Go Gourmet, Baby!

Studies are revealing that children who are fed diets of bland, tasteless food are more likely to have issues with weight.  Unlike the jarred foods, homemade baby food is full of delicious fresh, wholesome flavor and adding herbs and spices is a great way to enhance this flavor.

Here are a few tips on how your baby’s food can go from simple to a culinary treat:
• Introduce herbs and spices at 8-10 months. Keep it simple for the first few months.
• Add herbs and spice in the cooking step.  It is best for flavors to blend in cooking and become more subtle. Do not sprinkle herbs and spices on the food prior to serving.  The flavor will be too strong.
• A little goes along way. Use herbs and spices sparingly.  As a general rule, add 1/8 teaspoon of spice per 16-24 ounces of fruits or vegetables.

• Add herbs and spices only to foods that you have previously fed to your baby. Remember the “One at a Time” rule to ensure that any food allergies are detected early.
• Avoid sugar and salt.  There are healthier and more flavorful choices to add to your baby’s foods.
Baby-friendly herbs and spices:
• Cinnamon
• Dill
• Ginger
• Mint
• Nutmeg
• Oregano
• Parsley
• Garlic
• Lemon or orange zest
• Vanilla

About the author: Cheryl Tallman is the co-founder of Fresh Baby, creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit. Visit Cheryl online at www.FreshBaby.com for more delicious tips.

Comments

  1. That is great to know. Although, I suspected that, which is why I make most all of my sons food (except for a few Happy Baby frozen cubes that I like to give him). I love your kit, Cheryl! I’ve been using the recipe book and food processor since my son has started solids around 6 and a half months. I also use the recipe book “Petit Apetit” in conjunction! My son loves food and will try anything. There isn’t a food that he’s tried that he doesn’t enjoy and I am so happy about that! He just turned 9 months not too long ago and that is when I started introducing herbs and spices in my recipes. He loves cinnamon, dill and cumin (which you didn’t mention up there, why not?) the most!

  2. Hi there, You can also find homemade baby food recipes that incorporate some mild spices at NurtureBaby http://www.nurturebaby.com

    Good luck to you!

  3. This is so true. I made about 80% of my son’s baby food and also bought a fresh organic store brand in LA called Homemade Baby and frozen Happy Baby, on occasion. I used cinnamon, mint, vanilla, lemon, orange and parsley in some of his home made cooked food. Today, my 2 year old eats spinach, green beans, peas, carrots, tomatoes, onions, zucchini, etc.. He loves fruits and veggies and is a really good eater. He doesn’t go for all the carbs that his playmates go for. He’ll ask for a tomato sliced up!! I can’t recommend enough making your own baby food. If you wouldn’t eat that bland stuff in a jar, why would we give it to our babies?

  4. Wellll… this is half right. There’s really no reason to wait until 8-10mo even. And you don’t HAVE to “make” baby food. They can eat “real” food just fine.

    One of DD’s first favourite foods was spicy Indian veggie curry. We went minimal on the salt, but otherwise it was just a regular recipe we were all eating. She was not much older than 6mo at that time.

    When babies are old enough for solids, they actually CRAVE interesting flavours, they’re ripe for exploration of tastes and textures and shouldn’t be limited to bland and pureed.

    You can see my article here at ECP for more info about solid foods in general (I do mention the issue of bland baby foods leading to a bland palate):
    http://ecochildsplay.com/2009/03/13/baby-essentials-that-arent-part-7-baby-food/

    And this is a great article about how babies can really handle any kind of flavours, how different cultures give spicy foods from the beginning, etc:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9646449/

    It’s helpful to remember that your baby has ALREADY BEEN EXPOSED to all the spicy flavours you yourself eat, both in your breastmilk and in utero (flavours get passed into the amniotic fluid! How cool is that?) So it’s not as though it’s anything all THAT strange and new to them. They just finally get to experience it from the “source”. :)

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