The time has finally come for you to introduce solid foods to your baby. You have been preparing for this for months and you have every fruit and vegetable needed to start it up. Now, you’d want to start with apples first. But you find yourself in a situation where you need to prepare something quick for your baby.
You consider microwaving a whole apple. But you worry if it’s the right thing to do or if it can be done. Well, you may lessen your worries because this article will be showing you all you need to know when it comes to microwaving a whole apple for your baby’s solid food.
Can you microwave a whole apple?
To be perfectly honest, NO. You cannot and should never microwave a whole apple as it is.
There is a very big possibility that the whole apple you placed inside a microwave to cook will explode. Apples contain a lot of moisture and it has a thick skin that prevents them from drying out. This trapped moisture is what would cause the apple to explode while being cooked using a microwave.
So, what’s the point of all this if we can’t microwave it anyway?
It is still possible to microwave your whole apples as long as you do something to allow the moisture to escape. This can be done by making sure that your apples are completely peeled and that you have also removed their core. It would even be better if you also sliced them to make sure moisture and pressure isn’t concentrated as a whole.
Does microwaving a whole apple make it lose its nutrients?
Microwaving a whole apple, or any fruit or vegetable does NOT make it lose its nutrients.
It is a common misconception that microwaving apples and even other fruits or vegetable causes essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to be destroyed. Microwaving can help in retaining the important compounds. Moreover, it allows other compounds like lycopene to enter the body better.
The most common vitamins that are usually lost during cooking are vitamins C, B, and other kinds of vitamins that easily dissolve in water. However, microwaved apples don’t lose as much of their juices and don’t become as cooked as compared to when it is oven-baked. Hence, it is expected that it has still retained the essential nutrients that it has to offer.
How to microwave a whole apple?
There are two common ways of microwaving a whole apple to prepare it for your baby’s solid food. The first is to heat it just enough to soften it while the other one is to steam it inside the microwave. Both ways allow the apple to become soft enough for your baby to chew and swallow especially if it is their very first time eating solid foods.
The process of microwaving apples to soften them is much faster and easier. Follow these simple steps to prepare it for your baby:
- Prepare a dish that is microwave-safe and has a lid or cover. Line it with parchment paper to avoid the apples from sticking to it.
- Slice the apples and place them properly in the dish.
- Put the dish with apples in the microwave and cover the dish to prevent the apple from losing too much moisture.
- Heat it for around 1 to 2 minutes on high.
- Using a fork, check the tenderness of the apples and heat again for about 20 to 30 seconds until desired texture is achieved.
- Remove from the microwave and let it cool. You can either mash them or let them stay in their shape.
- Serve it to your baby when it is cool enough for them. The desired temperature is something near room temperature. Younger babies may prefer their food to be tasteless, but this may change as time passes so you may put some additional flavorings such as sugar and cinnamon if your kids prefer it that way.
On the other hand, you can also choose to steam the apples using the microwave. It follows almost the same methods as to how to simply soften the apples. Below are the details of the steps on how to steam your apples for your baby:
- Prepare a microwave-safe container that is not flat and has a cover. If your container doesn’t have a lid with it, then you may use a plastic wrap that is safe for microwave use.
- Slice the apples accordingly and line them in the container.
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to the container with the apples. Adjust the amount of water you put with how many or how few pieces of apples you decide to microwave all at once. Preferably, 1 apple that is sliced should have 1 to 2 tablespoons of water with it.
- Cover the container and put it in the microwave.
- Heat it on a high setting for about 1 to 2 minutes. Make sure to check the tenderness of the apple and heat it again for 15 to 30 seconds more until it is tender enough for your baby to eat.
- Remove the container from the microwave. Open the lid and transfer the apples to another dish to let them cool faster. Mash the apples or retain their shape as desired.
- Serve to your baby when cool enough or already close to room temperature. This may be served bland or with a little bit of sugar and cinnamon if your baby likes it.
Tips when microwaving a whole apple
Microwaving a whole apple sounds easy, but it can still be tricky. You need to consider the kinds of apples you would want to serve your child as well as how to properly prepare them before cooking them in the microwave. With that, here are some quick tips for you to remember to make sure that your baby’s solid food experience goes nicely and smoothly:
Choose fresh apples
One of the defining characteristics of a fresh apple is its firmness. When an apple’s color is bright and vibrant, you know that it is a good one. However, some pieces may have some soft spots that may be caused by mishandling or travel. This may make the apple more prone to rot quicker.
Moreover, the kind of apple that you would choose to feed your baby may not be that big of an issue. Besides, all apples do have nutrients to offer despite what kind they are. You may need to remember that different apples will have different tastes. So, don’t be surprised if your baby may prefer one kind over the other.
As long as you make sure that the apples you buy from your local vendor or supermarket are fresh, then you have one less worry up your sleeve.
Prepare the apples properly
One of the most standard operating procedures when it comes to handling fruits, or any kind of food item at that, is to always wash them properly before anything else. This is something you should never forget when preparing your apples for microwaving especially if they are for your baby.
More often than not, pesticides are used on fruits and vegetables to prevent pests from damaging them. This causes these products to have residues coming from these chemicals. Washing them thoroughly is important to make sure that you can get rid of all the residues that can potentially harm whoever would eat the fruits.
Another thing to take note of is the sizes of the apples you are going to serve to your children. This may not be a problem when it comes to infants having their first solid foods since the apples need to be mashed first before feeding them to them. However, as your child grows and slowly explores their surroundings, they will become more curious about the things around them. This may lead them to want to use their hands when eating.
It is important to make sure that the microwaved apples served to them are bite-sized. This is so that any accidents like choking can be avoided. It can also allow the apples to cool much faster and be served quicker to your child.
Additionally, you should never forget to peel off the skin and remove the core of your apples before cooking them. This makes microwaving much faster and prevents the apples from exploding inside the microwave. Moreover, it can also prevent your child from choking from the thick skin or the harmful seeds of the apple especially if they still can’t chew their food properly. Take note that the apple seeds found in the core contain a little bit of cyanide and may potentially be harmful to your child.
Cooking time may vary
Lastly, you need to remember that the cooking time you’ll need to spend when microwaving your apples may vary. Several factors such as the kind of apple, the wattage of the microwave, the number of pieces being cooked in one go, and even the slice size contribute to this. You may need to spend either more or less time depending on these.
To microwave your apples faster, make sure that you don’t overcrowd them. Cook the apple pieces by batch so that they are also equally tender. Also, make sure to check the wattage of your microwave. If the wattage is higher, then you may decrease the cooking time while if it is lower, then you may increase the time for cooking the apples.
So, there you have some of the facts, steps, and tips that you need when microwaving a whole apple for your baby’s solid food. Now, you’ll be able to easily prepare a quick and healthy meal in line with your little one’s new growth milestone.
Now go grab those apples and start making them a part of your child’s healthy diet!