Green Beans Baby Food Recipes and Tips

Green Beans Baby Food Recipes and Tips


Welcome to our Green Beans Baby Food Recipes section – we’ll show you the tastiest ways to serve green beans
to your little one!

Green beans baby food recipesOn this page…

The facts about green beans
Nutritional benefits
Choosing green beans to prepare for baby
Storing green beans
When can my baby eat green beans?
How to cook green beans for baby
Green beans baby food recipes and ideas

The facts about green beans

Green beans (also known as snap beans, string beans, French beans or runner beans in different parts of the world)
are related to other beans like kidney beans and pinto beans. But the big difference is that the seed AND the pod can
be eaten, because they are picked at the green, immature stage, whilst the pod is still tender and the bean inside
is only just beginning to grow.

Did you know…

…that the term ‘Haricots Verts’ is French for green beans, but true Haricots Verts are thinner, longer,
more tender – and more expensive – than typical green beans.

These days, green beans are minus the ‘string’ that used to run down their length and had to
be removed prior to cooking –
so the name ‘string beans’ is rather outdated now and does the modern day crunchy bean a bit of a disservice!

Fresh green beans cannot be beaten in terms of flavour, vibrancy of colour and crispy texture – but many
brands of frozen green bean come a close second. You can also use salt-free, canned green beans if they are
not available either fresh or frozen in your corner of the world.

Learn more about…

Making baby food with canned vegetables and fruits

Making baby food with frozen vegetables and fruits

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Nutritional benefits

Green beans are absolutely packed with important nutrients for your baby…

  • vitamin C
  • vitamin A (through beta-carotene… yes, it occurs in green veggies, too!)
  • vitamin K
  • magnesium
  • manganese
  • thiamin
  • copper
  • riboflavin
  • protein
  • phosphorus
  • calcium
  • fibre
  • potassium
  • folate
  • iron
  • Omega 3 fatty acids

Whew! And not only do these nutrients play a useful role in your baby’s healthy development,
they also help prevent conditions like asthma and – in later life – help protect the heart.

Source:
WHFoods – Green Beans

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Choosing green beans to prepare for baby

Fresh green beans should have a bright colour and should ‘snap’ when broken (so it’s best to buy them loose rather
than pre-packed in order to put their ‘snappiness’ to the test!).

Avoid wrinkled green beans or those with brown spots, as they will probably not be as fresh as you’d like! You
should also avoid green beans where the outline of the beans themselves is visible through the pods – these
will likely be tough rather than tender.

It is possible to buy green beans with the ends pre-cut (to save you having to do it!). ONLY buy pre-cut beans if
the cut ends look fresh, green and damp. If they are dry, the beans were probably cut a few days previously.

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Storing green beans for your baby food recipes

Simply wrap fresh green beans in a plastic bag and store them in the refrigerator crisper for around 5 days.

If you have more fresh green beans than you can use, freeze the excess – it’s easy to do! But first you need to
blanch the beans.

TO BLANCH GREEN BEANS

Prepare a bowl containing cold water and ice cubes.

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, tip in your beans and cook for 3 minutes.

Drain the beans, then immediately plunge them into the iced water – this will instantly halt the cooking process.

Your beans are now ready for the freezer!

Alternatively, make a green bean puree (below) and freeze the puree instead!

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When can my baby eat green beans?

Green beans may be introduced to your baby from 6 months of age (with your doctor’s consent). However, you may wish
to wait until later in your baby’s first year is your little one is prone to gas – beans, including green beans, are
notorious for causing gas in babies (and in adults, too!).

Remember to observe the four day rule
when introducing green beans to your baby – and if any digestive problems DO result, or if they trigger an
allergic reaction, then you’ll know for sure that the beans are to blame.

Green beans and other legumes may not be suitable for babies with G6PD Deficiency – please see this page for more information.

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How to cook green beans for baby

After washing your beans in cold, fresh water, remove the stem end. It’s not usually necessary to remove the other,
curved end. You can then cut them into 2 inch pieces for cooking – or just leave them whole.

Green beans can be boiled in a little water – or steamed – for around 4-5 minutes until nice and tender.

TO MAKE A SIMPLE GREEN BEAN PUREE FOR YOUR BABY…

… transfer the cooked beans to a food processor
and add a little water (preferably the water they were cooked in, if boiled) or milk and blend until as smooth as
possible.

Green beans can be difficult to get completely smooth, however. Adding water to the mixture certainly helps, but another option is to push the beans through a very fine mesh strainer AFTER processing in the blender, which removes those stubborn little bits!

For a creamier puree, try cooking a diced potato with the beans and pureeing them together.


Important note…

You may have heard that you can preserve the bright colour of green beans by adding baking soda/bicarbonate of soda to the water when boiling them.

DON’T DO IT – it destroys the vitamin C content of the beans!

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Green beans baby food recipes and ideas

Green beans can be mashed or pureed with other veggies – parsnips or potatoes are particularly good – to make
nutritious vegetable combos.

Here are some more suggestions that will have your baby clamouring for second helpings…

  • Try simmering green beans in apple juice for a yummy, sweet flavour.
  • Simmer beans in stock/broth instead of plain water – like the apple juice, this is a
    great technique to use if you need to encourage your baby to eat vegetables.
  • Add a good pinch of thyme or marjoram to the water in which you cook them.
  • Toss cooked green beans with a simple, homemade herb butter. Just combine 1 tbsp softened butter with 1 tbsp chopped, fresh herbs (try tarragon or dill –
    they’re wonderful with beans!).
  • For older babies, toss green beans with olive oil, a little freshly squeezed
    lemon juice and a little garlic powder.
  • Serve sprinkled with grated cheese.
  • Add fresh mint to the steamer basket or pot when cooking green beans – mmm, delicious!

 

Handy Tip

If you toss green beans with an acidic ingredient – like lemon juice – their vibrant colour tends to darken. To avoid this, don’t toss the green beans until you’re ready to serve them!

Green Beans as a Finger Food for Baby

Green beans make a wonderfully healthy finger food for babies. Simply blanch them (using the method described earlier in this article) and you have a tender, easy-to-manage snack that your baby can enjoy at home – or which you can pop into a container to take out on your travels.

Try serving them with a dip for older babies – little ones love to dip their food and green beans are the perfect size and shape for the job. A roasted red pepper dip tastes great with green beans (you can find the instructions for making it on our Bell Pepper page).

Gorgeous green bean soup

Here’s a recipe for a yummy, warming soup that’s simply packed with goodness!

6 fl oz (3/4 cup) low sodium or homemade chicken stock
pinch dried thyme
1 tbsp unsalted butter
4 fl oz (1/2 cup) milk (use breast milk or formula if you prefer)
1 tbsp flour
4 oz (3/4 cup) green beans
2 oz (1/4 cup) sliced onion

In a saucepan, combine the chicken stock, onion, green beans and thyme.
Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 mins.
Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend thoroughly.
Melt the butter in the same saucepan and sprinkle in the flour.
Stir the flour and butter together and cook for a few minutes.
Turn off the heat and gradually blend in the milk. Whisk to remove any lumps.
Set the heat to medium and cook, stirring well, until thick.
Pour the vegetable mixture back into the saucepan, stir well until heated through, then cool slightly and serve!

Readers’ pics…

Green beans

Green beans for baby

Steven wasn’t too wild about green beans… but did have fun playing with them!

Cara – Plainfield, IN

Send in your baby food photograph!

More Useful Tips and Ideas…

Introducing solids

Best first food for baby

How to freeze baby food

Eczema and baby food – can diet make a difference?

Baby feeding problems

The wonders of wheat germ

Introducing black beans to baby

 

 

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