In this Article
Onions are almost used in almost every dish that is prepared around the world. Since it is so often used, a common question many people ask is , “Is it safe to give my baby an onion’?
This article will discuss about the right time to introduce onion into a baby’s diet and how to do it safely.
When to Introduce Onion to a Baby?
It goes without saying that you should introduce onion into your baby’s diet after he or she starts successfully consuming solid foods like fruits and vegetables . Typically, you should introduce onion to their diet only after they are 6 months of age. It is best to introduce it at around 8 months of age, but if your baby has a sensitive digestive system and gets gas problems after consuming onions, you should wait another year.
How to Give Onions to a Baby?
Like with other solid foods like vegetables, you should introduce onions gradually in small doses. It should always be cooked, as this is easier to digest for your baby. You can add cooked onion to vegetable purees along with rice, peas or carrots. Make sure you always cook the onions well, so it doesn’t interfere with your baby’s digestion.
Health Benefits of Onions for your Baby
There are several health benefits of onions for babies. They are:
- An excellent source of antioxidants which are essential nutrients that can help your baby fight off diseases.
- If your baby has symptoms of asthma, onions are good anti-inflammatory agents which can help reduce the symptoms.
- Onions are heart-healthy and can help lowering cholesterol levels in later life.
- As they are a great source of Vitamin C, onions can prevent bacterial infections and enhance your baby’s immune system.
- Your baby’s ability to absorb iron from other foods will be enhanced by eating onions.
- Onions are an abundant source of polyphenols (plant nutrients).
- Onions are good for a baby’s stuffy nose, and people also use onions for curing cough in babies.
How to Choose and Store Onion for Baby Foods?
Pungent onions and shallots are the best when you consider their health benefits, but babies have sensitive tongues, so it is better to choose sweeter varieties. Green onions are good for baby teething. Make sure to choose onions which are papery and dry on the outside and don’t feel soft. At home, you can store them in a hanging basket so that air can circulate around them. You can also chop onions and store them in your freezer, but this may cause loss of nutrients and flavour.
Important Tips to Remember while Preparing and Cooking Onion for Your Baby
While preparing onions for your baby, always remember that the healthy parts of the onion are in its outer layers. So be careful to just take out the papery skin and not the first few layers as well just because it’s easier. Here are some tips to peel an onion:
- Place the onion in the freezer 30 minutes before cutting it
- Chop the entire onion and leave the root for the last. It releases the most gas.
- Chop onions while aiming a fan at your face
- Use a sharp knife. The theory goes that this lessens damage to the onion’s cells, releasing less gas.
- You can cut onions under running water, but this can make them mushy and cause some nutrient loss.
Below are tips for cooking onions for your baby:
- Sauté chopped onions over low heat in some olive oil till they become golden and tender.
- Cut them into wedges and roast at 350 deg F for 50 minutes to bring out their sweet flavour.
- Onions can add flavour to rice as well. Saute them in homemade stock and mix them with barley or rice.
- You can use onions as stock for your baby’s soups and stews as well.
Tasty Baby Food Recipes with Onion
Below are some tasty onion recipes for your little one:
1. Garden Pea Onion Soup Recipe
A delicious and hearty onion soup.
- ½ cup fresh, cooked or frozen peas (thawed)
- 1 medium-size onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp butter (unsalted)
- 1 clove
- A pinch of cinnamon
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup milk (you can also use cream or soy milk)
- Heat butter in a pan and saute the sliced onions in it for around 2 minutes. Add the cinnamon and cloves and cook until tender. Take out the clove.
- Add the peas and continue cooking while stirring for 3-4 minutes.
- Put the mixture in a blender and puree it until it becomes smooth.
- Return it to the pan and add water into it (as much as you desire) while stirring, until it becomes the texture of the soup. Better to add less water so that it stays more of a puree.
- Bring the mixture to boil, lower the heat and add the cream/milk. Warm the mixture gently and serve to your baby.
2. Baked Sweet Onion Recipe
A good recipe for onions which can be added to other dishes.
- 1 onion
- 1 pinch of black pepper (freshly ground)
- 1 tsp butter (unsalted)
- Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
- Peel the onion and after that, cut the top and bottom parts.
- Cut the onion in half, along its width, and place both halves on a baking sheet which is greased. The cut side should be facing up.
- Sprinkle pepper on them and put butter on both halves>
- Cover with a foil and bake the halves for about an hour until they become fully tender.
- When your baby is slightly older, you can try sprinkling some balsamic vinegar on the onion halves to bring out the sweet flavour even more.
3. Onion Rings Recipe
A healthy recipe for babies who can bite and chew properly.
- 1 onion (large)
- ¼ cup yoghurt
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (dried)
- 1 tsp oregano (dried)
- 1 tsp wheat germ
- Cut the onion into rings.
- Place the flour into a clean bag and add the rings.
- Close the bag’s top tightly with both your hands and shake well, until the rings get flour coated.
- Put the bag in the freezer and freeze for 20 minutes.
- Mix the oregano and wheat germ into the breadcrumbs.
- Take out the onions rings from the freezer and then coat each of them in the yoghurt.
- Following that, coat each one in the breadcrumbs.
- Place the rings on a greased baking sheet and bake at 400 deg F for around 10 minutes. Turn them and then cook for another 10 minutes, until they become golden brown.
- Cut the rings into baby bite-sized pieces and serve them.
The best thing about cooking with onions is that their water-soluble nutrients will never go to waste. Try the above recipes and make your little one a fan of onions.