Couscous is a staple in a vegetarian diet because it is very versatile and hearty and used in some dishes in lieu of meat. But is it something that you can give your baby, and are there any specific health benefits to it that make it a good idea?
We’re always looking for new foods that they can try, and are always attempting to broaden their taste buds with new flavors, as well as supplement their diet with the necessary nutrients and vitamins they need for healthy development. Since a vegetarian diet has proven to show fewer cases of chronic diseases and illness, and a lot of tips can be taken from this lifestyle.
But if you’re not familiar with couscous you might be wondering if there’s anything to it that would prevent you from getting into your baby along with other solid foods that are similar to it, like rice, or quinoa. The resounding answer is that it’s OK for baby, and can be used with other foods when they’re ready, usually at the 7-8 month mark.
Can I Give My Baby Couscous? Answer: From 7 Months
Couscous is a fine choice for your baby when they’re ready to move into solid foods. Most moms agree that the 7 month mark is when their baby was first ready for it, of course this is just a guide and not a hard and fast number. You have to use your instincts as well as these guidelines to determine what your baby is ready for. Some babies develop quickly, while others take their time, so don’t need to rush it or fret if your baby doesn’t seem ready at a specific time.
The reason that vegetarians use this in many meals is because it helps to replace some of the protein that is not being consumed from meat. If you want your baby to have protein, but are not sold on getting that meet at such a young age, or you are planning on raising vegetarian, couscous is a good thing to give them since it has fewer calories than rice, but packs a protein punch.
If you suspect that your baby has a wheat allergy or a gluten sensitivity you will want to pass on the couscous, as it is derived from wheat. If you yourself have a wheat allergy your baby has a higher chance of having one as well, so it’s important to test for that before giving them something like couscous or other wheat based items.
We were unable to find any other concerns in regards to couscous, and overall it seems that most babies enjoy the taste, and digest it well with few problems.
Preparing Couscous for Baby
There are plenty of recipes out there that will show you how to make couscous for your baby. It’s important not to use too many spices while you’re making it, as most traditional recipes for couscous tend to spice it up with a blend of ingredients because it doesn’t have a very strong taste on its own. When you prepare it for your little one, just be sure to realize that their palate is not ready for spicy flavorings, so only mix it with other foods you know they’re OK with.
Try to make your couscous from scratch rather than going with an instant variety. The instant kind of couscous has been processed more than the couscous you prepare the traditional way.
Keeping a Food Journal
One of the best ways to know what your baby can enjoy with their couscous is to keep a food journal of all of the foods you’ve given to baby, and how they reacted to it, and I just it. This way you’ll have a reference guide of what your baby enjoys and handles well. Couscous makes a great foundational food and really rounds out a meal, you’ll typically be adding other things to it, even if it’s just a sauce.