Tomatoes are normally thought of as vegetables, but they are, in fact, fruit! They are nutritionally valuable but highly acidic, so can often cause tummy upsets, nappy rashes, or rashes near the mouth – though this happens mostly with raw tomatoes. For this reason, tomatoes are best left until baby is nearer 12 months of age and able to tolerate the acidity more – and they are best given cooked initially.
Tomatoes are good for baby (and you):
Tomato contains a very high amount of vitamin C, which helps protect against the common cold and disease-causing ‘free radicals’ and aids the body’s absorption of iron. Tomato is also a rich source of vitamin A.
Hints on buying and storing:
- Buy tomatoes that are as fresh as possible – ‘on the vine’ tomatoes stay fresh for longer.
- Check for bruising and damage.
- Look for firm tomatoes with bright red colouring.
- If slightly unripe, ripen on a window ledge – or at room temperature in a sealed paper bag.
- Keep at room temperature for 2 or 3 days.
- Do not refrigerate until fully ripe – unripe tomatoes will not ripen in a refrigerator.
Tips on cooking:
- Steam, remove skins and seeds if preferred, then mash or puree the pulp.
- Sauté in a little olive oil for more taste, remove skins and seeds if preferred, then puree.
Ideas for ways of including tomatoes in your baby’s meals:
- Mix with mashed or pureed corn, carrot, green beans, eggplant, courgette (zucchini), plantain (cooking banana)
- Combine with cooked pasta, rice, or yellow lentils.
- Add to chicken, pork or beef dishes.
Please remember: Always consult your baby’s paediatrician or doctor about introducing new foods.
This information presented to you acts as a guide which contains researched information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.
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