Welcome to our Parsnips Baby Food Recipes section – we’ll show you how to prepare this delicious and nutritious vegetable in ways your little one will love!
Whilst nearly all fruits and vegetables are good for your little one, there are some that seem almost as if they were designed for making baby food!
Sweet potatoes (with their tempting taste) and avocados (with their creamy texture) are two good examples.
But there’s another – rather less popular – vegetable that we think makes GREAT baby food… and that’s the parsnip!
Parsnips are root vegetables that look like creamy coloured, bulbous carrots. And whilst they are related to carrots, they are actually MORE nutritious and taste completely different.
With their soft, almost buttery texture, cooked parsnips have a sweetly nutty flavour that’s difficult to compare to anything else. Our little ones have all loved them!
They contain lots of potassium and fibre and are also a source of B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, iron and calcium – making them a great ‘all-rounder’ for your baby. Low in calories and with no saturated fats or cholesterol, parsnips make a healthy food for the rest of the family, too.
Parsnips are easy to digest and do not present a high risk of allergic reaction.
With your doctor’s consent, you may introduce them to your baby from 6 months of age (or earlier if your doctor has recommended that your baby starts solids before 6 months).
When it comes to buying parsnips, size definitely matters!
Whilst small, fresh parsnips are tender and delicious, large, old parsnips tend to be fibrous and woody, with a bitter flavour.
If you can only find large parsnips and still want to give them a try, then slice them in half lengthwise and remove the core (which is quite clearly visible). This is the most fibrous part of all and should definitely be removed from larger vegetables.
Choose firm parsnips (they shouldn’t be bendy) and buy the ones that are lightest in colour, because they tend to have the best texture.
You can keep parsnips in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks.
If you’re preparing parsnips for the very first time, please note that they discolour when cut, just like potatoes. If you won’t be cooking them right away, place cut parsnips in a bowl of water.
Preparing a parsnip is simple – just trim both ends (as you would with a carrot) and remove the core if the parsnip is very large, as per our note above.
You don’t need to peel organic parsnips, but we do recommend peeling the non-organic variety. Some sources suggest merely scrubbing them, but this may not remove all pesticide residues. However, peeling vegetables also removes many of their nutrients, so buying organic parsnips makes the most sense if possible.
Parsnips can be cooked in a variety of ways, just like carrots. You can steam them (recommended), boil them, roast them, or simply slice them and add them to your soups, stews and casseroles.
Prepare the parsnips for cooking as described above, then cut into dice. Steam for around 8 to 10 minutes, or boil in a little water until tender (but do remember that boiling may cause some of the nutrients to leach into the cooking water).
Mash well or puree with a food processor, adding a little of the cooking liquid, breast milk, formula or water to thin if necessary. Parsnips puree to a lovely, creamy texture!
You can store your parsnip puree for up to 48 hours in the refrigerator or up to one month in the freezer (learn more about how to freeze baby food here).
You can also make a parsnip puree from roasted parsnips. Roasting parsnips caramelizes their natural sugars, with very tasty results.
Preheat the oven to 400 deg F (200 deg C).
Cut the parsnips in half lengthwise and toss with olive oil.
Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook for 30 to 45 mins, turning occasionally, until tender.
Here are some of our favourite foods and flavours to combine with parsnip!