What’s with all the hype around lacto-fermented vegetables like sauerkraut? What are they, why should your baby eat them and where can you find them?
What are lacto-fermented vegetables?
Lacto-fermented vegetables (or simply “fermented veggies”) include foods like sauerkraut, pickles and pickled seasonal vegetables. They contain a healthy dose of gut-friendly bacteria, also known as probiotics. Regular consumption of these good bacteria is beneficial to your baby’s health.
Why are fermented vegetables good for babies?
Fermented vegetables help with digestion and provide a healthy boost to the immune system, improving all-around gut function . Foods like sauerkraut and fermented vegetables have even been shown to reduce the risk of some cancers . For babies in particular, fermented foods might be beneficial in helping with digestive issues like constipation, diarrhea, or gas .
Aren’t fermented vegetables too salty for babies?
While fermented veggies like sauerkraut offer a wide range of health benefits to your baby, it’s important to keep in mind that they’re quite salty. While sodium is a required nutrient for babies, too much of it is not a good thing. Keeping this in mind, if you’re offering small amounts of fermented foods to your baby – like 1 pickled carrot spear, or 1 tablespoon of sauerkraut – the benefits of including them in your baby’s diet is worth the extra salt.
Here is a six-month old enjoying a fistful of sauerkraut:
Here she is chomping down on a fermented carrot. It’s the perfect texture for her where she can easily grab it and it’s soft enough to take bites from:
Here she is about to enjoy lacto-fermented turnips (right) and sauerkraut (left):
Where can I find fermented vegetables?
One of my favorite store-bought brands of fermented foods is Tout Cru. They are a Montreal-based company that I absolutely love. I really believe in Pedro and Rachel’s mission. They make a wide range of fermented foods including kimchi, sauerkraut and seasonal fermented vegetables which are all so delicious. Check out their website to find out where you can purchase some near you!
- Parvez S, Malik KA, Ah Kang S, Kim HY. Probiotics and their fermented food products are beneficial for health. Journal of applied microbiology. 2006 Jun 1;100(6):1171-85.
- Marchand V. Using probiotics in the paediatric population. Paediatrics & child health. 2012 Dec;17(10):575.
Have you ever given sauerkraut to your baby?
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