Baby Led Weaning offering Chow chow for babies for the first time 6M+

Chow chow (chayote) is one of our Indian household regulars and we love eating it as kootu or as a simple side dish with coconut added. It’s rich in nutrients and is high in folate (vitamin B9) while being low in calories and fat. It’s a great food to introduce early to your baby. As with many of the other recipes, I’ve also included a note on how you can modify the same preparation to be suitable for adults as well, cutting down the time you need to spend in the kitchen.

Our experience: We introduced this to S when he was 6.5 months old. S loved it! However since it’s quite soft he was able to bite bigger whole chunks and had to work quite a bit on his chewing skills. Still, a couple of bigger pieces he gagged and spit out. Even though I was by this stage not concerned about his gagging, the big chunks he bit off got me concerned and I was extra cautious throughout the meal. It was a great chewing practice for him, however based off my experience I would recommend introducing this once your baby has already been exposed to other veggies and textures.

How to serve Chow Chow/ Chayote for babies at 6-9M stage

You can serve long big pieces of well cooked/ steamed chow chow pieces. They should be able to grasp it fully in their palm and still have some excess above it which they can chew off. Resist the urge to correct them or make it easier for them to pick it off the highchair (unless you notice them struggling for over 30sec-1min). I’ve noticed as long as we stay calm and don’t interfere, babies will figure out the best way to eat on their own 🙂

How to serve?

As a first food, chow chow is extremely easy to cook and introduce. We bought chow chow from our local store.
Steps to prepare:

  1. Wash chow chow thoroughly and peel the outer skin.
  2. At 6 months you can offer bigger cuts lengthwise. The piece should be bigger than their palm as they can’t open their fist to eat that portion. For more details on this you can the check this post . If your baby is older than 9 months, you can cut them smaller at a size the baby is comfortable with.
  3. Steam the chow chow pieces well till they are just soft. Personally I feel it gets easily overcook if done in a pressure cooker and it’s better to avoid that route. For the first serving I preferred to go with the steaming route. You may also saute the piece until well cooked.

For adults, the best way to use up the remaining chow chow might be to saute it alongside. After removing baby portion once cooked, you can add salt, tadka with mustard, green chilli and broken urad dal and grated coconut (optional).

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