Turnip and swede (rutabaga in some countries) belong to the same family of vegetable. The main differences are colour and flavour – swedes are more colourful and taste sweeter.
Turnips and swedes have similar nutritional value, and are often introduced into a baby’s diet at around 10 months of age. However, if your baby is prone to wind and tummy upsets, it may be better to delay introducing turnip until his or her digestive system is more mature.
Turnip and Swede are good for baby (and you):
Both offer many benefits to healthy development; both are high in vitamin C, folate, and fibre. They also contain a good amount of protein – and even the green leaves are edible, and a source of vitamin A.
Hints on buying and storing:
- Thick skins protect the flesh from pesticide contamination.
- Peel off and discarded skins to remove contaminants and waxes that may have been used to prevent moisture loss during transportation.
- Check for brown spots or damage.
- Look for smooth skin, and fresh green leaves still attached.
- Choose one that feels heavy for its size – lightweight means old.
- Keep in a refrigerator, in a plastic bag – or tightly wrapped in plastic film in a cool, well-ventilated room.
- Stored correctly, they should keep for up to 2 weeks.
Tips on cooking:
- Wash thoroughly, and always peel – then cut into chunks or slices.
- Baking will bring out the natural sweet flavour.
- Steaming or boiling is a good way to cook them, but some nutrients may be lost.
Ideas for ways of including turnip and swede in your baby’s meals:
- Mix with mashed peach, or cooked apple.
- Combine with cooked white or sweet potato
- Add to cooked lentils.
- Include in chicken 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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