Why cook seasonal fruit and vegetables?
When you buy fruit and vegetables in season, and local ones at that, this means you are offering them when they are at their best. The more flavoursome your purées, the more baby will want to eat them!
A real challenge and a whole way of life lie behind this question. Any young parent is especially concerned. Because although baby’s physical and mental well-being comes from a well-balanced diet, the freshness, nutritional properties and variety of fresh produce rely on seasonal availability.
A rainbow of colours along the seasons
If we follow the seasons, the reds, oranges, greens or purples follow on from each other quite naturally. Baby will look at everything that comes out of your bag or trolley: strawberries, beetroot, cabbage, peas, leeks, apples, pears, etc. We hardly need to say that showing him a corn cob will not have the same effect as showing him the same vegetable in a can, which may well look like a can of yellow beads to him.
Whatever the origin, it is the price per kilo that will say when a product is in season. So, it is when a product is in plentiful supply on the market and inexpensive that you shouldn‘t think twice about giving it to baby several times. This is also the time to freeze diced vegetables or to sterilize a few jars of compote.
The shorter the distance a product travels, the less it pollutes the oceans or air it travels across. The more a fruit ripens in the sun, outdoors or in a greenhouse, the less fossil or nuclear fuel it uses.
When fruit is seasonal and local it is always richer in vitamins and minerals. Every vegetable has different and complementary properties.
Nutritional quality also depends to a broad extent on the production method: tomatoes and strawberries from soil-less farming are not as rich in nutriments such as polyphenols with protective or antioxidant properties.
And lastly, as vitamins deteriorate quickly, the quicker a fruit or vegetable is eaten once it has been harvested, the more it will contain nutritious elements and the better it will be for health.
Flavour and pleasure
Fruit and vegetables picked when ripe and eaten quickly are also more pleasant and more flavoursome.