Saturday, July 13, 2013

Spinach and Papaya Puree

What do you do when your baby is low on iron while being exclusively breastfed (formula-fed babies have an iron-fortified advantage, breastmilk lacks the iron), hates orange juice (vit c helps absorb iron) and over that the iron drops make him constipated? Well I came up with this magic potion!

This Spinach-Papaya Puree is a definite relief from constipation and a great source of iron especially for vegetarian babies. Papaya is fiber rich and was recommended by both my mom and the pediatrician for relief against constipation, when asked to stop using the iron drops. I was very worried to stop the iron drops knowing he has a low count through blood work. So I made up my mind and ensure he gets greens in his everyday diet. I add at least a handful of spinach to his Kichdi everyday for lunch.

But somedays that just wont do. When more is needed, the puree form has to come in. Although Athyn is not a big fan on purees, this one is a hit with him, am guessing cos of the sweetness Papaya brings in.

Method to make Spinach and Papaya Puree

1. Take a handful of Spinach leaves and double and triple wash them.
2. Wash, peel and cut Papaya, use about 4 to 5 big pieces.
3. Chop the Spinach roughly and place it along with the Papaya for cooking.
4. Add minimal water and pressure cook for 15 to 20 minutes or 3 to 4 whistles.
5. Remove from flame and throw in some cheese (optional) while it is still hot
6. Once the cheese melts and cools down, blend the mixture along with sweet lime or orange juice (made with 1 part juice and 10 parts water) as this helps absorb the iron from the spinach, or just (previously boiled and cooled) water, until it is pureed well.

Serve this directly for 7 months+ babies. For older babies and toddlers, you can serve it along with roti, idli, dosa or spread on bread. You can also add it to nestum / cerelac or cooked oats.

If you do not want to add cheese, add other ingredients like dates and apricots while pressure cooking to enrich the flavor as well as the nutrients.

Be aware, too much spinach causes diarrhea in some babies. Moderate the quantities according to your baby's digestion patterns.