Clinical Tip: Fresh fruits and vegetables for baby: Think outside the jar

January 1, 2007

Fresh fruits and vegetables for baby: Think outside the jar Many mothers are not sure how to give their young child fresh fruits and vegetables, especially if the mother works outside the home and has to drop off the child at day care. The usual solution is to send the child to the babysitter with jars of food. To encourage mothers to substitute fresh fruits and vegetables for preserved jarred food, I have them compare the color of the food in jars with the more vibrant color of fresh fruit and freshly cooked vegetables. Then I explain that they can buy fresh carrots, squash, peas, or other favorite vegetables and prepare them ahead over the weekend as follows:Wash and boil each type of vegetable separately in a small amount of filtered water, then puree the vegetables and let them cool. Spread out each vegetable in a sealable plastic freezer bag and store it in the freezer. The process is the same for fruit, but without the boiling step. On weekdays, the mother can take out one or more sheets of frozen fruit and vegetables, break off several pieces, and put them in small containers to send to day care with the baby. In this way, the mother can ensure that her child gets fresh food free of salt, sugar, and preservatives.

Fresh fruits and vegetables for baby: Think outside the jar Many mothers are not sure how to give their young child fresh fruits and vegetables, especially if the mother works outside the home and has to drop off the child at day care. The usual solution is to send the child to the babysitter with jars of food. To encourage mothers to substitute fresh fruits and vegetables for preserved jarred food, I have them compare the color of the food in jars with the more vibrant color of fresh fruit and freshly cooked vegetables. Then I explain that they can buy fresh carrots, squash, peas, or other favorite vegetables and prepare them ahead over the weekend as follows:Wash and boil each type of vegetable separately in a small amount of filtered water, then puree the vegetables and let them cool. Spread out each vegetable in a sealable plastic freezer bag and store it in the freezer. The process is the same for fruit, but without the boiling step. On weekdays, the mother can take out one or more sheets of frozen fruit and vegetables, break off several pieces, and put them in small containers to send to day care with the baby. In this way, the mother can ensure that her child gets fresh food free of salt, sugar, and preservatives.

LeTrinh Hoang, DO
Arcadia, Calif