Week 21: Bell Peppers and Chard

Bell Peppers

Bell Peppers For Your Baby

For our purposes, we are going to avoid any hot peppers for baby. While certain people love spicy food, you can be sure that if it hurts, baby will hate it. Fortunately, peppers come in lots of different flavors. Bell peppers, also known as sweet peppers, are the best ones for baby. The peppers that are the red, orange or yellow in color are the sweetest and probably the most attractive to baby. Green peppers are less sweet and slightly more bitter than their colorful relatives because they are unripe.

When is baby ready?

8 months old

Recommended products for your baby:

BABYBJORN Soft Bib, Red/Blue, 2 Pack

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How to buy

Choose peppers that have deep vivid colors of yellow, red or orange, taut skin, and that are free of soft spots, blemishes and darkened areas. Avoid ones that feel very full if you are buying by weight because there is no need to pay for seeds that you cannot use.

Homemade Baby Food Recipe

First, you will have to clean the pepper of its seeds. Cut it in half and remove the white pith and the seeds, then slice thinly.

Steaming or microwaving thinly sliced peppers are the easiest ways to prepare it for baby.

  1. Simmering - put it in a saucepan cover with water, and cook on high until softened.
  2. Microwaving - put sliced peppers in a shallow bowl with 2 tablespoons water. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 2 minutes to check how soft the peppers are - then microwave at one minute intervals until finished.

You may have to puree peppers or chop into very small pieces for baby because of its tough skin. Your baby needs some really good teeth to break through it.

How to store

Store in bottom of refrigerator for about a week.

Are there baby food jars?

No.

Should I buy organic?

Yes. 68% of all bell peppers sampled by the USDA contain pesticides.

Adult Recipe

Fresh peppers can just be chopped up and added to salad. The easiest way to prepare peppers for a delicious and quick side dish is to stir-fry them.

Stir Fry Peppers

2 bell peppers
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Preheat skillet for 3 or 4 minutes over high heat. Add the oil and add the peppers. Stir with heat on high for 2 or 3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

Chard

Chard For Your Baby

Chard takes a little more work than other leafy greens such as spinach. Chard is not as well known as spinach, but it is one of those dark leafy greens that our doctors keep telling us about. It is a powerhouse of nutrients and can be found fresh all year round, so if you like it, eat it often. The problem with preparing chard is that it takes time to separate the leaves from the stem, chop the stem, and chop the leaves. But, after you do all of this you will have a delicious side dish.

Recommended products for your baby:

Munchkin White Hot Infant Safety Spoons, 4 Count

  $5.99

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Please note: we receive a small percentage from sales at amazon.com

When is baby ready?

8 months old

How to buy

Look for red chard because it is sweeter than green chard. It's stem is red in color.

Homemade Baby Food Recipe

First, you strip the leaves from the stem if the stem is very woody. If the leaves are small then the stems can be just chopped with the leaves. If the stems are woody then you need to strip the leaves from the stem and chop the stem into small pieces - and then chop the leaves. The toughness of chard can really vary. This means that you will have to use your own judgment on the cooking time and best method for cooking. We find that it is best to use the stove versus the microwave because it is easier to add more water and adjust the cooking time.

Cooking directions

Fill a large pot about 1/3 deep with water and get it boiling. Add the chard and cook until tender.

How to store

Store loosely wrapped in the vegetable bin and use as soon as possible.

Are there baby food jars?

No.

Should I buy organic?

Yes. Spinach and chard are very similar. Spinach was found to contain pesticides

Adult Recipe

Use the above baby food recipe to get the chard to be tender enough to stir fry with a couple of tablespoons olive oil and a few other ingredients such as: raisins
toasted almonds or pine nuts
slivered garlic
bell peppers
If you find that you don't like chard, try adding more good quality olive oil. A little bit more fat can mean the difference between eating a healthy vegetable and avoiding it..

Eating tip of the week

Your active baby is probably getting bored with sitting in his highchair. Make eating time as fun as possible with his favorite music and his favorite person playing airplane with his food.

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