Quinoa for Babies- Health Benefits and Recipes

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Quinoa for Babies- Health Benefits and Recipes

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Having a healthy baby is the beginning of all good things in life. Newborn babies are best fed on mother’s milk for the first six months, and after that, normal foods can be introduced slowly in the form of purees and other easily digestible food items. Another amazing food parents can give a try is quinoa, which is a nutrient-rich option perfect for kids during their growing years.

Pronounced as “keen-wah”, it is a seed that has been growing in South America for thousands of years. Historical data states that it was the Incas that gave quinoa its name because they believed it gave them good health. However, they believed that quinoa was a grain and did not know that it is a seed.

You cannot miss this article if you wish to know more about this superfood and how it benefits your little one. Let’s begin with understanding when is the right time to introduce quinoa to your little one.

When Can You Introduce Quinoa to Your Baby?

In most cases, doctors recommend quinoa to babies 8 months old and above. However, some parents feed it to their babies way before they are 8 months old. Consulting your healthcare provider to know when your baby is ready for quinoa is highly recommended. When its time to introduce this superfood, make sure you feed a small dose for your little one’s body to get used to this new food item.

Nutritional Value of Quinoa

Quinoa is a superfood which can be given to babies in many different ways. It is a nutritionally packed food that is high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Quinoa also has antioxidants and a good amount of fibre content, which is a natural laxative to avoid constipation in babies, too. The many nutrients that are found in 100 grams of cooked quinoa are as follows:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 120
Water 72 %
Protein 4.4 g
Carbs 21.3 g
Sugar 0.9 g
Fibre 2.8 g
Fat 1.9 g
Saturated 0.23 g

Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/quinoa#section1

This superfood for babies gives them everything required for their perfect growth. It has many amazing benefits and is considered to be wholesome food for little ones.

Amazing Health Benefits of Quinoa for Babies

Here’s what your baby will gain from quinoa if it is made a regular part of his diet.

1. Antioxidants 

Quinoa has high levels of antioxidants, which is a requirement in the human body.

2. Less Cholesterol and High Protein

Dietitians recommend quinoa for babies because it has very less cholesterol, unlike other protein-rich foods.

3High Fibre level

Mothers recommend quinoa because it is easy to digest, and it helps reduce bloating, constipation etc. as the dietary fibre in it helps in bowel movements.

4. High Protein

The high level of protein helps in muscle growth and building immunity.

5. Amino Acid

The amino acid levels in quinoa help with hair growth, tissue repair, and also provide strength to the baby.

6. Riboflavin

Quinoa helps in building connectivity in the tissue, which helps rejuvenate your little one’s skin.

Precautions to Take While Giving Quinoa to Your Young Child

  • It is important that the quinoa you use is dehulled. Most of the packets that you buy must have dehulled quinoa. However, there are times you need to be careful because if the quinoa is not dehulled, it can’t be edible.
  • The hull in quinoa has saponins which makes it quite bitter. Once you buy quinoa, wash it under running water and soak it before you use it for your baby food. A proper wash will help get rid of all the bitterness.
  • Do not use salt when you are preparing quinoa for your baby. Doctors say that it is not a requirement for your little one.
  • Quinoa for baby allergies is something you need to watch out for. Like other seeds, quinoa can also cause allergic reactions in some babies.

How to Cook Quinoa for a Baby

Cooking quinoa for babies should be done with great care. It should be dehulled and rinsed thoroughly before use to get rid of its bitter taste. There are different ways to prepare quinoa for babies. Make sure to make it tasty based on the likes of your little one. If he has a sweet tooth, you can add fruits, too. Personalise the recipes with ingredients your little one loves to eat.

Here are some recipes you may want to try for your baby.

Delicious Quinoa Recipe for Babies 

There are many recipes available based on your child’s likes and also based on what you have in your kitchen. Here are some very easy recipes that babies tend to enjoy. Experiment with the quantities according to the availability of the ingredients, your preference or your child’s tastebuds.

1. Simple Quinoa Recipe

What you need

  • Quinoa
  • Water

Simple Quinoa Recipe

How to make

  • Wash quinoa in running water.
  • Soak in water for 2 hours.
  • Boil quinoa in water for 30 minutes.
  • Let it cool.
  • Grind quinoa and water into a puree.
  • Now, it’s ready to serve.

2. Quinoa Recipe With Vegetable or Meat

What you need

  • Quinoa
  • Water
  • Any vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, carrots or even meat.

Quinoa Recipe With Vegetable or Meat

How to make

  • Wash quinoa in running water.
  • Soak it in water for 2 hours.
  • Boil quinoa in water for 30 minutes.
  • Let it cool.
  • Boil the vegetable/meat.
  • Grind cooked quinoa, water, and vegetable/meat into a puree and serve.

3. Quinoa Porridge

What you need

  • Quinoa powder – 1/4 cup
  • Water – 1 to 2 cups

Quinoa Porridge

How to make

  • In a bowl, take a cup of water.
  • Add the powder and mix it well.
  • Pour it into a pan and keep it on the stovetop.
  • whisk it while you cook it so that there are no lumps
  • Once you get the right consistency for your child, turn it off.
  • You can mix the quinoa porridge for babies with fruits to make it tasty.

4. Quinoa & Peas 

What you need

  • Cooked quinoa
  • Cooked chicken or vegetable
  • Peas
  • Water

Quinoa & Peas 

How to make

  • Take all the ingredients in a saucepan and add enough water to let the peas boil. Remember the quinoa and the chicken/vegetables are boiled already.
  • Keep the flame on medium-low and let it simmer.
  • Don’t make it extremely thick.
  • Once it is ready, you may serve it as it is for or grind it to make a puree.

5. Quinoa Fruity Feast

What you need

  • Quinoa – ¼ cup
  • Water – ½ cup
  • Raisins – 1 tbsp
  • Banana, mashed – ½
  • Finely diced apple
  • Cinnamon

Quinoa Fruity Feast

How to make

  • Take a saucepan and boil some water in it.
  • Add the quinoa and stir it well.
  • Allow the mix to boil.
  • After a couple of minutes reduce the flame.
  • Now add the raisins and the apple, and allow it to simmer for a few more minutes.
  • Keep it on simmer until the water is absorbed.
  • Now add the mashed bananas also.
  • Add a pinch of cinnamon for flavour.
  • You can make it as a puree and serve it.

When searching for quinoa recipes, pay close attention to whether they are for babies. There are some interesting recipes on the internet that might not be suitable for babies.

Points to Note

  • Avoid salt and too much sugar when making quinoa recipes for your baby. At this stage, you don’t need to encourage artificially sweet foods as they are not very healthy for your little one.
  • Sometimes babies can get bored with eating the same thing every single day. You can try out different recipes every other week so that your baby is not bored over time. The best thing about quinoa is that you don’t need to follow one recipe. You can alter based on what works best.
  • Make it look attractive. At times the look of porridge can make your child quite fussy. He will simply not want to eat even though it tastes well. Therefore, make it look good by serving it in a cute bowl and also by neatly dressing it with some fruits.

Now you know that quinoa is good for babies. Your child can surely benefit from this superfood as it is wholesome and highly nutritious. However, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider to strike out any doubts or concerns you may have regarding feeding quinoa to your child. Once you have the go-ahead, make some of the recipes given above and slowly introduce the superfood into your baby’s diet.

Also Read:  First Foods for Baby

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