Saturday, 27 November 2010

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The Amazing Apple/Æble/苹果[píng guǒ]


For babies from 4 months. Apples are very sweet, thus, I prefer to serve it towards the end of 7 months, after all the other vegetables are introduced.

Directions:
1. Grate ½ - 1 apple and serve (I use a baby-friendly glass grater which my friend got from Czech Republic – see picture)

Tips:
1. To prevent browning when slicing apples for a recipe, simply put the slices in a bowl of cold water to which a spoonful of lemon juice has been added.
2. You can mix apples with cereals, veggie purees, with meat purees and use them in teething biscuit recipes, in healthy cake recipes, in yogurt and mixed with other fruits also.

Nutritional Value:
Apples are a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C. Apples contain a long list of phytonutrients that function as antioxidants and support our heart health. Included in this list are quercetin, catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid. Apples also contain flavonoids, which have repeatedly been shown to help lower risk of heart disease, and also to improve problems with heart disease once it has occurred.

Apples may help maintain good healthy by promoting cardiovascular health by lowering LDL cholesterol and inhibiting LDL oxidation, and reducing the risk of certain types of stroke; maintaining a healthy weight, as part of a low-fat, fiber-rich diet; promoting lung health, by countering the effects of oxidative damage; promoting prostate, liver and colon health, by inhibiting the growth of related cancer tumors; and promoting bone health, by providing a good source of the dietary mineral boron

IMPORTANT note:
If you wish to serve to babies younger than 6 months, you need to cook the apples by boiling or steaming before mashing or blending it. I am lazy, and thus I prefer to serve it after 6 months.

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Additional Comments:
For some reasons, most baby recipes from books or internet talk about cooking an apple before serving it to babies. My friend Ilona and I do not think that it is good advice. Firstly, it adds additional work. Secondly, cooking apple destroys the vitamin C considerably. As far as possible, we go for raw fruits. Our preference is to grate raw apple to provide a mashy consistency suitable for babies 6 months and older.

Most of the vitamin C resides in the skin of the apple. If I am using an organic apple, I prefer to grate it after washing it thoroughly without peeling off the skin. If I am not using an organic apple, I prefer to peel off the apple skin first before grating it. My friend, Ilona, from my mother’s group taught me how to prepare apples for baby.

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