Q&A – Why Puree Vegetables?


Question:

Foods Questions
Foods Questions

My question in regard to the article on pureed veggies is WHY? Why pulverize fruits and vegetables together when eating is such a vital part of a parrot’s life? Every morning, my CAG and Severe Macaw like snacking on fresh cut up fruits and vegetables. My Macaw happily eats each pea from the pod one by one. What delightful it is to see my CAG eat a piece of papaya or mango cradled in her small foot.

There are several colors, shapes, and textures to select from. It provides children something more to choose from in their life, in our homes, and a nice way to experience new things. If parrots couldn’t eat, pulverizing would be an excellent option. Because they don’t like sweet potatoes or yams, I mix up a banana with cooked sweet potato and add some coconut milk and organic peanut butter to get the “A” nutrient. I do sometimes prepare those prepared parrot meals or feed them what I am eating for supper since I want to provide them with as much variety as possible, particularly since I am at work all day.

I’m not trying to be critical; it simply looks strange to me, and I’m interested why.

One more question. I’ve heard a lot about sweet potatoes and yams, and how one is high in vitamin A while the other has nearly none. Is this accurate, and which has the greatest “Vitamin A”?

P. Sylvia

Answer:

Hello, Sylvia.

Thank you for your feedback on my essay “Food Alert.” So, why purée vegetables for birds? Pureeing is essentially a method of getting more nourishment into reluctant birds! It’s an excellent transitional approach for teaching birds healthier feeding habits. I favor chunks and hunks and, like you, enjoy seeing my feather-kids scoop peas, rip up corn on the cob, or make a mess with a pomegranate slice. I think they like the diversity of flavors, textures, colors, and shapes of chopped vegetables and fruit. Birds, on the other hand, may be obstinate and refuse to touch what we’ve delicately prepared for them. That’s when we need to be sneaky and conceal the treats, like you learned by mashing banana and peanut butter into your sweet potatoes! However, I believe in continuing to provide chopped vegetables since familiarity will eventually convince birds to eat previously rejected items. Cooking or pureeing certain vegetables, however, makes some nutrients more easily absorbed, such as beta carotene in sweet potatoes or pumpkin.

When I was handfeeding infants in the Bird Gardens nursery, we used to cut vegetables every morning, and the birds ate them up for the most part. Then we moved to solely providing a pureed mix, which irritated me since the infants weren’t learning to distinguish broccoli and carrots as food. I would encourage new parents to slice vegetables, only to hear that their newborns refused to eat them. I felt like I was doing these young birds a disservice since babyhood is the simplest period to teach them food acceptance. It is ALWAYS more difficult to convert afterwards. So, in addition to providing the puree, I insisted on continuing to cut vegetables for the nursery.

In terms of Vitamin A, sweet potatoes and yams are two quite distinct root vegetables that are sometimes used interchangeably in the United States. In our nation, we seldom see authentic yams; instead, we find two types of sweet potatoes, one labeled “yam” and the other “sweet potato.” One contains more sugar (therefore greater taste), more beta carotene (which the body converts to Vitamin A), and is darker in color. Whiter sweet potatoes are higher in carbohydrates and lower in sugar and beta-carotene. Although they are all excellent sources of Vitamin A, the deeper the orange of the inside flesh, the greater the beta carotene concentration. As previously stated, both must be boiled first because the beta carotene in uncooked sweet potatoes is considerably more difficult for the body to absorb and convert into Vitamin A.

Anderson, Marilu

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