Quinoa has been getting more and more attention as people realize the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. You might be wondering what is the best time to introduce this superfood to your baby, and if the same health benefits apply.
The good news is that most babies seem to tolerate quinoa quite well from the 8 month mark. However, if your baby is developing more quickly than the norm and is well into solid foods at 6 or 7 months, you can begin to include it when you feel the time is right. There isn’t a lot of evidence that there are adverse side effects or allergies, so it’s not a food that ranks on the high alert list of foods.
It’s also one of those foods that might start creeping into the meals for the entire family. And that’s not a bad thing, since it is a healthy option for all ages, and with the right recipe can be downright delicious.
Can I Give My Baby Quinoa? Answer: From 8 Months Or When Baby is Ready
Quinoa is a seed that acts like a grain and most baby’s can tolerate along with other foods from six months on, but you may want to introduce them to other solids first. As with any new food you introduce, make sure it’s separate from any other food and then monitor how well they enjoy it, and how well they digest it. Once you’ve cleared it with them, you can add it to their regular line-up of foods to enjoy, and play around with some recipes to see what they enjoy the most.
For babies that aren’t responding well to meat, this is a good source of protein as well as simply being a nutrient rich food that you can feel good about giving to your baby. The World’s Healthiest Foods site lists plenty of reasons to why this is a better alternative than most grains, including it containing some of the healthier fats that we actually want to have in our bodies, and that your baby can benefit from as well.
Health Benefits of Quinoa
The health benefits of quinoa are well-documented, and it’s a known source of protein, calcium, iron, and fiber. Dieters like it because it doesn’t contain a lot of cholesterol like other protein-rich foods, which is also a consideration for babies. Moms will like it because it’s been shown to help prevent cases of constipation and excess bloating, aiding in your baby’s digestion and helping them to process all of their foods better. When you compare it to grains, there are several reasons why it makes more sense to feed your baby quinoa instead.
Plenty of Quinoa Recipes
There are a ton of recipes available to help you brainstorm idea on how to use quinoa to feed your baby. It’s a pretty versatile food, and you’ll find that it can be used more like a cereal in some recipes, and more like a meat in other recipes due to its texture. When you first start using it you might be a little lost, especially if you’re just getting into eating more quinoa yourself. But once you start using it you might get hooked, because it’s easier to work with than many other grains.
One of the positive effects in adults is that quinoa can help the brain function better by delivering both iron and Vitamin B. Since your baby is developing rapidly during their first year, it might help if they have these essential vitamins and minerals from such a young age. Some moms may worry about giving their baby too much iron, with all of the iron-fortified products out there. But since this is a natural source, a daily serving of quinoa does’t pose this risk.
When deciding which foods to give to your baby, you are probably looking to expand the list of options and grow their menu. Quinoa is one good food for that, and 2013 is supposed to be dedicated as the International Year of Quinoa, so you might as well hop on board and give your baby something that is nutritious for them, and also consider adding it to your diet as well.