Quinoa for Babies- Health Benefits and Recipes

QUINOA

Having a baby is the beginning of all good things in life. Babies are born with a want for being loved and nurtured by their parents. So, parents have the responsibility to give all possible comforts to the baby like good food, clothing, stay etc. Newborn babies are best fed on mother’s milk. After six months, normal foods can be introduced slowly in the form of purees and other easily digestible food items. One amazing option that is so full of nutrient is quinoa.

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

When Can You Introduce Quinoa To Your Baby?

In most cases, doctors recommend quinoa to babies of 8 months old and above. However, some parents feed their babies with quinoa way before they are 8 months. Consult your healthcare provider regarding when to start feeding your baby. When you serve them quinoa for the first time, make sure to give them in a small dose and don’t give them too much as the body needs 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 for your baby. The many nutrition that is found in quinoa are as follows:

100 grams of cooked Quinoa 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

Quinoa is a super food for babies and 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 Infants

The health benefits of quinoa are here:

1. Antioxidants 

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

2. Less cholesterol and high protein level

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

3High Fibre level

Mothers recommend it because it is easy to digest which reduces bloating, constipation etc. Because of the dietary fibre that is present in quinoa, it helps in bowel movements as well.

4. High protein level

The high level of protein helps in body mass.

5. Amino acid

The amino acid levels in quinoa helps with hair growth.

6. Riboflavin

Quinoa helps in building the connectivity in the tissue which helps rejuvenate the skin of your little one.

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 in running water and soak it before you use it for your baby food. Proper wash will rinse 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 people.

How to Cook Quinoa for a Baby?

Cooking quinoa for babies should be done with great care. Quinoa should be dehulled before use due to the bitter taste of the seed. There are different ways in which you can prepare quinoa for your baby. Make sure to make it tasty based on the likes of your little one. If he has a sweet tooth, you can add fruits. Personalize the recipes with ingredients your little one loves to eat.

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. Check them out.

1. Simple Quinoa Recipe

What you need

  • Quinoa
  • Water

SIMPLE QUINOA

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 WITH VEGETABLES

How to make

  • Wash quinoa in running water
  • Soak in water for 2 hours
  • Boil quinoa in water for 30 minutes
  • Let it cool
  • Boil any of the vegetable /Meat
  • Grind cooked quinoa, water, and vegetable or meat into a puree
  • Now it’s ready to serve

3. Quinoa Porridge

What you need

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

QUINOA PORRIDGE

How to make

  • Add the powder to the cup of water.
  • Place it on the stove and 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
  • chicken or vegetable
  • Peas

QUINOA AND PEAS

How to make

  • On by one add all the ingredients to a saucepan and boil it.
  • Keep the flame in simmer for some time
  • Don’t make it extremely thick.

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 in simmer until the water is absorbed.
  • Now add the mashed bananas also.
  • Add a pinch of cinnamon for the flavour.
  • You can make it as a puree and serve it.

There are some recipes that you will find on the internet that might not be suitable for babies. So keep an eye out for recipes that are meant only for babies specifically.

Point to Note

  • There are a few things that your baby does not need. Make sure to avoid salt and too much sugar. At this stage, you don’t need to encourage artificially sweet things as it is not very healthy.
  • Sometimes babies can get bored by eating the same things 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. So make it look good by serving it in a cute bowl and also by neatly dressing it with some fruits.

You might be wondering – Is quinoa good for babies? With all of the benefits of quinoa, it is surely beneficial for your baby. It is a wholesome food ingredient, and you can make it in a way that makes your little one happy.

Also Read:  First Foods for Baby