Saturday, 27 November 2010

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The Humble Pear/Pære/梨[Lí]


For babies from 4 months, but I prefer to serve it from 7.5 months, after all the other vegetables are introduced.

If there is only one single sweet thing I would choose to introduce to J, it would be the pear.

A very ripe pear is very soft (thus reducing choking risk), very sweet (especially the Dutch species) and can be eaten raw without cooking by babies more than 6 months old. For babies with a sweet tooth, it is a perfect natural sweetener to dessert for babies, when pears are blended in.

Directions:
1. Mash ½ ripe and soft pear with fork and serve

Nutritional Value:
Pears are a good source of vitamin C and copper. Both of these nutrients can be thought of as antioxidant nutrients that help protect cells in the body from oxygen-related damage due to free radicals.

Vitamin C functions as an antioxidant in all water-soluble areas of the body, and in addition to its antioxidant activity, is critical for good immune function. Vitamin C stimulates white cells to fight infection, directly kills many bacteria and viruses, and regenerates Vitamin E (an antioxidant that protects fat-soluble areas of the body) after it has been inactivated by disarming free radicals.

Copper helps protect the body from free radical damage as a necessary component of superoxide dismutase (SOD), a copper-dependent enzyme that eliminates superoxide radicals. Superoxide radicals are a type of free radical generated during normal metabolism, as well as when white blood cells attack invading bacteria and viruses. If not eliminated quickly, superoxide radicals damage cell membranes.

IMPORTANT Note:
If you choose to wean your baby before 6 months of age, and wish to serve pears, you need to cook the pears by boiling or steaming before mashing it. I am lazy, and thus I prefer to serve it after 6 months.

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Additional Comments:
The pear on the left is a Chinese pear. It is rounder and shorter. The pear on the right is an European pear. It is taller and slimmer. Chinese pears tend to be harder, and European pears tend to be softer and sweeter.

References:
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=28

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