Take 1 head of broccoli…
It’s good to introduce a vegetable with a strong flavour such as broccoli early on to challenge your baby’s taste buds and let him experience something different to the mild sweet flavours he has enjoyed so far. To lessen the impact a little, try blending with a little pureed apple or pear.
Broccoli is a powerhouse of nutrients providing high amounts of vitamin C and folate as well as vitamins A, K, calcium, fibre, beta-carotene and other antioxidants.
Cut the florets of broccoli from the stalk steam or boil for 8-10 minutes until tender.
For your baby
Broccoli and pear puree
While the broccoli is steaming, remove a cube of pureed pear from the freezer and place in a bowl to defrost. When the broccoli is cooked, add three florets to the pear puree and blend using a handheld blender. Don’t worry if the pear isn’t entirely defrosted, the heat of the broccoli will melt it. Add a tsp of crème fraiche and swirl through the puree.
It’s good for your baby to watch you eating the same thing as she is, but if you don’t fancy tucking into a bowl of plain broccoli try this really simple gratin. The addition of the wholegrain bread and cheese creates a balanced meal providing carbohydrate and protein, while the pine nuts provide healthy fats and vitamin E (you can buy these ready toasted).
Broccoli and parmesan gratin
The remaining broccoli
2 tbsp crème fraiche
Handful of chives
1 slice of wholemeal or granary bread
1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp of finely grated parmesan (or 1 tbsp each of parmesan and grated Cheddar)
Turn on the grill to its highest setting. While the broccoli is steaming, place the slice of bread in a food processor and whiz to create breadcrumbs. Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl and mix in the crème fraiche, chives, pine nuts and 1 tbsp of the cheese.
Place the cooked broccoli into a small oven proof dish, cover with the crème fraiche mixture, sprinkle on the remaining cheese and grill for 3-4 minutes until golden.