Quinoa for Babies
Babies have their food; they are supposed to depend mainly on their mother’s milk and receive all the needed nutrients and minerals from there or else from other food that they are allowed to eat and which is considered safe and beneficial for their age. When it comes to some of the seeds’ types, quinoa is among the list and there are several things that should be considered when it comes to feeding it to your baby. Adults and babies are different and their stomachs accept food and digest it in a different kind of way, that is why it is always considered important for the mother to check how the baby is accepting the food her body is digesting through breastfeeding and at the same time know whether that baby is allowed to eat that food in the first place or not.
The best thing about quinoa when it comes to adults is the fact that it is easily prepared and cooked and could be even consumed and eaten as a type of food on its own; it does not always have to be part of another dish or be served next to another type of food. When it comes to the benefits, there are several things to be gained from quinoa, but there are also some side effects which should be paid attention to.
Quinoa Benefits for Babies
There are a lot of those who confuse between whether quinoa is a seed or a grain, it is important to mention that quinoa is a seed and not a grain like what a lot of people think. This seed is mostly grown in South America and has been since 5,000 years, and has always been referred to as “The Mother of all Grains” by the Incas.
Quinoa is one type of seed that carries different benefits for adults, but when it comes to those infants, it is important to consider several things along the way. Quinoa goes through several steps when it comes to the preparation phase and this is considered important because it usually comes with a bitter taste due to the saponin coat that usually covers it in order to protect the seeds from the insects. When it comes to that bitter taste, we should definitely mention that it might not be much safe for babies and kids.
The adult stomach has gone through a lot of stressful conditions and that is why it could manage different types of food like quinoa, which mainly goes back to the processed and junk food which they eat, which is not the case when it comes to babies and their digestive system which is still in its initial phase and is still growing.
Introducing the quinoa for baby, it is important to mention that they could start taking it from 8 months old, although there are those who could tolerate it before that. Even if you are thinking about adding quinoa to your baby’s diet plan, it is important to know some of the benefits which your baby’s body will manage to receive, which include being a high source of protein, good source of vitamins and minerals, and it also carries antioxidants and high content of fiber that acts like a natural laxative.
It is important to wait until eight or ten months before giving quinoa to your baby and even though the allergic reactions of quinoa in general are rare and might not happen, it is important to wait for about eight months because earlier than that the digestive system will not be able to digest this type of food. There are different health benefits of quinoa which your baby could manage to receive after eating it, and from them you will find that:
- It is High in Protein
Quinoa is one of the food types that carries high content of proteins, even though it is not considered the top out there when its protein content is compared to others, it is important to mention that the proteins in quinoa contain essential amino acids which could not be synthesized by the body and thus will need to receive them from another food source.
- It is a Good Source of Vitamins
There are different vitamin types which are considered important and beneficial for the body, when it comes to quinoa and the benefits it could manage to deliver to the body of the baby, delivering those vitamins, such as thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, folate, and vitamin B to the body is considered important and needed for the development of different area’s in the body of the baby.
- It is a Good Source of Minerals
From the different essential minerals that could be found in quinoa, there is calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and zinc. These different minerals are beneficial for the body for several reasons; they are needed for the overall development of the baby’s body. Calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus are important for the growth of the bones, the iron is good for the production of hemoglobin which in turn helps in capturing oxygen, potassium is an electrolyte with the least amount of side effects, and sodium is the main source of hypertension.
- It is a Good Source and Supply of Antioxidants
Antioxidants could be received from quinoa and that is one reason why it is always considered important and healthy for the baby to consume. Antioxidants help in fighting free radicals and at the same time they reduce the oxidative stress in the body. One of the different questions asked about free radicals and babies; these infants tend to consume much more than their bodies’ size and weight because they need to grow as early as possible, which results in higher metabolism in their bodies and this metabolism results in free radical production.
It is important to pay attention to this part because the free radicals result in cellular and DNA damage, and this could be countered by taking antioxidants.
- It Acts Like a Natural Laxative
In addition to all the important benefits mentioned above about quinoa and why they are needed for babies, it is important to mention that it also acts like a natural laxative due to the fiber content in it which is considered very high. There are two different types of fiber in quinoa; the soluble and the insoluble; the one found in quinoa is the insoluble fiber which results in free bowel movement. This smooth bowel movement will result in reducing flatulence and gas, which will always keep the digestive system of the baby healthy.
Cooking Quinoa for Baby
After knowing the different benefits that your baby might gain from eating quinoa, it is important to know that preparing and cooking it for those infants should happen in a different kind of way and there are several things to be kept in mind in order to make sure that you are not providing them with any negative side effects instead.
Quinoa baby food should go through several things and these things include:
- Preparing the Seeds Correctly
The preparation phase of the seeds is important because of the saponin coat that usually covers it. First of all, those seeds should go through the rinsing phase which happens when they are placed under the water for a couple of seconds in order to get washed – the hands are sometimes also used for help – and then getting the mesh strainer with the seeds inside it out to make sure that they have been washed correctly. In order to make sure that the saponin coat is no longer there and the bitter taste have disappeared, you could taste only one of them to make sure that it is safe for you or for the baby to eat.
Another important thing to pay attention to is to get the seeds de-hulled in order to avoid that bitter taste as well, because the coating is the thing that carries most of the bitter taste from saponin.
- Cooking the Quinoa Correctly
After passing by the first important step in preparing the quinoa, it is important to cook it correctly. Cooking the quinoa happens in the same way like cooking the rice, which means that the ratio of water to the quinoa will be 2:1 and when it comes to babies, the amount of water could be also increased to be 2.5:1. When you are cooking quinoa for yourself as an adult, it is considered safe to add any kind of broth, but if you are cooking quinoa for toddlers, it is important to avoid doing so until you know the food allergies that it might cause for him/her.
Another beneficial thing to keep in mind while you are preparing quinoa for your baby is to avoid using salt, because salt is not considered good for those babies who are less than one year old.
Quinoa for Infants
There are different things to know about quinoa when it comes to feeding it for your baby, it is not the same as adults and the digestive system of that infant will not be dealing with the food it is receiving in the same way adults do. Quinoa is not considered one of those food types that might cause a lot of allergies, but at the same time the person should be also careful because at some specific cases, it might cause some.
In order to avoid any kind of allergy especially for babies, it is important to rinse the quinoa thoroughly and never give that bitter taste the chance to enter the digestive system or the stomach of the baby. In addition to that and even after rinsing and washing the seeds, it is important to watch out for the baby’s reaction after eating quinoa in order to know whether he/she took it as safe or not.
The final tip to keep in mind is to never add any other types of food to quinoa because you will need to know the main reason behind the allergy caused for your baby and mixing things together will never give you the chance to know what the thing causing this trouble for your baby is.
There is no specific quinoa recipe for baby, but it is important to follow the tips mentioned above in the preparation and the cooking phase in order to know whether your baby will accept this type of food or else will suffer from some allergies or side effects. The benefits of quinoa work for both babies and adults, but the digestive system of that baby might not still be ready to accept quinoa and benefit from it, making it always important for the parents to cook quinoa alone, feed it to their baby, and make sure that he/she is not dealing with any side effects or any negative reactions.