After your successful stint at breastfeeding/providing breast milk through breast pump, exclusively for 6 months, your next round of worry is about giving proper nutrition during weaning by giving ample amount of vegetables and fruits as they are rich source of minerals and vitamins, beside food rice in protein and carbohydrates. You may offer a range of weaning food to your infant - vegetable soups, purees, fruit juices, steamed fruits and vegetables.
You will have to be careful about food hygiene and method of cooking. This can be achieved by steaming baby foods. You may wonder – is boiling not good enough. To know the answer please read on and prepare veggies and fruits in a way that preserves their nutrients and flavor.
Eating the recommended amount of vegetables and fruits not just provide the right nutrients required by body for growth and development, they may lower risk for heart disease, cancer, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. But using the wrong cooking method, can lead to loss of up to 50% of the vitamins and 15% of the minerals.
Boiling: Boiling may be a relatively quick and easy way to cook baby food, but in most cases you are better off steaming them. During boiling, some nutrients leach out of the vegetables into the cooking water which is usually thrown down the drain. The longer you boil, the more nutrients escape. Boiling will result in vegetables that have some level of diminished nutrients.
Steaming: Steaming baby foods preserve most nutrients, unlike boiled vegetables. During steaming, the heat of the steam cooks the veggies, and they are spared from the boiling water. Steaming cook vegetables until they are no longer raw, but still bright and crisp. Choose vegetables in a range of colors to maximize the nutrients they contain.
Flavor & Colour
Vegetables that have been steamed aren't just more nutritious than those that have been boiled, but they also taste better by retaining flavor and colours.
Important considerations while steaming baby food
Wash vegetables before you cut them, leaving the peel on
Cut them in large chunks and cook them as soon as possible to minimize nutrient losses.
After steaming vegetables and making soup/puree/porridge, serve them to baby with a small amount of fat to help in absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K from the vegetables.
Adapted from: https://bit.ly/2Xkdfyw