Beetroot salad

Suitable from 8 months

Beetroot salad

We receive a lot of emails asking if small children can eat beetroot. The concern is nitrates, which are naturally present in many vegetables. There is a lot of conflicting advice and research, but the great news is that studies have shown that beetroot and other nitrate-rich vegetables are beneficial for health and that babies over 4 months can eat them safely. You can read our article about nitrates and health for more information but now, on to this delicious recipe.

My children both love beetroot. The sweet taste and beautiful rich purple color make it a favorite with babies and small children, even if cleaning it off their clothes and the walls might not make it so popular with mummy and daddy. But there are good reasons to consider risking their clothes or stripping them down to their birthday suits to let them polish off a plate of beetroot that you can read about here. When making beetroot I like to keep any dressing very simple and let the beetroot speak for itself. This dish is no exception. Enjoy!

Recipe tips
Studies have shown that the betalains in beetroot undergo very steady loss from food as cooking time increases. The red betalain pigments in beets are far less heat stable than red anthocyanin pigments in red cabbage and the difference between 15 minutes of steaming versus 25 minutes of steaming, or 60 minutes of roasting versus 90 minutes of roasting can be significant in terms of betalain damage. For this reason, we recommend that you keep beet steaming times to 15 minutes or less.

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