When it comes to broccoli, it’s tough to put together a short list of this vegetable’s powerhouse properties. Not many foods can boast record numbers in Vitamins C, K and A, not to mention a healthy dose of dietary fiber and folate—linked to healthy brain development. Before reaching for a spoonful, though, take note that broccoli is a better choice for older babies, and only for those who do not have any digestive issues. For all the good stuff it contains, broccoli can also cause gas and put stress on new digestive systems, so go easy even if your baby is an experienced eater.
A simple puree made from steamed or roasted broccoli is perfect for babies 8 to 10 months old. Once you’ve introduced chunkier consistencies and finger foods, you can offer small chopped, well-cooked pieces too. And to keep the love flowing for broccoli as your little one grows, give this quick and easy dip a try.
Roasted Broccoli Dip
makes a bit more than a cup
2 cups roughly diced broccoli, including florets and stems
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
freshly squeezed juiced of half a lemon
2 teaspoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- Preheat oven to 400º. Toss broccoli, garlic, if using, and olive oil together in an 8-inch square baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until stem pieces are tender when pierced with a fork, 18 to 20 minutes.
- Scrape broccoli mixture into the bowl of your Cuisinart food processor. Add the lemon juice, Parmesan cheese and yogurt. Process until smooth. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with fresh cut vegetables or toasted pita.