Updated Sept 25th, 2023
Welcome to our eggplant baby food recipes section, where we explore the art of preparing eggplants (or aubergines) for your little one!
Eggplants – also known as aubergines or brinjals – don’t usually spring to mind when you think about making food for your baby.
You rarely find them as a single ingredient in commercial baby food purees, and they seldom appear on baby food ingredient lists.
But despite their seeming unpopularity in baby food, eggplants make a nutritious addition to your baby's meals.
That said, many parents prefer to wait until around 8 months before introducing them.
Sometimes, eggplants can taste a bit bitter, which might upset your baby's stomach.
To avoid this, we always taste cooked eggplant before serving it to our little ones.
Once cooked, eggplants have a creamy texture and a rich, unique flavor that blends well with other vegetables.
Of course, serving your baby plain eggplant puree is perfectly fine, too.
Eggplants are full of phytonutrients, antioxidants that help protect against diseases like cancer.
Consuming eggplants can also lower cholesterol levels, making them a valuable part of the diet in later lafe, too!
They also contain fiber, minerals, folates, and B vitamins.
While not a 'superfood' like sweet potatoes or avocados, eggplants are definitely a healthy addition to your baby's diet!
Eggplants are usually a lovely, glossy, purple colour – sometimes so dark they look almost black.
However, they also come in white, green, yellow, lavender and orange!
Regardless of colour, the eggplant should have a smooth and shiny skin and should be firm and heavy for its size.
The colour itself should be vibrant and the cap and stem should be a vivid green.
The eggplant should be as blemish-free as possible – they’re very delicate veggies and one little bruise or dent can quickly turn a larger area bad.
Eggplants come in a variety of sizes, although the best ones to choose for your baby are the smaller ones.
That's because the skin and seeds will be far more tender (very large eggplants tend to have hard seeds and tough, bitter skin).
Push against the skin with your thumb.
Eggplants can be stored in the fridge for a few days, ideally in the vegetable crisper. Handle them gently as they damage easily.
DON’T cut your eggplant before you store it – the flesh will turn brown once exposed to the air.
And DON’T try to keep your eggplant for too long – the longer you store it, the more bitter it will become.
Do I need to peel it?
The skin on a small eggplant may be tender enough to leave on.
However, most parents like to peel eggplants for their little ones as the skin tends to be the most bitter part.
An easy alternative to peeling eggplant is to cook it whole in its skin, then scoop out the soft flesh once cooked.
Are the seeds edible?
Yes, but choose small eggplants for baby food as the seeds will be softer.
Cut out the seeds if they are hard.
Can eggplant be eaten raw?
We certainly wouldn’t recommend it for baby – the taste of raw eggplant is too bitter.
What about salting eggplant for baby food?
You may have heard that it’s a good idea to salt eggplant before cooking it.
This involves slicing it, sprinkling the slices with salt, leaving them for around an hour, then rinsing them.
The purpose is twofold…
However, salting eggplant is becoming an outdated practice, as modern eggplants are generally not very bitter.
Moreover, when cooking eggplant for your baby, you're unlikely to use a lot of oil, so preventing oil absorption isn't a concern.
It's important to note that even after rinsing, salting could still introduce extra salt into your baby's meal, which isn't advisable (here’s why adding salt to baby food may be harmful).
The eggplant’s ability to ‘soak up’ whatever it’s cooked with makes it a great addition to stews, casseroles and other ‘saucy’ dishes.
Just cut off the cap and stem, peel it, dice it and pop it in the pot!
To make an easy eggplant puree…
Peel the eggplant and cut it into small chunks. Steam until tender, then mash or puree in a food processor.
Wash the whole eggplant and prick it with a fork.
Bake it for 30-40 mins at 400 deg F (200 deg C) until tender, then cool to a safe handling temperature and cut open lengthwise.
Scoop out the cooked flesh and mash or puree as desired (this is the easiest way to cook an eggplant and ideal if the skin is too tough).
We hope your little one enjoys these homemade eggplant baby food recipes.
If YOU’VE found a good way to include eggplant (aubergine) in your baby’s diet that you’d like to share, then please do contact us and let us know!