Brussels Sprouts

Food Type:
Age Suggestion: 6 months +
Nutrition Rating:How nutritious a food is with a focus on the specific nutrients babies need for optimal growth. The more nutritious a food, the more stars it will have.
Prep Time:How much time a food takes to prepare safely for a baby. The more time-consuming a food is to prepare safely, the more clocks it will have.
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Common Allergen: No
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a bunch of brussels sprouts on a table before being prepared for a baby starting solid food

When can babies eat Brussels sprouts?

Babies can eat finely shredded Brussels sprouts as soon as they are ready to start solids, which is generally around 6 months old. If you want to serve larger pieces, however, it would be best to wait until your baby is an advanced eater (chews and swallows well, doesn’t overstuff food in the mouth, etc.). Brussels sprouts can easily be steamed to softness and cut into quarters for your baby’s meal. 

Callie, 12 months, eats Brussels sprouts for the first time.
Max, 15 months, tries Brussels sprouts and asks for more. Only serve whole or halved Brussels sprouts when your baby has become an advanced eater (chews well, swallows well, and doesn’t overstuff their mouth).

Are Brussels sprouts healthy for babies?

Yes! Brussels sprouts are very high in vitamin K, which is key in helping blood to clot. Brussels sprouts are also a great source of folate and vitamins A and C, and they’re packed with phytonutrients (aka the nutrients from plants) that help protect human cells and fight against cancer. 

Are Brussels sprouts a choking hazard for babies?

They can be, particularly if they are not cooked enough or if the outside leaves remain whole. You can lower the risk significantly by steaming Brussels sprouts until they’re completely soft and slicing them into quarters. 

For more information, visit our section on gagging and choking and familiarize yourself with common choking hazards.

Are Brussels sprouts a common allergen?

Nope! Though in theory, any food can cause allergic reactions so watch your baby for signs of a reaction when you introduce them for the first couple of times.

How do you prepare Brussels sprouts for babies with baby-led weaning?

6 to 9 months old: When in doubt, steam. Steaming vegetables is always a good way to go as it softens the texture and decreases the risk of choking. To serve as a finger food, steam the Brussels sprouts until they are very soft, then slice them into quarters.

9 to 12 months old: Offer steamed or roasted Brussels sprouts, cut into quarters, or if your baby’s pincer grasp (where the thumb and pointer finger meet) has developed, small bite-size pieces.

12 to 24 months old: Offer small, bite-size pieces of cooked Brussels sprouts or shredded raw sprouts. This is a great time to start cooking your vegetables a little less. Cruciferous vegetables lose nutrients when overcooked. Don’t worry about this now—safety must come first—but challenge yourself to cook your vegetables a little less as your child becomes more adept at chewing and swallowing.

For more information on how to cut food for your baby’s age, hop over to our section on Food Sizes & Shapes.

★Tip: Like lettuce or cabbage, Brussels sprouts are very low in calories, which babies need to grow. When serving low-calorie dishes, be sure to add a healthy oil for fat. Olive oil is great option, and avocado, coconut, and sunflower oils are good alternatives when cooking with high heat. 

Recipe: Steamed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Ingredients

  • Uncured Bacon (12 months+)
  • Brussels Sprouts

Directions

  1. Cook the strip of bacon in a skillet over medium heat until it is crispy. Place a paper towel on a plate and use a fork or tongs to lift the bacon out of the pan (don’t clean it yet) and place it on the plate. Once cool, chop the bacon into fine bits.
  2. While the bacon is cooking, steam the Brussels sprouts until completely soft. Add the cooked Brussels sprouts to the pan with the bacon fat and toss them to coat. Add in the chopped bacon and cool completely. Serve at room temperature.

Flavor Pairings

Brussels sprouts taste great with fatty meats as well as apples (be sure to cook them well), butter, and pasteurized blue cheese.