Baby Food for baby
Recommendations for the age at which beef and other meats should be introduced into a baby’s diet vary: in the United States of America, most paediatricians recommend between 8 and 10 months of age; many UK, European, and Canadian authorities recommend meats as one of the ‘first’ foods at an earlier age – to help maintain baby’s proper iron levels, and ensure that levels of zinc and protein are adequate.
- beef is high in protein and iron
- beef contains calcium and folate
- beef is one of the most easily digested of the meats
- chicken and turkey are also good first meets; they too are high in protein and iron
When buying beef to cook for your baby, choose a cut that is mostly lean but has some ‘marbling’ (lines of fat running through the piece), as a little fat makes meat more tender. Eye of Round (Round-Eye) and Top Sirloin are good cuts – or buy lean, freshly minced (ground) beef.
- Baking, roasting, poaching, or steaming are the best cooking methods for retaining the most nutrients in any foods, including beef.
- Cooking or stewing beef in a crock pot is another good method.
- If your baby is not used to beef flavour, and you are making a plain beef puree, the flavour of the cooking liquid may be too strong, so strain it and use some water to make the puree. (Don’t waste any of the cooking liquid though, as nutrients from the beef will have leached into it – use it for your older children’s meals or for your own).
- Mix in some fruit or vegetable puree for baby’s first taste of beef.
- Preheat your oven to 190C (375F).
- Lightly grease a roasting tin with olive oil, and season the beef lightly with any spices that your baby is used to having – DO NOT SALT!
or, if you have time:
- Rub the beef with a little olive oil, season it, and brown it all over in a shallow pan on the stove-top.
- Put the beef on the roasting tin, place in the oven, and bake until the juices run clear.
- Baking times will vary depending on the size and cut of beef, but in general beef should be cooked for about 20 minutes per 500gm (pound). A 1kg (2 pound) round-eye piece will take 45 minutes to 1 hour to roast.
- Cut the beef into dice, as you would for stewing.
- Sprinkle with a little olive oil, season according to baby’s tastes (NO SALT), and stir to combin.
- Brown the pieces all over in a saucepan on the stove-top.
- Add enough water or broth to cover the meat.
- Bring the contents of the saucepan to a boil, then turn heat down to simmer.
- Simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
- Test with a fork, or cut into the meat if necessary, to check it is done.
- Cut the beef into pieces (or you could buy ready-cut stewing beef).
- Brown the beef prior to putting it into the crockpot if you have time.
- Put the beef into the crockpot and cover with liquid – broth, water or a mixture of both.
- Set the crockpot to ‘low’, and cook for 6-9 hours.
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