Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse that is easy to prepare for babies. Learn how to make broccoli puree, BLW-style broccoli, and broccoli finger foods.
Broccoli for Baby
I love a veggie that’s easy to prepare and broccoli is so versatile, no matter how you start feeding your baby. I’m going to share a super simple method for making broccoli puree, steaming broccoli for baby led weaning, and tips for serving broccoli as a finger food to little kids of all ages. This is meant to give you easy ideas for how to serve broccoli to kids starting at age 6 months and on up into the toddler years.
TIP: If you’re just starting to explore baby led weaning, or BLW, check out this full guide.
Benefits to Broccoli
Broccoli is rich in potassium, Vitamin C, and fiber. Plus, it’s super versatile and has an interesting texture that can be great for babies to explore. You can buy it fresh or frozen, in a whole head or as florets.
TIP: If you buy precut florets, which can be a nice time saver, you may want to trim off the stems as they can turn a little brown while in the bag at the store.
Ingredients You Need
To make this recipe, you just need broccoli (fresh or frozen) and olive oil. You also need a liquid, but you can use the cooking liquid or no-added-salt chicken or vegetable broth.
This is a super simple method to steam broccoli for baby, then puree it with added healthy fats. Here’s a look at the basic process. Scroll down to the bottom of the recipe for the full info.
- Wash your broccoli.
- Add to a blender with liquid of choice.
- Blend smooth.
TIP: This turns into a fluffy puree that can be stored in the fridge for a few days or frozen for future use. Or you can stop before the final step and offer the steamed florets to baby to eat BLW-style.
Optional Flavor Additions
You can add in another food to make a broccoli baby food combination that has additional flavor and nutrients if you’d like. This is a great option for baby on Stage 2 or 3 purees. I like to add these to this recipe:
TIP: You can also add a little of the puree to a Green Smoothie.
How to Store Broccoli Puree
This puree stores really well and has no noticeable separation or discoloring, which is great! You can store it in the fridge for 3-5 days or you can freeze it for future weeks. I like to freeze baby food in an ice cube tray, then once the cubes are frozen, pop them out and store for up to 3 months in a zip top freezer bag.
TIP: Find my full guide to Baby Food Storage here.
You can puree frozen broccoli for baby using this same steaming method. It works well with either fresh or frozen florets.
You can give baby broccoli after they are 6 months, which is the age that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends we start solids.
Many pediatricians still recommend starting solids at 4 months, though the official guidance from the AAP recommends that we wait until 6 months or when baby meets certain developmental milestones including sitting up independently and solid head control.
Broccoli Finger Food
Broccoli, when cooked until soft, is a great finger food. You can see above some sample sizes for how to serve broccoli as baby grows. At 6 months, baby can have BLW-style larger pieces (outlined below) or can be offered Broccoli Puree (scroll down for the recipe) or Mashed Potatoes with Broccoli.
Then, at close to 9 months, when baby has developed the pincer grasp and the ability to pick up small pieces of food between his fingers, they can have small pieces of soft-cooked broccoli.
You can start to gradually increase the size of the pieces, aiming for normal sizes by about 18 months, which is usually about the time that kids can take bites. You can of course adjust this as is needed for your own unique child.
TIP: Find my guide to Early Finger Foods for Baby here.
Broccoli for Baby Led Weaning
Broccoli is a perfect food for Baby Led Weaning since it’s easy to hold and when cooked until tender, the tops of the florets are a perfect texture for new eaters. Typically, baby eats/sucks on the tops of the floret and then will discard the stem. You can trade out pieces for new ones when one has been eaten well or is getting small in size.
You can steam broccoli to be served this way, which is outlined below in the recipe. You can also serve Roasted Broccoli to BLW babies. Just skip adding any salt.
TIP: BLW foods are typically meant to be about the size of your finger, but broccoli florets may not be that long. Simply choose the biggest pieces you have, aiming for pieces that are too big to be put entirely into baby’s mouth at once.
Tips for the Best Broccoli for Babies
- Once cooled, store in small airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for future use.
- If serving BLW-style, be sure to use florets that are large so they are too big for baby to completely stuff into their mouths. If a piece gets eaten down and is smaller, trade it out for a larger piece.
- BLW-style Roasted Broccoli is another great option for babies 6+ months.
- Add flavor and nutrients to the puree by adding 1/4 cup avocado, 1/4 cup peas, 1/4 cup Sweet Potato Puree, or 1/4 cup Apple Puree or Pear Puree to the blender during Step 6.
- Serve broccoli as finger foods to babies 9+ months by dicing into small pieces.
- Find my Favorite Broccoli Recipes for Kids for more ideas.
I’d love to hear your feedback if you try this recipe, so please leave a rating and a comment!
Learn how to make nutritious Broccoli Puree and a super easy method for baby led weaning style broccoli. Both start with the same technique, so you can do either (or both!).
- 8 ounces broccoli florets
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2–1 cup no-salt-added chicken or vegetable broth (or the cooking water)
- Wash the broccoli.
- Get out a steamer basket and a pot that it fits into. Add the broccoli to the basket and set aside. Add 4 inches of water to the pot and set over high heat. Bring to a boil.
- When boiling, reduce heat to medium-high and add the steamer basket with the broccoli. Cover.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the broccoli is soft when poked with a fork. Remove from heat.
- Once cooled, you can brush lightly with olive oil (or leave plain) and serve BLW-style.
- To make Broccoli Puree: Transfer the broccoli to a blender with the olive oil. Add 1/2 cup liquid and blend, starting on low and working up to high. Add additional liquid as needed to make a smooth puree.
Once cooled, store in small airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for future use.
If serving BLW-style, be sure to use florets that are large so they are too big for baby to completely stuff into their mouths. If a piece gets eaten down and is smaller, trade it out for a larger piece.
To make with frozen broccoli, reduce the cooking time to 6-8 minutes in Step 4.
BLW-style Roasted Broccoli is another great option for babies 6+ months.
Serve broccoli as finger foods to babies 9+ months by dicing into small pieces.