BLACK BEANS | 6 mos+ |🥇💪💩🌱

Updated: Aug 31


Variously known as turtle beans or frijoles negros, black beans have been a staple of Latin cuisine for thousands of years. Black beans contain a lot of nutrients – but it might surprise you to discover that, according to research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, black beans are as rich in antioxidants as grapes and cranberries – and have 10 times as much as oranges!


DISCLAIMER: Each child has their own development timeline and specific needs. The content below is general information and for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional one-on-one advice. You are responsible for supervising your child’s health and for evaluating the appropriateness of the information below for your child. Please consult your healthcare provider regarding support or advice for your child's well being and health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen here.

Contents

1. When can I give black beans to my baby?

2. Is black bean a healthy food for babies?

2.1. The importance of black beans for a vegetarian baby

3. Is black bean a safe food for babies?

4. Is black beans a choking hazard for babies?

5. Is black bean a top food allergen for babies?

6. How to buy black beans for babies

7. How to store black beans

8. How to prepare and offer black beans to babies

8.1. Purees

8.2. Finger food 6 to 9 months old

8.3. Finger food 9 to 12 months old

8.5. Finger food 12+ months old

9. Black bean meal ideas for babies

10. Recipes


When can I give black beans to my baby?

Babies can eat black beans (and other legumes for that matter) as soon as they are ready to start eating solid foods, which is usually when they are around 6 months of age and have met all the readiness signs for solids, unless otherwise advised by your baby's health care provider.


Gastrointestinal issues, like gassiness, may occur in sensitive infants during the first few times of consuming beans. However, it should not be a concern if your baby is healthy and not in any discomfort.


Soaking beans for at least four hours before cooking and feeding in small quantities may help reduce gassiness.


​You can give your baby a safe start to solid foods! This on-demand workshop will provide you with the knowledge and confidence you need to wean well.



Is black bean a healthy food for babies?

Variously known as turtle beans or frijoles negros, black beans have been a staple of Latin cuisine for thousands of years. Black beans contain a lot of nutrients – but it might surprise you to discover that, according to research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, black beans are as rich in antioxidants as grapes and cranberries – and have 10 times as much as oranges!


Antioxidants, as you may know, play an important part in protecting the body against diseases like cancer and also support heart health. Studies on a variety of legumes have revealed that the DARKER the beans, the MORE antioxidants they contain… so it stands to reason that black beans are the richest source of all!


Black beans also provide key nutrients for a growing child, including protein, fiber, folate, magnesium, iron, and potassium. This plant-based protein and iron-rich food can be a valuable addition to your baby’s diet, especially in aiding in the prevention of iron-deficiency anemia. Anemia is a common problem in children around the world. The U.S. prevalence of iron deficiency anemia in children one to five years of age is estimated to be 1% to 2% according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).


Iron is also needed for the brain to develop and function properly – a lack of iron during infancy can have a huge impact on the ability to learn later in life.


Fun fact: Because of their well-rounded combination of nutrients, beans were called out by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans as a “unique food,” one that can be considered both a vegetable and a protein food.


The nutrient composition of beans varies from one another. Hence, adding a variety of beans in the diet is the best way to ensure optimum nutrient intake.


The importance of black beans for a vegetarian baby

If your baby will be following a vegetarian diet, then there are two reasons why black beans will be particularly useful!

  • Served with a whole grain, like brown rice or whole wheat pasta, black beans provide protein equivalent to that found in meat.

  • Black beans tend to be very dense, making them an ideal meat replacement in terms of texture, as well as nutrition.


Is black bean a safe food for babies?

Foodborne botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by eating foods that are contaminated with the disease‑causing toxin. You cannot see, smell, or taste botulinum toxin – but taking even a small taste of food containing this toxin can be deadly.

Botulism poisoning from commercially canned foods has been virtually eliminated in the United States because those products are heated long enough and to high enough temperatures to kill the spores that otherwise can grow and produce the toxin.


Nowadays, cases of foodborne botulism poisoning from canned goods are usually linked to home-canned foods. Also, food packaged in defective cans, including those with leaky seams, can become contaminated because the bacteria can be sucked into the containers as the product cools.


If using canned black beans, in order to keep your baby safe, offer only commercially canned ones. And do not eat or feed beans from cans that show these warning signs:

  • Bulging

  • Leaking

  • Denting at the seam or rim (which can allow air or harmful bacteria to enter the can)

Foods with those warning signs may not look spoiled, but they can still have bacteria that can make you or your baby sick. When in doubt, throw it out!

When purchasing canned beans or other preserved products, also be careful with BPA (Bisphenol A). This is a chemical used in plastics and resins and in the interior lining of cans, amongst many other packaging materials. BPA should be avoided, as it has been linked to cellular damage, including disrupting your baby’s endocrine (hormone) functions, affecting growth in many ways. So look for cans or pouches that are marked “BPA-free.”


Is black bean a choking hazard for babies?

Black beans are not listed on CDC's list of most common choking hazards for babies. However, if your baby is still learning how to chew and is swallowing well, or if you're not comfortable offering the whole bean, you can squash the beans a little bit to make them easier to handle. Our little ones have always coped with the whole bean – skin and all – but you can slip the skin off before serving, if you prefer. The skin can cling to the back of the throat and cause some coughing and be bothersome. As always, just follow your baby's lead and your level of comfort.


This workshop covers everything you need to know for dealing with gagging, reducing the risk of choking during mealtimes, and offering safe food sizes and shapes to your child.



Note: Keep in mind that any food can present a risk for choking if not prepared correctly. You are responsible for following age and food modification guidelines provided in order to reduce your baby’s risk for choking.

Is black bean a top food allergen for babies?

Black beans aren’t listed as a common allergen, however it’s worth noting that they come under the legume ‘umbrella.’ This means they are related to soybeans, which ARE considered to be allergenic. Different legumes can be processed and packed in the same environment or equipment, which can cause cross-contamination. If your baby is allergic to soy, then please discuss the introduction of black beans and other legumes with your child’s doctor.


Black beans and other legum