vegetables, green beans are a great source of vitamins.
Some of the benefits of baby green bean food include:
- High in dietary fiber: The high level of fiber makes green beans great for regulating your baby’s digestion
- Source of Vitamin K: For healthy bones, skin and hair
- Source of Vitamin A: Important for immune health and healthy vision
What to Mix with Green Beans in Baby Food
Although green bean can have a mild taste, your baby may not respond well to a green bean puree on its own. It’s easy to mix green beans with other sweeter foods to make the puree more palatable for your baby. Mixing it with bananas is a great way to mask the taste of green beans while giving your baby all of the health benefits.
You can also mix green beans with:
- Baby cereal or oatmeal
- Fruit purees
- Breastmilk or formula
How to Make Green Beans Baby Food: Green Bean Baby Food Recipe
Basic green bean puree is very simple: you just steam green beans and blend them together. However, you can customize the baby food by adding different herbs and combining the green beans with other fruits and vegetables, as long as your baby is able to digest them.
Here is a simple recipe for green bean baby puree.
1 pound of green beans, fresh green beans or frozen (frozen is recommended)
- If using fresh beans, be sure to trim off the stems.
- Fill a saucepan with about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Place green beans in a steamer basket and steam over the pot covered for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Let them cool slightly before pureeing.
- Transfer the green beans to a food processor and puree until it reaches your desired consistency. Add water (or steamer liquid) to help reach the right consistency.
- Serve immediately or store for later.
- Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Freezing: Use an ice cube tray to freeze green bean puree. Put the green bean puree into the ice cube tray and place it in the freezer. When the puree is frozen, remove the chunks from the ice cube tray and place them in freezer bags before putting them back in the freezer. Frozen green bean baby puree should be consumed within 3 months. Thaw the green bean mix in the refrigerator before serving.
- It’s always best to purchase organic produce to serve your baby. Be sure to thoroughly wash your green beans once you bring them home from the grocery store and use vinegar to remove any unwanted bacteria.
- Even if your baby may not like the green bean puree, do not add sugar. Instead, mix your green beans with sweet fruit like bananas or peaches to make the green bean puree more palatable for your baby.
- You can add some more flavor to your green bean puree by adding herbs. Use basil, cilantro, mint or parsley before blending to give some additional flavor that your baby may enjoy.
- Mix green bean puree with yogurt or baby cereal to give your baby some extra nutrients.
- Add formula, not only to get your green bean mixture to the right consistency and creaminess, but also to offer additional sustenance.
- Although steaming the green beans helps them to retain the maximum amount of nutrients, there are a number of other cooking methods you can use that can change the flavor of the green beans. Try using the following cooking methods:
- Skillet: Cook the green beans for 5-7 minutes in a skillet heated with some olive oil. Add some water (2 tablespoons), cover, and cook for another 2 minutes before pureeing.
- Oven roasted: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and toss the green beans with a tablespoon of olive oil. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until tender. When done, puree and then serve. Roasting green beans gives them an earthy flavor.