While not thought of as a common food for babies, Brussels sprouts make a great nutritional choice. It’s recommended to offer a wide variety of foods when starting solids to help prepare your baby’s palate. Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables have strong flavors and can take some getting used to, so it can be helpful to introduce young.
Brussels sprouts are related to kale, cauliflower, and mustard greens. They look like tiny cabbages (which can be a good conversation starter with your picky eater). Brussels sprouts are very popular in Brussels, Belgium which is how they got their name.
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They are a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and fiber. Vitamin C can help with the absorption of iron, which is crucial for young kids. This is one of the reasons I recommend serving a fruit or veggie with most meals in my Starting Solids Made Easy Course. Fiber can help with the constipation that can occur when introducing solids.
Fresh versus Frozen
Most of the Brussels sprouts grown in the United States are grown to be frozen. Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh and tend to be softer when cooked, making them a great option for babies. Look for plain sprouts, without any additional salt or sauces. You can steam or steam roast frozen sprouts without defrosting.
Fresh sprouts can last 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator before wilting. You can move them to the freezer to make them last longer.
Tips for Serving
Brussels sprouts tend to be pretty tough, so you will need to modify them for babies. At 6 months, I would recommend steaming or steam roasting them to make them very soft for babies. Once they get a little older, you can also offer shredded Brussels sprouts as an alternative.
Steam roasting is a great way to soften veggies for babies. To do this, place veggies on a sheet pan and then cover with foil or a baking liner. It will trap the steam under the cover and soften the veggies.
Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
- 1 air fryer optional – oven recipe in notes
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts (trimmed and cut in half)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 whole garlic clove (minced)
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 pinch salt (to taste)
- 1 pinch pepper (to taste)
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl1 lb Brussels sprouts, 2 tsp olive oil, 1 whole garlic clove, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, 1 pinch salt, 1 pinch pepper
- Place in air fryer. Air fry at 385° for 15 minutes, shaking halfway through.
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Krystyn Parks is a Registered Dietitian and Lactation Consultant who specializes in feeding children. She has a Master’s Degree in Nutritional Science from California State University Long Beach. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and has been registered with the Commission on Dietetic Registration since 2013.