Baby food eggplant
10 Recipes And Health Benefits
Prepare tasty eggplant dishes to add variety and nutrients to babies’ weaning diet.
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Eggplant, also known as aubergine, berenjena, or brinjal, is a nutritious food that comes in several varieties. Botanically a berry, this round and slender-shaped food with purple-black peel is mostly used as a vegetable. You can use eggplant for babies to make various delicacies to enhance their nutritional intake.
Including this bright and colorful food in your infant’s weaning diet can help them get more nutrients. Read on as we tell you more about the right age to feed eggplant to babies, its health benefits, and some delectable eggplant recipes that you may want to try.
When Can Babies Have Eggplant?
Infants can usually consume eggplant as soon as they are ready for solids, which is generally from the age of six to seven months (though each baby takes its own time). You can first introduce cooked, deseeded eggplant as a mash or a puree. Eggplant is versatile and can be mixed with a variety of foods. Once the baby is comfortable with the food, gradually introduce steamed, boiled, roasted, grilled, or baked eggplant slices as finger foods.
Avoid feeding raw eggplant to babies and toddlers since it contains compounds that can irritate the digestive system (1). Eggplant belongs to the same family as tomatoes and chili peppers. If these do not suit your baby, then do consult a doctor before introducing eggplant.
Related: 15 Foods You Should Avoid For Babies Younger Than A Year
Nutritional Value Of Eggplant
Eggplant can provide several vitamins, such as vitamin A and folate, minerals, a good amount of calcium, dietary fiber, and phytochemicals in considerable amounts. One cup (99 grams) of boiled eggplant prepared without salt can approximately provide the following nutrients (2) (3) (4) (5).
|Name||Amount||RDA (7-12 months)|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||8.64g||–|
|Fiber, total dietary||2.48g||–|
|Vitamin A, IU||36.6IU||375RE**|
Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture, World Health Organization, and Oregon State University
*AI = Adequate Intake
**RE = Retinol Equivalent
Possible Health Benefits Of Eggplant For Infants
Feeding eggplant with different types of foods in moderation can benefit your infant in the long run. Most of these benefits are due to the vitamins and bioactive compounds, like phenols, carotenoids, and alkaloids found in eggplant (6).
- Supplies several nutrients: One cup of cooked eggplant contains 2.48 grams of dietary fiber to facilitate smooth bowel movement. Besides, it offers notable amounts of dietary folate, thiamine, niacin, vitamins A, C and K, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and manganese to support the baby’s growth and development.
- Provides antioxidants and phytochemicals: Eggplant contains several antioxidants and phenolic compounds, like anthocyanins and flavonoids. Nasunin, an anthocyanin, from eggplant could protect the brain from oxidative damage (6) (7) (8). Phenolic compounds in eggplant, such as chlorogenic acid, could have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects (9). All these help to improve heart health and phytonutrients increase brain function.
Eggplant has been in use in traditional medicine to treat several conditions, such as warts, burns, and inflammatory diseases, like stomatitis and gastritis (7).
Related: Baby Development Month By Month
How To Select And Store Eggplant?
Selecting eggplants can be tricky as some of them are bitter or too seedy. Below are some simple steps to follow for selecting and storing eggplants (10).
- Buy the eggplants that are firm and heavy, with a clean peel and vivid color.
- Check ripeness by lightly pressing the skin. If the skin does not spring back, it indicates overripening.
- Discard eggplants that look shriveled and have bruises, pits, and scars.
- Check for blemishes. An eggplant with too many blemishes indicates that it is possibly decaying.
- Select eggplants that have smooth and shiny skin
Pick small to medium-sized eggplants to prepare baby foods. It is because larger eggplants have more seeds and they may be bitter.
Related: What Causes Bruising In Infants And How To Treat?
- Keep the eggplant in a paper bag or loosely wrap them in a paper towel and store in the refrigerator. Putting them in a glass container is the best way to store them as they are a delicate vegetable.
- Keep the refrigerator temperature between 10 and 12°C (50 and 54°F) to prevent the eggplants from spoiling.
- Place the crisper drawer away from fruits, like melons, banana, tomatoes, etc., as they produce ethylene gas that may cause the eggplant to over ripen.
- Try to use stored eggplants within three to seven days of purchase, and only cut when you are ready to cook or use it.
- You can store eggplants for up to eight months by blanching or steaming the peeled eggplant slices/cubes.
Precautions To Take While Feeding Eggplant To Babies And Toddlers
Take these precautions while feeding eggplant to your baby.
- Introduce eggplant in a pureed or mashed form prepared by steaming/boiling the peeled and deseeded eggplant. As your baby gets comfortable with the taste and digestibility, feed whole eggplant (with peel). If your baby has had digestive issues, it would be better to introduce it without the skin.
- Begin by feeding a teaspoon in a meal and increase the intake gradually.
- If the baby looks uncomfortable after ingesting eggplant, discontinue feeding and try after some time.
- Check for signs of allergy, sensitivity, or intolerance. Eggplant allergy is rare but possible. Its symptoms may come up immediately after ingestion or hours after the intake (11).
Eggplants contain histamine that can mimic symptoms of an allergic reaction in a few babies. These reactions may be mistaken for eggplant allergy (13).
- If the baby has a family history of nightshade allergy (tomato, chili peppers, Cape gooseberry), birch pollen, or grass pollen allergy, then consult a doctor before introducing eggplant.
- For toddlers, give thinly sliced pieces of baked, steamed, baked, or grilled eggplant as finger foods to prevent choking.
Remove the skin from eggplant pieces to minimize the choking risk in babies.
Related: 5 Types Of Skin Allergies In Babies, Treatment & Prevention
Tasty Eggplant Recipes For Babies and Toddlers
Below are some healthy and delightful eggplant recipes for babies above seven months of age. When cooked well, these recipes will help your baby’s taste buds to discover some new flavors.
1. Eggplant puree
You will need:
- 1 cup organic eggplant (peeled, deseeded, and chopped)
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon powder
- Steam the eggplant pieces until they turn soft and mushy and keep them aside to cool. Alternatively, you can cut the eggplant in half and bake.
- Blend the pieces into a smooth puree and ensure no lumps are left.
- Add cinnamon powder to the puree, mix well, and add water to achieve a thin and smooth consistency, if required.
2. Eggplant, plum, and pear puree
You will need:
- 1 cup eggplant (peeled and chopped)
- 2 plums (peeled, deseeded, and chopped)
- 1 pear (peeled, deseeded, and chopped)
- Steam the pear, plum, and eggplant in a steamer for about 15 minutes or until they turn soft.
- After steaming, set the fruits aside to cool.
- Blend the steamed fruits into a smooth puree. Ensure no lumps or chunks are left.
- Serve immediately with lightly toasted bread or add it to baby cereal.
Related: Apple Puree For Baby: Benefits, Recipes And Precautions
3. Eggplant and cheese
You will need:
- 1 cup eggplant pieces
- 2 tsp cheese (grated)
- 1 tsp dried basil flakes
- 1 tbsp virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Line the baking tray with a baking paper.
- Cut the eggplant into thin slices and brush them with some olive oil and small amount of basil flakes.
- Place the slices on the baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes or until tender.
- Take out the baking tray from the oven and sprinkle the cheese over the eggplant slices.
- Return the tray to the oven and bake for five to ten minutes.
- You may chop or dice for finger food and serve immediately with homemade tomato sauce for added flavor and taste.
- You can bake some other seasonal vegetables, like sweet potato and beans, along with eggplant slices to fill the dish with colors and flavors.
4. Eggplant sauté
You will need:
- 1 cup eggplant (thinly chopped)
- ½ cup of onion (chopped)
- ½tsp garlic powder
- ¼tsp basil powder
- ¼tsp pepper powder
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Heat oil in a saucepan on medium heat and sauté onions for five minutes.
- Add peeled and diced eggplant, garlic powder, basil powder, and pepper powder into the saucepan, and cook until the eggplant becomes soft.
- Serve warm with rice, noodles or any other cereal or grain of your choice.
- Make this recipe colorful and healthier by adding different vegetables and roasted sesame seeds.
5. Roasted baby eggplant
You will need:
- 4 baby eggplants
- 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- 1/4 cup oregano sprigs
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½tsp black pepper powder
- ¾ cup olive oil
- feta cheese (crumbled)
- Preheat the oven to 232°C (450°F).
- Slice the eggplants in half vertically (lengthwise).
- Line a baking tray with baking paper and place the eggplants on it with each piece at least a centimeter apart.
- Add oregano, salt, garlic slices, pepper powder, and olive oil in a small bowl and mix the ingredients well.
- Coat the eggplants with the mixture, cover the baking tray with a foil, and let the eggplants roast in the oven for 40 minutes.
- Once done, remove the foil and bake the eggplants for an additional five minutes.
- Place the eggplants on a serving plate, sprinkle feta cheese generously, and serve immediately.
- You can add lemon juice to the seasoning mix to make the recipe tangy.
6. Mildly spiced tomato and eggplant curry
You will need:
- 1 cup eggplant pieces (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 2 cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 1 cup of chickpeas (cooked)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp curry powder
- ½ cup fresh basil
- Heat oil in a saucepan on low heat, add the onions and cook for about five minutes or until they soften.
- Add eggplants, tomato, curry powder, eggplant, salt, and pepper powder and cook for about two minutes.
- Pour two cups of water and bring the mix to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add chickpeas to the mix and cook the mix for about five minutes.
- Switch off the flame, transfer the curry into a serving bowl, and add basil.
- Mash rice with a fork and serve it with the curry.
7. Eggplant lasagna
You will need:
- 2 eggplants (thinly sliced lengthwise)
- ½ pound tomatoes (halved and deseeded)
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp garlic (roughly chopped)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
- 4 tbsp virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven at 190°C (375°F) and line a baking tray with a teaspoon of olive oil.
- Take a small mixing bowl, whisk the egg in it thoroughly, with some water, and keep it aside.
- Take another mixing bowl, add parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, salt, and black pepper in it and mix the ingredients well to prepare the coating mix.
- Make the top sauce by blending garlic, tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
- Dip eggplant slices into the egg, coat them with coating mixture, and place the slices on the baking tray.
- Pour the top sauce over the eggplant slices and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese starts melting, and the sauce begins to bubble.
- You can add different vegetables, like bell peppers, or which your baby can digest well to this recipe to up its nutritional value.
8. Grilled eggplant
You will need:
- 3 small eggplants (thinly sliced)
- 1 cup thick-sliced mild provolone
- ½tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½tsp pepper powder
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- ½tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Mix olive oil, vinegar, and dried oregano in a mixing bowl and brush the mixture on both sides of the eggplant slices.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper on the eggplant slices and grill them until they turn brown from the side facing the grilling net’s heat.
- Flip every slice, top them with a slice of provolone, and grill for about three minutes or until the cheese starts to bubble.
- Serve immediately with homemade hummus sauce and grilled chicken/tofu/bread to make a complete meal.
9. Cheesy eggplant slices
You will need:
- 4 baby eggplant (fresh)
- ½tsp minced garlic
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
- 2 tbsp Italian cheese blend
- 1 tbsp parsley (chopped)
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the eggplant into halves, rub kosher salt onto each slice, and keep them aside for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, lightly roast the bread crumbs in a flat pan on medium to low flame.
- Mix bread crumbs, garlic, cheese, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper into a mixing bowl.
- Coat each eggplant slice with the mixture and keep them aside on a plate.
- Keep a large skillet on medium heat, add some oil, and put eggplant slices in it as the oil warms. You can even add spinach to enhance its nutritional value.
- After ten minutes, flip the side and sprinkle mozzarella cheese and dried oregano and cook until the cheese starts melting.
- Place the cheesy slices on a serving plate and serve warm with homemade mint dip, hummus, or tomato sauce.
10. Eggplant parmesan stick
You will need:
- 1 medium eggplant (peeled)
- ⅓ cup of all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese (grated)
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 2 large eggs (whisked)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Olive oil cooking spray
- Cut the eggplant into two-inch-thick sticks and keep them aside.
- Mix the flour and salt in one bowl and bread crumbs and parmesan in another.
- Beat the eggs in the third bowl.
- Preheat the oven at 218°C (425°F).
- Lightly spray the baking tray with cooking oil spray.
- Dip the eggplant sticks first in the flour mixture, second egg, and third breadcrumbs.
- Place the sticks on the baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the outside turns golden brown. This makes it crispy on the outside and creamy and tender inside.
- Serve warm with a bowl of vegetable or multi-beans.
1. Can eggplant cause diarrhea in babies?
Yes. Eggplant or aubergine is one of the most potent foods that can cause an allergy (11). Hence, if your baby is allergic to eggplants, it can cause allergic symptoms such as diarrhea (12).
2. Is my baby allergic to eggplant?
If you observe allergic symptoms such as rashes, vomiting, hives, swelling, and diarrhea after introducing eggplants to your baby’s diet, your baby could be allergic to this vegetable (12).
Eggplant is a nutritious vegetable that can be included in a baby’s diet. When introducing eggplant for babies, try the pureed version. Once they are comfortable with the blended form, you may feed it as finger food. Follow the three/five-day rule when introducing eggplant to babies for the first time to ensure they are not allergic to the vegetable. We have listed a few eggplant recipes for babies that you could try. You may also increase the nutritional profile of eggplants by including other vegetables. If you have any concerns regarding the feeding of eggplant to a baby, consult your pediatrician.
MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
1. Eggplant (Solanum Melongena); UIC Heritage Garden
2. Eggplant, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt, FDC ID: 169229; FoodData Central; USDA
3. Feeding and nutrition of infants and young children; WHO
4. Manganese; Oregon State University
5. Folate; Oregon State University
6. NergizGürbüzÇolak et al.; Health benefits and bioactive compounds of eggplant; Researchgate
7. Muhammad YasirNaeem and SenayUgur Or Ozgen; Nutritional Content and Health Benefits of Eggplant; Researchgate
8. Y Noda et al.; Antioxidant activity of nasunin, an anthocyanin in eggplant peels; NCBI
9. Georgiana Horincar et al.; Value-Added Pastry Cream Enriched with Microencapsulated Bioactive Compounds from Eggplant (Solanummelongena L.) Peel; MDPI
10. Delayed Ripening Technology; International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications
11. Allergy to eggplant (Solanummelongena); Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
12. Food Allergy; American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
13. Mudnakudu N Kiran Kumar et al.; Higher histamine sensitivity in non-atopic subjects by skin prick test may result in misdiagnosis of eggplant allergy; NCBI
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Swati Patwal is a clinical nutritionist, a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and a toddler mom with over eight years of experience in diverse fields of nutrition. She started her career as a CSR project coordinator for a healthy eating and active lifestyle project catering to school children. Then she worked as a nutrition faculty and clinical nutrition coach in different...
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Seeemaa Budhraja is a Delhi-based dietitian and nutritionist. She specializes in weight and lifestyle management. She is a healthy recipe designer, works as a health motivator and wellness coach as well. She has worked as a slimming head with one of the top organizations in India. She excels in therapeutic diets for various lifestyle-related diseases. This renowned nutritionist is a...
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Introducing Eggplant to Your Baby
Learn When your Baby Can Have Eggplant and How to Prepare Eggplant for Your Baby
Behold the purple wonder – as my kiddos have dubbed it. On this page you’ll learn about eggplant and try some yummy eggplant baby food recipe ideas too.
The Goodness of Eggplant aka Aubergine
While the eggplant is not a nutrient packed powerhouse, it does contain a great amount of Vitamin A and Folate. Eggplants contain fiber, a very important part of any diet as fiber helps maintain bowel regularity. Eggplant also contains a wonderful amount of calcium and even some Vitamin K.
Eggplant 1 cup (1″ cubes)
|VITAMINS:Vitamin A – 36.6 IUVitamin C – 1.3 mg |
Vitamin E – 0. 4 mg
Vitamin K – 2.9 mcg
Niacin – .6 mg
Folate – 13.9 mcg
Thiamine – .1 mg
Pantothenic Acid – .1 mg
Vitamin B6 – .01 mg
Choline – 9.3 mg
Contains some other vitamins in small amounts
|MINERALS:Potassium – 122 mgSodium – 237 mg |
Calcium – 5.9 mg
Phosphorus – 14.8 mg
Magnesium – 10.9 mg
Iron – .2 mg
Also contains small amounts of selenium, manganese, copper and zinc.
When to introduce Eggplant to your baby
Eggplant is best given to an infant between 8-10 months old. If your baby has had any digestive issues, it would be best to introduce eggplant without the skins. You can offer pureed eggplant or steamed eggplant as a finger food. Eggplant is versatile and may be mixed with a variety of other foods
How to select and store eggplant for homemade baby food
According to the EWG, eggplant is not one of the “dirty dozen” foods that are most highly contaminated with pesticides – purchasing organic is a personal choice.
Eggplants should be firm and a bit heavy. Choose only those eggplants that have smooth and shiny skin. The color, no matter which color you purchase, should be very vivid. An eggplant that is discolored or has scars and bruises is not a good choice. These blemishes may indicate that the flesh inside the eggplant is damaged or even decaying.
Store eggplant carefully in the refrigerator; eggplants are a delicate vegetable. For longer storage, only cut the eggplant when you are ready to cook or otherwise use it.
The best way to safely prepare Eggplant for Baby Food
When cooking eggplant, you may either steam, fry/sautee, or bake it. Steaming it may be the best method if you plan on serving eggplant to your baby. Steamed eggplant tends to become very soft and tender (and sometimes mushy) so it makes a great finger food too.
Eggpalnt Baby Food Recipes Ideas
Eggplant- Basic Purée
Step 1: Wash and peel eggplant. Deseed as needed
Step 2: Cut into 1 inch pieces and steam until tender and mushy.
Step 3: OR slice eggplant in quarters and bake in a 375 degree oven for approx. 30 minutes or until tender.
Step 4: Place into your choice of appliance for pureeing and begin pureeing.
Step 5: Add water as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency
Naked Eggplant & Cheese
- 1 eggplant
- grated cheese – as desired
- olive oil
- basil (optional)
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Step 2: Slice eggplant in quarters, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with a small amount of basil. Bake for approx. 30 minutes or until tender.
Step 3: Sprinkle on grated cheese or take eggplant out of oven after 25 minutes and top slices with cheese, return to oven
Step 4: Chop or dice for finger food – may be mashed or pureed
- 1 eggplant
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon basil
Step 1: Peel and dice eggplant
Step 2: Saute onions in olive oil over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
Step 3: Add spices
Step 4: Drain any remaining olive oil if desired
Step 5: Serve alone or over noodles
Foods Good to Mix With Eggplant:
- Green Beans
- Summer Squash – zucchini or yellow/crooked necked
- Brown Rice
Be warned that cooked eggplant looks rather ugly – it changes into a greyish color that may put you off but this is normal.
Remember, always consult with your pediatrician regarding introducing solid foods to your baby and specifically discuss any foods that may pose allergy risks for your baby.
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From what age can eggplant be given to a child + recipes for children