Friday, January 28, 2011

Baby Miralax: Prune Puree! *stages 1&2*

The humble prune.  I mean, dried plum.
A few years ago our tax dollars were put to good use by the Supreme Court proposing we do away with the word “prune” & replace it with the more appealing, dare I say “sexier” name: “dried plums.”  In this case I think I would have to agree because the purpose was to get people to eat more prunes. After years of considering them a food for old fogies, they didn’t seem as appetizing with their old, wrinkly nomenclature.  If you’ve noticed, prune popularity is on the rise & manufacturers are taking more measures to keep them moist & delicious, so now would be the best time to make prune baby food! 

So let’s get to the elephant in the room here. The biggest reason why we reach for prune baby food:  CONSTIPATION.  This is another reason prunes get a bad rap.  Everyone associates prunes with nearly-instantaneous bouts of gas & seemingly-uncontrollable bowel movements.  Who would want to eat something that makes you think of POO??  Yes, prunes are fantastic at giving our bodies a good nudge when things aren’t “moving along,” but they’re less laxative & more a way to keep you “regular.”  However, they seem to work wonders in babies who are stopped up whether it’s from a new formula, new veggie, etc.

Due to the high sugar content in prune puree, it’s not recommended that babies under 6 months eat prunes on a regular basis.  Yes, baby food companies do have “stage 1” prunes, but any pediatrician worth his/her salt will tell you to limit those servings to a couple of times a week or small amounts at a time.  Babies any younger can experience gassiness & fussiness.  However, if your baby needs a good “tune-up,” a serving of prune puree as early as 4 months is okay.  Personally I’ve given them to my son when he’s experienced occasional constipation & it’s like miralax for babies –no huge “blowout,” not a lot of fussiness or gas, just a good, solid bowel movement & a very relieved little man :)

If you’re trying to introduce an older child to prunes, just explain to them that they’re like giant raisins!  A lot of children prefer them refrigerated because the gelatinous, sometimes slimy textures of prunes can be off-putting to a child.  Reward them with individually-packaged prunes like candy.  Just a treat with more fiber & minerals than miniature Snickers!  Remember, prunes have a lot of sugar so feed in moderation as you would with any baby foods. The more varied your child’s diet, the more apt they will be to try different foods later in life without a picky-baby outburst!

Homemade Prune Baby Food
5-6 pitted prunes
1 cup water

Boil prunes in 1 cup water for about 3 minutes or until plump & juicy.  Carefully remove & put in food processor.  Use remaining water from boiling a little at a time & pulse the rehydrated prunes & water together in the processor.  Add water & process until mixture is smooth.  The mixture may still be stringy so if you want to feed it to a child under 6 months, push mixture through a sieve to remove any stringy pieces.  Over 6 months a few stringy pieces are okay.  Feed alone or mix with cereal or baby’s favorite fruit/vegetable.

We mixed stage 1 prunes with avocado & Elias loves it.  I mean LOOOOOVES it!

Hope your baby loves it!  I also hope this helps get the train out of the station if you’re having some bathroom troubles with your little one :)

-Elias's mommy

*Remember, always talk to your pediatrician before introducing your child to solid foods.  Make sure your child meets his/her developmental milestones required for eating solids.

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