Can Babies Eat Hummus – What You Must Know?
Hummus is a highly nutritional creamy dip that tastes delicious. Due to its high nutrition and health benefits, some parents might want to include it in their baby’s diet. And yes, hummus can produce more energy and improve heart health, help with digestion problems, and much more. But when should you start giving hummus to your baby? How should you introduce it to your baby’s diet? Can it cause an allergic reaction? And many questions such as these, to find out the answers, keep reading this article.
What Is Hummus?
Hummus is a dip made from nourishing and creamy chickpeas. It originated in the Middle East and is used to add flavor, nutrition, and taste to other dishes. The main ingredients for making a very tasty and nutritious hummus are chickpeas, garlic, tahini paste, salt, lemon juice, and olive oil. Other ingredients like cumin, spinach, beets, and spices can be used to improve its flavor.
Is Hummus Safe for Babies?
Hummus can be healthy, but is it safe for babies? Yes. It is safe for babies if you prepare it yourself at home from scratch and is not store-bought. Shop-bought hummus contains too much salt content, which is not suitable for babies. Home-made hummus tastes equally delicious.
When to Introduce Hummus to a Baby’s Diet?
Now, you might have questions such as ‘When can you give hummus to your baby?’ If you are indeed wondering, make sure to give your baby hummus when they are 8–9 months old and not anytime before, as babies’ intestinal organs are not completely developed at this point. They might have digestion problems as it contains some spicy ingredients. Also, an important thing to remember when introducing hummus to your baby is to make sure it is bland.
Nutritional Value of Hummus
Gradually introducing hummus to your baby’s diet shouldn’t be an issue. Many nutritional benefits come along with hummus, such as:
|Chickpeas||Lower cholesterol levels|
|Tahini paste||Prevents and heals anemia|
|protein||Helps in body growth and repair|
|B vitamins||Provide energy and also supports the nervous system|
|Fiber||Helps in healthy digestion|
|Zinc||Strengthens the immune system|
|Iron||Combats with anemia and low energy levels|
|Magnesium||Provides energy and also increases bone health|
|Folate||Maintains healthy red blood cells (RCB) and avoids anemia|
|Calcium||Helps in maintaining strong teeth and bones|
|Olive oil||Anti-inflammatory properties|
|Garlic||Helps in reducing pain in inflammatory diseases, such as osteoarthritis.|
Health Benefits of Hummus for Babies
There are various health benefits of hummus that might help your baby to have a more healthy and nutritious diet,
- Healthy growth is what every parent wishes for, and hummus can improve your baby’s growth rate and repair system.
- Babies are exposed to allergens and irritants that may cause inflammation; hummus can help prevent this as it contains anti-inflammatory properties.
- For a body to grow out to be healthy, a baby would need strong bones and teeth; hummus can help you with it.
- Hummus can also help improve digestion and strengthen the immune system, which all parents want their growing loved ones to have.
- Hummus provides energy for the baby and supports the nervous system.
- Hummus can also help maintain healthy RBCs (red blood cells).
- It helps prevent, heal and avoid anemia.
Can Babies Be Allergic to Hummus?
While the contents in hummus are typically harmless, take it gently to avoid allergies or sensitivities. So, the answer is yes. Babies can sometimes be allergic to hummus due to certain ingredients. For instance, tahini paste is made out of sesame seeds and is one of the very common foods known to cause allergies.
Along with tahini paste, garlic, pepper, and lemon are used to flavor the hummus. Although the ingredients aren’t common allergens, they can cause allergies in rare cases. Even the main ingredient, chickpeas, can cause allergies.
Signs of allergies in your baby include sore, red and itchy eyes, cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, swollen lips, rashes, itchy skin, blocked or running nose, itchy throat, and tongue. If your baby shows any of these symptoms, they are less likely to have an allergy and are advised to take them to your health visitor as quickly as possible.
Precautions to Take While Giving Hummus to Babies
Some of the precautions to follow while introducing hummus into your baby’s diet include:
- Tahini is derived from sesame seeds, which are nuts and might cause allergic responses in some babies.
- Add probable allergy-causing items to the baby’s diet one at a time to figure out whether your baby is allergic to any of the potential allergens.
- Excess salt in the diet might impair a baby’s growing kidneys, so use it sparingly or leave it out entirely while making hummus for your infant.
- Since certain legumes might trigger allergic responses, check for allergies before eating chickpeas for maybe the first time.
- Keep a bottle of Benadryl syrup available to treat any sudden allergic reactions.
- Both chickpeas and garlic can cause gas difficulties in newborns. If your infant develops colic or other digestive disorders, stay away from it.
Hummus Recipes for Baby
Thinking about how to make hummus for the baby? Here are some recipes that you can follow to make hummus for your babies:
1. Simple Hummus Recipe
This is a classic hummus dip that’s made of chickpea and takes 5 minutes to prepare
- 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained
- 1 heaped tbsp tahini
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- Juice of 1/2-1 lemon just for added flavoring
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
How to Make
- In a food processor, blend all ingredients until fine, then add water to soften to the right consistency.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- If you’re serving newborns and toddlers, split the dish in half and season only the adult share.
2. Hummus Recipe Without Tahini Paste
A recipe without tahini paste means no sesame seeds; no sesame seeds mean you cut off the major concern of allergic reactions, so it’s a safe recipe to start with or for regular use.
- Chickpeas in a can (drained and rinsed)
- 2 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
- 2 tbsp water that has been boiled and cooled
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin powder
- A quarter teaspoon of salt
How to Make
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients and mix till smooth and creamy.
- Adjust the salt to preference; however, it’s wise to keep the salt to a minimum for smaller babies.
- For smaller babies, leave out the lemon juice, clove, and cumin.
3. Homemade Hummus Recipe for Babies
If you follow baby-led weaning and are looking for a recipe like ‘hummus recipe baby-led weaning,’ this recipe might be for you. This recipe for homemade hummus for newborns includes all of the ingredients in classic chickpea and tahini dips, except for salt. It’s perfect for toddler snacks, baby lunches, and baby-led weaning.
- 240 g drained and rinsed canned chickpeas (one regular 400 g tin)
- 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
- 1 smashed garlic clove (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of tahini paste
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt for seasoning (optional)
- Extra olive oil, oregano, paprika, and zaatar for seasoning (optional)
How to Make
- To make the hummus a milder flavor for newborns, briefly saute the garlic in olive oil before adding it to the hummus. You may remove the skins from the chickpeas if you like, but it’s not necessary.
- Combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, tahini, and olive oil in a blender. Blend until completely smooth.
- Blend in one tablespoon of water once more. Gradually add the remaining tablespoon until you get the desired consistency.
- If desired, serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of oregano, zaatar, or paprika.
To conclude, hummus added to your baby’s diet can add a lot of nutrition and be a fun snack. Ensure your baby is not allergic to any of the ingredients to stay healthy.