Yes. You can give your baby lima beans. Lima beans are a great way to add fiber to your baby’s diet, which will be important as your baby starts eating solid food in addition to their breast milk or formula.
It is important to introduce your baby to solid food or food that isn’t breast milk or formula when they are 6 months old. This is the recommendation made by the American Academy of Pediatricians.
Once your baby reaches their 6-month stage, solid food becomes an additional nutritional source for your growing baby.
At this point, their breast milk or formula should still be their primary source of nutrition. However, it should be accompanied by solid food or normal food. Which will help meet your growing baby’s nutritional needs.
Especially since your baby is now moving around on their own and using up more energy with their activity.
Lima beans, also are known as butter beans or Madagascar beans, are a legume with edible seeds. Lima beans were first grown in Meso-America or South America and are known to have been domesticated in 2000BC.
The Moche culture (1-800CE) cultivated Lima beans, which they depicted in their artwork. Lima beans were named for Lima, Peru, where they were grown and exported to North America and then Europe.
From here, the beans spread and were grown in all parts of the world. The beans are called butter beans in North and South Carolina due to their flat shape and yellow color.
Lima beans or butter beans have buttery texture with a flavor that complements many dishes. They are available fresh(green immature), frozen, dried, or mature(cream color).
The most common beans are cream or yellow in color, but they can be found in black, red, white, purple, and brown. There are many benefits to adding butter beans to your baby’s diet.
Lima beans are highly nutritious
Lima beans or butter beans are rich in essential minerals and vitamins that your baby’s growing body needs to function at its best and help your baby grow up healthy, happy, and active.
They provide babies with fiber that they need to avoid constipation and other digestive upsets as their bodies adjust to solid food from a liquid diet. Research has shown that lima beans contain the highest levels of iron when compared to other legumes.
Iron is important for your baby because it is needed in the formation of hemoglobin, which is a compound that helps red blood cells transport oxygen to all the cells in the body, ensuring your baby grows healthy and well.
Lima beans are rich in vitamin A or retinoids, which promote good vision and a healthy immune system for your baby. Vitamin C is used throughout your baby’s. It helps your baby’s body efficiently absorb iron, which the red blood cells need to transfer oxygen to all parts of the body.
It is an antioxidant that helps protect your baby’s body from chronic illness. Also, it is important in helping white blood cells defend your baby’s body against disease.
Thiamin is essential in converting carbohydrates to energy. Riboflavin or vitamin b2 allows oxygen to be used throughout your baby’s body.
Vitamin B6 is essential for your baby’s nervous system, where it helps in the formation of neurotransmitters. Foliate is needed to make red and white blood cells in your baby’s body.
Magnesium is the most commonly used mineral in the body. It is used by hundreds of processes, which makes it an essential mineral.
Phosphorus helps your baby’s body build strong teeth and bones and helps in filtering kidney waste from the body. Potassium relieves heart and kidney disorders and also helps strengthen muscles in the body.
Copper helps in the formation of red blood cells. Manganese is essential in healing wounds and maintaining good metabolic activity in your baby’s body.
Lima beans are widely available
Lima beans are sold in many grocery stores. They come in green or cream, which is their most common color. Green lima beans are fresh and immature while the cream beans are mature and dried.
They can be consumed at either stage. Lima beans are also sold in cans, which most people prefer because they carry a buttery and pleasant flavor.
These lima beans are already prepared and require only warming before they can be consumed. It is important to pick lima beans with less sodium and preservatives in them if you are going to serve the canned variety to your baby.
Preparing lima beans for your baby
Lima beans are boiled until they are soft. Immature and mature beans are prepared the same way, although dried or immature beans have to be soaked for 12 hours before cooking them.
Some people complain about the starchy taste of lima beans. You can still make them pleasant by boiling them in homemade chicken or vegetable broth or store-bought low sodium chicken or vegetable broth with garlic, onion powder, a dash of salt, sugar, and black pepper.
You can cook them for 30 minutes or until they are tender. Once they are done, you should puree them for your baby, especially under 15 months old. This will help them enjoy the meal and prevent any choking accidents. Lima beans also make a great snack for your baby once you are over 1 year old.
Limiting lima beans
Lima beans contain a high amount of lectins. These are proteins found in plants that bind to sugars at attaching themselves to cell membranes in the body.
These proteins can withstand digestion if they are not cooked properly to reduce their lectin content.
This effect can cause inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Therefore, it is important to limit your baby’s intake of lima beans, and when they do have them, make sure to soak the beans for at least 12 hours before cooking and adding baking soda that will neutralize the lectin.
The beans should be rinsed afterward before cooking them for at least 15 minutes in a pressure cooker, which reduces the lectin content further. You can puree the beans after cooking and storing them in the refrigerator for your baby’s meals.
Lima beans are versatile
They compliment most dishes and are a wonderful nutrition addition to any meal. You can add them to your baby’s sweet potato puree, their kale puree, or rice puree.
Make sure to add spices and herbs to widen your baby’s palate. Remember to allow your baby to eat how much they want to eat at any given meal.
Your only role is to provide the food and set the time, which should be no more than 2 hours between meals from when they wake up to the time they go to bed. This is called the shared responsibility method and will help your baby learn healthy eating habits and have great table manners.