Introducing Paneer to Babies – Benefits and Recipes

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Introducing Paneer to Babies - Benefits and Recipes

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Now that your baby is above six months old, you must be looking to introduce new and tasty foods into his diet. Your baby must be already eating mashed dal and rice and fruit purees, but if paneer is a part of your weekly diet, you must be planning to make your little one try it too. It is rather delicious, no? Well, while paneer is indeed tasty and healthy, you need to find out when you should introduce it in your baby’s diet because of the two main reasons: paneer is a dairy product and well, your baby is still young and you can’t say for sure how his body and digestive system will respond to this dairy product! Let’s find out when you can add paneer to your munchkin’s diet.

When to Add Paneer to Your Baby’s Diet

Many doctors and experts advice against including milk and dairy products in a baby’s diet until he is at least a year old or older. Until then, the only milk a baby should have is breast milk or formula milk.

If your baby is close to 8 or 9 months old, you can introduce a small bite of paneer and gauge his reaction to it. A few months later, you can start increasing the quantity of paneer to around two cubes, four times a week.

Nutritional Value of Paneer

A 100gm block of paneer generally contains:

  • 72 calories
  • 20gms protein
  • 93.5 water
  • 4mg cholesterol
  • 3.4g carbohydrates
  • 131mg fibre
  • 3.3g sugar
  • 1.4g fat
  • 21mcg vitamin B1
  • 181mcg vitamin B2
  • 143mcg vitamin B3
  • 71mcg vitamin B6
  • 0.7mcg vitamin B12
  • 19.2mcg vitamin A
  • 0.9mg vitamin C
  • 13mcg vitamin E
  • 0.7mcg vitamin K
  • 20mg choline
  • 420 mg Calcium

Benefits of Including Paneer in an Infant’s Diet

Including fresh, healthy, and tasty paneer in your baby’s diet can offer him various health benefits. Let’s look at some of them below.

1. Helps in Bone Development

Adding paneer in your baby’s diet can help strengthen the bones of the baby as paneer is a good source of calcium.

2. Strengthens the Immune System

Paneer contains a lot of vitamins in varying quantities which help strengthen a baby’s immune system.

3. Helps in the Formation of Bone Cartilages

Vitamin B plays a vital role in the formation of bone cartilages. Since it is present in paneer in a pretty good quantity, it supports the formation function within the baby’s body.

4. Helps in Baby’s Overall Growth

Paneer contains protein and fat in good quantities. This helps give all the crucial nourishment a baby requires in the years of growth and development. The nutrients present in paneer affect the various bodily processes and body functions that help the child grow properly.

5. Promotes Healthy Hair and Skin

Since paneer contains a lot of vitamin B, fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6), as well as antioxidants, these in a combination keep the skin soft and the hair healthy, maintaining their texture and beauty.

How Much Paneer Can Be Given to a Baby?

Initially, it is best to give only a couple of small cubes to your baby once he turns 8-9 months of age. If your little one likes it and his body seems to respond well to it, you can gradually increase the quantity of paneer to normal.

How to Make Paneer at Home

You can make paneer right at home if you don’t want to buy the packaged paneer available in the market.

Ingredients

  • 1 litre of full cream milk
  • A half-cup of curd or two small spoons of lemon juice

Method

  1. Take a bowl and pour fresh milk into it.
  2. Place the bowl on low heat and let it sit there for a few minutes.
  3. When the milk comes to a rolling boil, add the curd or lemon juice to it, and stir continuously.
  4. Soon, the milk will start curdling.
  5. At this point, turn off the heat and strain the liquid and keep the paneer in a muslin cloth.
  6. Tie this cloth and hang it above a sink. The excess water inside will begin to drain.
  7. Once the water is fully drained, remove the paneer from it. Let it set on a large plate. You can also add salt if you desire. After about 30 minutes, you can either use it for consumption or refrigerate it.
  8. This paneer can be given to the baby as well. To be used the next day, it is best to keep it refrigerated.

How to Make Paneer at Home

Quick and Easy Paneer Recipes for Babies

Here are some simple paneer recipes for your little one. You can introduce these recipes in your baby’s diet once he turns 8-9 months of age.

1. Spinach and Paneer Rice

Ingredients

  • Chopped spinach – 1/2 cup
  • Cooked rice – 1/2 cup
  • Chopped paneer – 10 gms
  • Ghee – 1/2 teaspoon

How to Cook

  1. Take a pan and add a small amount of ghee to it. Follow it up with cooked rice and stir. Let it cook for a minute.
  2. Add paneer pieces, spinach leaves, some water, and let it all cook for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Turn off the flame and serve.

2. Blueberry Delight

Ingredients

  • Chopped blueberries – 4-5
  • Mashed banana – 1/2
  • Paneer – 10 gms
  • Vanilla – 1 drop
  • A pinch of cinnamon powder

How to Cook 

  1. Put all the mixtures together in the blender.
  2. Blend it all together to a consistency that is good enough for your baby.
  3. Pour it in a bowl and serve it to your baby.

3. Apple Paneer

Ingredients

  • Diced apple -1/2
  • Ground flax- 1/4 tsp
  • Paneer – 10-20 gms
  • Cinnamon powder

How to Cook

  1. Take a pan and add the apple pieces to it with some water.
  2. Heat it for a few minutes without letting the apple pieces break.
  3. Crumble the paneer in a bowl. Then add the apple pieces on it. Sprinkle some cinnamon powder.
  4. Finish it with a few ground flax and the dish is ready to serve.

4. Fruit Paneer

Ingredients

  • Chopped ripe banana -1/2
  • Small blocks of paneer – 10-20 gms
  • Ripe papaya -1/2 cup

How to Cook

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and serve it to your baby.

5. Paneer Rice Puree

Ingredients

  • Steamed fresh peas – 2-3 tsp
  • Small pieces of paneer – 10-20 gms
  • Cooked rice – 1/2 cup
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • A pinch of onion powder

How to Cook

  1. Take the peas and steam them. Keep them aside for ten to fifteen minutes.
  2. Later, add the peas, some onion powder, cooked rice, and pepper in a blender and blend it together to make a puree.
  3. Add paneer to the puree and mix it with a spoon or a fork.

6. Peach, Pear, Paneer

Ingredients 

  • Paneer – 10 gms
  • Peaches – 2
  • Pear – 1/2

How to Cook

  1. Take a bowl and mix all the ingredients well. Then serve to your baby.

7. Cauliflower and Paneer

Ingredients 

  • Cauliflower florets – 4-5
  • Paneer – 10 gms

How to Cook 

  1. Take small florets of cauliflower and steam them for ten to fifteen minutes.
  2. Once soft, allow them to cool.
  3. Take a shallow dish, place the steamed cauliflower florets in it and crumbled paneer. Sprinkle some pepper and serve it to your baby.

There are enough and more paneer dishes that are super healthy for babies and tasty too. By taking account of your baby’s age and introducing paneer slowly in his diet, you can rest assured that your baby will grow up into a healthy child and love paneer-based dishes, just like you do.

Also Read: Cow’s Milk for Babies

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