My baby’s favorite puree is made from chayote.
Do you have visions of the Road Runner and Wiley E. Coyote, wondering how I got the coyote meat on my hands? Let me tell you up front that no, I didn’t misspell “coyote”!
Chayote is a green vegetable that looks like a pear. The background reminds me of the way a toothless mouth is pursed. I have only seen chayote in the supermarket and I have imagined that it grows on trees. I even found myself humming “… and a partridge and a pear …” while making my selection in the produce aisle.
I was completely wrong about the tree. The chayote is part of the pumpkin family, like the squash, zucchini, and squash … which brings visions of Charlie Brown calling the Great Chayote. Except the chayote is much smaller than a pumpkin and would not work for carving on Halloween.
It can be eaten raw, but I have always boiled it. The root, stem, seed, and leaves are edible. I have eaten the seed soft, flat and cooked, which tastes quite good. An important tip to maximize your enjoyment of chayote is to cut off the wrinkled part at the bottom, because it has a stringy, stringy quality that extends to the vegetable. I think this is where the seed is preparing to sprout.
To prepare a baby puree, boil the chayote. After boiling, peel the skin. Next, place your knife along the wrinkled bottom and cut all the way to the top. You will go through the soft seed. Cut off the stringy part. Cut it into large pieces. Mixture. Delicious!
The puree has a consistency similar to applesauce, but perhaps more watery. You can also add a smaller amount of green zucchini, carrots, squash, etc. Try different ratios to see what your baby likes.
Are you wondering how I came up with the idea of feeding chayote to my baby? Well, it wasn’t my idea. It belonged to my husband. It is from Mexico and this is one of the first foods they give to babies there.
Chayote is a good source of amino acids and vitamin C, as well as niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin K, zinc, copper, and manganese.
After 7 months of breastfeeding, I started following the doctor’s orders. I gave the baby rice cereal as his first solid food, three times a day. The result was that he became constipated. After four days without a poop diaper (which was unheard of for him), we ditched the rice cereal and went for the chayote. Once her poop diapers returned, we gave her cereal again, but switched to oatmeal instead of rice.
The baby is now 10 months old and is eating a wider variety of solid foods, while continuing to breastfeed. Whenever he shows signs of difficulty pooping, or when his stools look hard and he has a sore red butt, I go back to mashed chayote again. The baby still eats it with enthusiasm and it works all the time.