Doctor’s Advice: Which Foods Can My Baby Eat Raw?

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Shari:

Many of the recipes call for you to cook veggies and even some of the fruits. Do you have to always cook them? What foods can be left raw and blended in the Baby Bullet to serve? Just started cereal with my 4-month-old this week. Trying to get a plan for next week.

Dr. JJ:

Hi Shari – if you can squeeze a fruit or veggie between your fingers, you don’t need to cook it – so most fruits (except apples) and some vegetables will pass that test. Cooking veggies often enhances flavor and breaks down the vegetable chemically so it’s easier to digest. We wouldn’t eat pumpkin or butternut squash raw, but roasting brings out the flavor and sweetness and makes it easy to digest without clouds of gas and belly aches. If you are using raw fruits or vegetables, make sure they are well washed and mixed with enough water, breast milk or formula to create a smooth puree without chunks. If not, there is a choking risk at this early age. Steaming or roasting will also accomplish this softening so that less liquid is needed when blending.

Have fun, and bon appetite!

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About Dr. JJ Levenstein

Dr. JJ Levenstein is a board-certified pediatrician and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and in 2012 retired from her thriving private pediatric practice in Encino, California. She served on the staff of CHLA and Encino Tarzana Hospitals for 20 years and was consistently voted one of the Best Doctors in America® from 2003 through 2012. Drawing from her experience as a pediatrician and mom, Dr. Levenstein serves as president and co-founder of MD Moms, makers of Baby Silk, the first personal care line for babies developed by pediatrician moms. She serves on the board of United Cerebral Palsy LA, is an active writer and sits on the advisory boards of several child-centered websites. She is an accomplished chef and completed culinary school in 2013! She has had a lifelong interest in child nutrition and all things related to preventive health.

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