Corn Myth: vegetable or cereal?
You know we love diving into food and while preparing for our new plant based protein baby food flavors (more on that soon!) we ran into a question. When you talk about corn to most Americans, they consider it a vegetable. You can find corn in the vegetable aisle in most supermarkets and corn is a popular baby food to first feed your baby. When we were deciding on how to label “corn” on our baby food, we debated at the office whether it was a vegetable or a cereal and dove into the facts to find out what you’re really feeding your baby when you introduce corn into their diet.
Corn is a weird plant if you think about it. It’s not quite like other vegetables and fruits, but it’s not quite like grain either. There’s a lot of debate online on how it should be classified. Here are the facts about corn and feeding corn to your baby.
When you buy corn on the cob, the kernels are full of sweet and tender liquid. This pushes it more into the vegetable category and that’s how the FDA and the USDA classify it. Corn on the cob is picked before it is completely dry on the stalk which is one of the reasons why frozen and prepared corn is considered a vegetable.
For all other grains, including corn for feed, the grains are dried completely before harvesting. This extra drying time converts the seeds from a vegetable to a grain. Corn is the only plant of this kind that we pick early to enjoy fresh.
Corn is often times used in baby food as a first vegetable because corn is full of a lot of fiber, minerals, and vitamins like A, B, and E. It also contains many antioxidants. Even better, it even contains protein. For babies that can’t chew meat yet or vegetarian families, corn can help your baby get some of the protein they need as they start to wean off of breast milk. Corn is also high in calories; which babies need for growth! Corn contains amino acids that are often times paired with other higher quality proteins to give your baby a completely balanced meal. More about pairing protein with corn for your baby here.
Feeding Corn to Your Baby
The decision of if corn is a vegetable or a grain when you are feeding your baby depends on the form that you give your baby the corn. At Amara, our sweet corn is considered a vegetable. The main difference is our corn is harvested as a food, we start with sweet and tender kernels before we use our unique technique. Other corn cereals are dried as a kernel and then milled to a particular size.
At Amara, bringing you the closest possible alternative to fresh remains our priority so we start with fresh corn, like you would eat it at home. Try our plant based protein vegetable blends for your baby that combine fresh veggies for your baby – without the fruit usually used in baby food pouches!