tofu, the other white meat? {for baby stage 2+}

0 | February 5, 2010

Tofu? For babies? That’s right. It’s a perfect way to introduce protein in your baby’s diet. When Mia started to turn her nose up at meat recently, and I was tired of feeding her copious amounts of yogurt I came across an article on tofu. I am not a tofu lover. Sorry, but it’s gooey texture is not much to be desired in my opinion. On the other hand my husband and now my baby love it!!! I was a little worried when I first offered a bowl of tofu to Mia. I was for certain that she would turn her nose up at it and through it in my face. In preparation I adorned an apron to protect me just in case I got a fist full of tofu thrown at me. In my total shock she smiled and inhaled every bite and wanted more! Why did I not try this earlier. I am now a transformed tofu lover (not for me, I’m still a little shy of the stuff).

Here are some quick facts about the odd jello-like substance:

  • Tofu is a soybean curd.
  • An excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium.
  • Can be given to baby starting at 8 months (stage 2) but should not be given to any baby with a soy allergy
  • Varieties: There are three types of tofu, Firm, Soft, and Silken. Like it sounds, it’s according to texture but the nutrition is differs.
    • Firm: Most nutritious with the highest amounts of protein, iron, and calcium. (4oz. = 120 cal., 6g fat, 13g protein, 120 mg calcium) I prefer Firm because Mia is a little older and doesn’t mind the texture. Although labeled “Firm” it is really soft and easily mailable.
    • Soft: Best used for younger babies (8 months) because of its soft texture. (4oz. = 86 cal., 9 g protein, 5g fat, 120mg calcium)
    • Silken: Again best for babies not used to texture. Silken is the softest and most creamy. (4oz.= 72 cal., 9.6g protien, 2.4g fat, 40mg calcium)
  • Buying and Storage: Tofu comes in a solid block and in a carton of water. At home cut the block into 1″x1″ cubes (or smaller) and store in an air tight container filled with water. Change out the water every two days. Will last for 7 days.

Since tofu doesn’t have much flavor it can be mixed with a variety of fruits and vegetables. We have tried bananas, avocado, applesauce, butternut squash, sweet potato, and peas. We are just starting to experiment with this lovely curd so be on the look out for more experimental mixes and toddler bites!

Tofu and Banana Mash

  • 4 cubes (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup) of  Tofu, I prefer Firm
  • 1/4 of a large banana

If you haven’t already, cube the tofu. Store the remainder in an air-tight container with water.

Mash tofu with fork.

Next, mash the banana.

Combine and serve. Not too pretty is it? Oh well. According to Mia it’s pretty darn good.

Variations:

  • Tofu, Avocado, And Banana Mash: Follow directions above and add 1/4 to 1/2 of a ripe avocado – Mia’s favorite
  • Tofu and Sweet Potato Mash: Wash potato and poke several wholes in it with a fork. Wrap with damp paper towel and then plastic wrap. Place Sweet potato in microwave for 6 minutes or until soft. Scoop out flesh and discard skin. Mash potato and add 1/4 or 1/2 cup, depending on baby’s appetite, to an equal amount of mashed tofu. Stir and serve
  • Tofu and Butternut Squash Mash: Defrost 3 cubes of butternut squash purée (see simple purees for baby) or use 1/4 cup cooked and mashed butternut squash. Combine with equal amount of tofu, 1/4 to 1/2 cup depending on baby’s appetite. Stir and serve.
  • An idea from WholesomeBabyFood.com : Cut soft or firm tofu into small bite-sized cubes and dust it with crushed Cheerios, wheat germ or crushed graham crackers.  (cubes work best with Firm tofu but Soft works as well) I haven’t tried this yet but will be soon.

For those of you following this blog you know I like to freeze baby / toddler meals in portions for quick serving ability. This does not freeze well. Trust me! It’s better fresh anyway and is simple and fast. Enjoy the wiggly, white wonder that is tofu!

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