Why we love – kūmara

We believe kūmara is one of the most perfect first foods for your baby.  Being a root vegetable it is one of the vegetables with the highest sources of carbohydrate which is perfect for our fast growing babies (1). Kūmara also has a delicious creamy texture when pureed which is generally well accepted by babies.  And it has a beautiful colour and taste making it perfect for our little Future Foody’s.

Kūmara is a source of dietary fibre making it great for our babies gut health, digestive tract and bowel health as well as being a good source of folate, riboflavin, vitamin A, vitamin B6 and a good source of niacin, thiamine, copper and magnesium and contains potassium which are all required for growth, development and immunity (2) (3) (4).

Kūmara has a long history of cultivation in New Zealand.  Kūmara was brought here over one thousand years ago from the Pacific islands by early Maori settlers.  Pre-European Maori managed kūmara-growing with great skill. They grew several different varieties of ‘bush’ kūmara, which, compared to the varieties we eat today, were very small in size, being no bigger than a finger. Modern kūmara grows on a creeping vine and evolved from a larger American variety with bigger tubers and better taste which was imported in the early 1850s (4).

 

References:

  1. Ministry of Health (2008) Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Infants and Toddlers (Aged 0-2): a background paper.
  2. Laursen M, Bahl M, Michaelsen K (2017) First Foods and Gut Microbes. Frontiers in Microbiology 8:356
  3. Aggett P. J., Agostoni C., Axelsson I., Edwards C. A., Goulet O., Hernell O., et al. (2003).Nondigestible carbohydrates in the diets of infants and young children: a commentary by the ESPGHAN Committee on Nutrition.  Pediatr. Gastroenterol. Nutr. 36 329–337. 10.1097/00005176-200303000-00006
  4. vegetables.co.nz