Updated Sept 21st, 2023
With these asparagus baby food recipes you're providing your little one with an amazing array of nutrients and one of the best vegetable sources of folate around!
NOTE: Please consult your doctor before you introduce these recipes, or any new foods, to your baby.
The information given here is for guidance only and does not replace professional medical advice.
Asparagus is not considered to be a common allergen, although – as with all new foods - it's best to use the four day rule as you introduce it.
Asparagus contains raffinose, the same substance that’s in beans and which tends to cause gas!
However, asparagus contains less raffinose than beans. That means it may cause discomfort in some babies and not others.
Luckily for us, we’ve never noticed a problem with gassiness in our babies after giving them asparagus!
Nevertheless, it’s not a good idea to introduce asparagus as a very first food.
In fact, we recommend avoiding it altogether before 6 months of age (please see this page for more information about introducing solids before 6 months).
You can try offering asparagus after your baby is enjoying other fruits and vegetables, from 6 months of age.
Delay its introduction until later in baby’s first year if he’s prone to upset tummies and gas (wind).
Eating asparagus can cause your baby’s pee to smell strange and may even turn it green!
This is a perfectly harmless phenomenon that affects adults too, and is caused by the production of certain compounds as the asparagus is digested.
Often referred to as the ‘vegetable of kings’, asparagus is an ancient food, long revered for its wonderful flavour and perceived medicinal properties.
Very high in antioxidants, asparagus is also a particularly rich source of folate.
You’ll probably remember being urged to take folic acid supplements (the synthetic form of folate) during pregnancy, because it helps protect against birth defects.
But folate continues to be good for your baby as it promotes heart health and helps the body both produce and maintain new cells.
Asparagus also helps maintain a healthy gut.
This is because it contains inulin, a substance that it is not digested and moves to the large intestine, where it provides food for all the ‘good’ bacteria living there!
This helps the ‘good’ bacteria grow and flourish, promoting a healthy digestive system.
What’s more, asparagus – which offers protection against serious conditions like heart disease and cancer – also contains
Whew – who knew those delicious green stalks packed such a nutritious punch?
There’s no getting away from the fact that asparagus tends to be horribly expensive!
Growing and harvesting asparagus is both time and labour intensive, hence the cost.
But when buying asparagus for your baby, remind yourself of this…
it’s still an awful lot cheaper than buying jars of pre-prepared baby food… and it’s MUCH healthier for your little one!
Look for bright green asparagus stems – the thinner, the better.
It’s also possible to buy white asparagus (which is white because it’s grown underground, so that its green chlorophyll does not develop).
However, white asparagus is not as nutritious as green.
If you’re very lucky, you might even come across purple asparagus.
This contains lots of anthocyanins, the anti-oxidants that give red and purple grapes their colour.
Purple asparagus spears are smaller than green or white ones and have a more robust flavour.
Whichever type you buy, ensure the stalks are nice and firm and the tips are closed.
When you get your asparagus home, wash it well (taking care to remove all the dirt from the woody stems).
Then wrap a damp paper towel around the stems – or stand them in a glass in a couple of inches of water – and store them in the fridge for up to two days.
Push them right to the back of the shelf. That's because exposing them to light decreases their nutritional value.
Use frozen asparagus if you can’t get fresh, but cook it straight from the freezer without thawing it first.
Alternatively, use canned asparagus.
Look for a low sodium or salt free variety, but remember that canned asparagus is very mushy.
While it would be OK for purees and veggie combos, it certainly couldn’t be used as a finger food (as we suggest later in this article).
To do this, blanch it in boiling water for 2 mins, then plunge it into a bowl of icy water to stop the cooking process.
You can then put it into zip-top bags and store them in the freezer.
For maximum nutrition, use them within one month (although they will keep for several months longer).
Simply wash the spears as described above, then bend each one until it naturally snaps at the point where the woody stem ends and the tender stalk begins.
Don’t throw the woody ends away – we use ours to make stock, to which they add a lovely flavour.
You can also puree them up and mix with water as a soup base if they are not too tough.
We find that steaming asparagus is the best way to cook it.
The cooking time depends on the thickness of the spears.
Very thin ones take as few as 3 minutes, whereas it can take up to 8 minutes for thicker ones to become tender.
You may also boil asparagus spears in a little water until crisp-tender, but be careful not to overcook them.
This will make them less nutritious - not to mention waterlogged and mushy!
An Asparagus Steamer is a handy tool to have because it cooks the spears upright.
This allows you to cook the stems more thoroughly while gently steaming the tips.
Asparagus is great served hot or cold.
If you want to serve it cold, plunge it into icy water right after cooking it to stop it getting mushy.
Keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.
Asparagus spears are easily held in little fists, making them a super finger food or ideal for baby led weaning.
Cut longer spears in half or your little one might have trouble getting the tips into his mouth.
Why not try…
We hope your baby enjoys these nutritious and delicious asparagus baby food recipes.