Easy, fresh and nutritious!
Has your baby tried papaya baby food yet? Well, the papaya or pawpaw (different name depending on where you come from) is yet again another fantastic fruit that can be incorporated into your baby's diet. This beautiful fruit is packed full with vitamins and minerals and posses great health benefits and an awesome taste. Its silky softness makes it easy for a lot babies to like.
Some babies may not like their first papaya puree because they just don't like it's special taste and are put off by its unique smell. If this happens, hold off the papaya baby food for a couple of days and then try to offer it again.
Papaya can be found in a variety of beautiful and yummy colors. You have the beautiful red papaya, the lovely bright yellow papaya and the sunup papaya. Their flesh is soft when ripe and can easily be eaten raw as baby finger food or as a papaya puree.
Papaya baby food can be introduced to babies at 6 months of age. However, it is very important that you introduce one new food at a time especially if there is a family history of food allergies ( 4 Day waiting rule). If your baby does show signs of an allergy after eating a new food, you will know exactly which food caused it. If you introduce more than one kind of food to your baby at the same time and your baby gets an allergic reaction, finding out which food caused it would be a bit hard.
Papaya can cause allergic reactions in some babies and sensitive people. Some foods are cross-reactive with latex. People who allergic to latex may also react to foods such as avocado, potatoes, banana, kiwi, tomato, chestnuts, melon and papaya too. The likelihood of getting a reactions is higher with unripe papaya, so to avoid this try and use only ripe papayas for your papaya baby puree instead. If you have a family history of allergies, then contacting your pediatrician before introducing papaya to your baby would be a very sound thing to do.
The papaya is both yummy and nutritious. Papaya contains beta-carotene (you can see it in the color of the papaya's flesh) - very important for maintaining good eye sight and for maintaining your baby's good health. Papaya also contains two more anti oxidants i.e vitamin E and vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and is great for preventing colds and other infections. Papaya is also a very good source the B vitamins, folate and dietary fiber.
A nice and ripe papaya should feel a bit soft when you put a light pressure on it using your forefinger. The flesh of a ripe pawpaw should be soft and yet firm. It is normal and okay to see some brown spots on the papaya's skin. Avoid picking the ones that are unripe ( unless you are cooking them for yourself) or have broken skin.
A ripe papaya can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days depending on how ripe it is. Papaya puree can only be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of 24 hours.
Big papaya pieces that have been seeded and peeled can be stored in the freezer. Freeze the pieces on a tray first and then transfer them into freezing containers or freezer bags and freeze.
Papaya does not need to be cooked, this angel fruit is best eaten raw. The skin of the pawpaw should not be given to babies. Make sure you wash and peel the fruit and scope out all the seeds before pureeing.
1 small papaya or 1 half of a medium sized papayaDirections:
Wash and peel the papaya and then cut into two halves. Use a tablespoon to scoop out all the seeds. Cut the papaya into big chunks and puree to a smooth texture. You can also mash the papaya with the back of a fork. Serve
This puree has a slightly thick consistency and makes a great change from plain papaya puree. You can try playing around with different fruits that you think will mix well with papaya, fruits that your baby really likes. My girls both really love banana, which made this puree a real hit when they where both around 6-7 months old. Our little ones still eat Papaya as a snack, I just slice the papaya up lengthwise or chop it up into small chunks and for use in a fruit salad. Papayas beautiful tropical colors make any salad look amazing!Ingredients:
Wash and peel the pawpaw and then cut it into two halves. Using a spoon, scoop out all the seeds. Puree the papaya and the banana together until smooth. serve