Vibrant, sweet, and juicy…it’s no surprise that the strawberry is the most popular berry in the world. I sometimes consider them to be the bacon of the fruit world (hear me out on this!). Just as bacon compliments almost any other meat, strawberries pair will with most other fruits and…well just about anything (Please note that the strawberry-bacon relationship ends there)! Strawberries are the perfect addition to salads, smoothies, cakes, desserts and sauces! When pureed for babies, it makes a vibrant, appetizing snack!
Strawberries are a great fruit for baby food purées. High in Vitamin C and rich in anti-oxidants, not only do they look and taste great, but they are a healthy choice. Strawberries are low in sugar and surprisingly lush in fibre!
However strawberries do need to be approached with caution! As one of the most common fruit allergies, parents need to be careful when introducing these sweet treats to the little ones. In the past it was suggested to wait until after the first year to start testing strawberries with babies, but in recent years this recommendation has been changed to 6 months. Make sure to talk to your paediatrician about introducing strawberries, and always be on the lookout for any type of allergic reaction!
Select bright red berries with their caps intact and green, not dry and browning. They should be quite fragrant. Smaller berries are usually more sweet and flavorful. Avoid soft, moldy or shriveled berries. It is important to select them fully ripened, as once they have been picked, strawberries will not ripen further.
Tip: For added fun, visit a strawberry farm with your family and spend an afternoon picking your own berries!
Since strawberries are such a delicate berry, they should be purchased for use within a few days. The longer they are stored, the more they will bruise and soften.
Perhaps the most valuable storage tip for strawberries: do NOT wash them until you are ready to eat them! Strawberries act like a sponge, soaking up all the moisture which will leave you berries that that will bruise easier and go bad quicker.
For overnight storage, it is best to keep them in the refridgerator in a paper-towel lined bowl. The paper towel will absorb moisture and keep the berries fresh longer!
Conventional strawberries are typically doused in preservatives, so we recommend purchasing organic, but in any case it is very important to thoroughly wash berries before serving.
When rinsing them, make sure to keep the green cap attached and use under a gentle spray. Patting the berries dry and leaving them to rest on paper towel will prevent the berries from absorbing excess water. A simple twist removes the green cap.
Strawberries can be served whole for adults, but to reduce choking hazards, make sure to slice into fingertip size pieces for children.
With so many available options, it would be nearly impossible to go through every possible way to employ strawberries. In most recipes strawberries are simply washed and sliced to be added to the dish. Add sliced strawberries to a spinach salad or on top of whole-wheat pancakes! Strawberries are also a great addition to yogurts, and perfect for smoothies!
Once washed, remove the stem from the strawberries, cut the berries in half and either mash or blend in a food processor to reach the desired consistency. For a thinner puree, add a bit of water!
Posted on June 18, 2012 | Filed under: Food Profile
I've heard of so many parents who struggle with mealtimes. But if it tastes good, she's going to want to eat it.
Amery and baby Kennedy