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Tasty Quinoa Recipes For Babies And Its Health Benefits

6 min read
Tasty Quinoa Recipes For Babies And Its Health Benefits

Tasty Quinoa Recipes For Babies And Its Health Benefits

The biggest happiness for the parents is to see a healthy and happy baby. Parents are often of the opinion that as babies they need bland food so most of them start the babies on bananas, rice, mashed carrots, etc, but what parents do not know is that babies are ready to experience all types of flavor and not just bland food. One should introduce the baby with all sorts of foods with different flavors and textures as healthy foods given early in life to the babies will help them make healthy and mindful choices and not too fussy with food.
Quinoa is getting popular in today’s time and should make to the list of first foods of the baby. Exposing babies to millets and quinoa helps them with oral development and introduces them to different textures as well as flavors. Quinoa is nutrition enriched and very good and healthy for the babies.

Why Is Quinoa A Great First Food?

Quinoa is one of the nutritious grains that are ideal for the healthy development of the baby. It is an ideal choice due to the following reasons:

  • Can be digested easily.
  • An inclusive and balanced protein diet.
  • It is enriched with vitamins and minerals.
  • It is gluten-free and organic.
  • It is non-GMO
  • It has no added sugars, salts, or preservatives

When To Introduce Quinoa To Babies?

The appropriate age for starting quinoa is when the baby is about 8 -10months. Some babies can even bear the taste of it when they are about seven months. However, it is always best to wait till 8 months as the digestive system becomes better by then. Another important thing is to consult the doctor before the introduction of any kinds of solids.

Quinoa And Its Nutrition Facts

Quinoa does not fall in the same league as any other cereal grains. It is the seed of green vegetables that looks like spinach and can be cooked more in the form of grains and can replace rice. The seeds of the quinoa are very tiny and resemble millet. The widely available quinoa is ivory in color but can even be brown, pink or black.
Given below is the nutritional value of Quinoa.

Nutritional Value Of Quinoa

100 grams of cooked quinoa contains 120 calories. Around 72% of cooked quinoa will be water. It is rich in carbohydrates (around 21%). While about 83% of carbs consists of starch, around 4% consists of sugar. It is an excellent source of fiber. Its fiber level is relatively higher than brown rice. It is rich in protein and beats most of the other cereals in its protein level. Actually, this super food provides all the nine essential amino acids. It is a good source of antioxidants and minerals as well.

Health Benefits Of Quinoa For Babies

Health Benefits Of Quinoa For Babies

Health Benefits Of Quinoa For Babies

Since quinoa is enriched with high nutrient value, it is good for adults as well as babies. It is loaded with fiber, iron, calcium, folate, etc. The baby tends to grow at a faster pace in the second year so giving proper diet becomes very important. Few advantages of adding quinoa to the baby’s food list are as below:

  • Contains Essential Amino Acids: The nutrient value of quinoa is more than any other cereal and it comprises of all nine essential amino acids, so it is a complete protein pack.
  • Full Of Vitamins: Quinoa is enriched with vitamins which are crucial for the physical as well as the mental development. It even offers energy due to the presence of niacin, riboflavin, etc.
  • Great Source Of Minerals: Quinoa is an excellent source of iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, sodium and phosphorous, etc. which are needed for the baby for bone development, eyes and brain development, overall for the inclusive growth.
  • Provides Antioxidants: Quinoa is enriched with antioxidants that can help in preventing the damage of DNA.
  • Supports Digestion: Quinoa is loaded with fiber. Therefore, it is an excellent laxative. Consumption of quinoa keeps the digestive system to function properly.
  • Carbohydrate-rich and low GI: Since It has a good amount of carbohydrate but low glycaemic index (GI), it can lead to a resulting in continuous energy being released which is required by the child for playing as well as learning.

How To Select And Store Quinoa?

Quinoa is no doubt a great choice for nutritional food. It has its own benefits as highlighted above. But we also need to know the right method of selecting quinoa and even the process to store it. Given below are some of the pointers that can help in selecting and storing Quinoa:

  • Babies should be given quinoa flakes or quinoa flour.
  • Always check the expiry date on the pack before buying as it is organic and rinsed beforehand.
  • Monitor its state if not being used.
  • Quinoa can be ground in a powder form either in a processor or a grinder as well.
  • The quinoa powder can be prepared to smooth-textured baby food.
  • Quinoa can be stored for months together in a dry and cool place and in a container, which is airtight or even in the refrigerator.
  • In case buying pre-milled whole grain, always look for small quantity and consume before they become rotten.

How To Cook Quinoa For Your Baby?

Quinoa as a highly nutritional choice for kids as well as adults need proper cooking else all its nutrients can destroy so let’s see the steps that we need to follow, and they are:

  • It is important to rinse and toast the quinoa before starting to cook them as it cuts down the bitterness.
  • It is important to thoroughly rinse the quinoa by adding it to a mesh with running water so that the bubbles start disappearing.
  • By adding the required amount of quinoa to a pan and stirring on medium flame, it becomes brown cutting down the bitterness.
  • Quinoa also swells just like rice, so one cup of quinoa needs 2-3 cups of water.
  • The cooked quinoa can be made in a puree form by adding milk or water.
  • Soaking the quinoa increases the minerals available and even expands the level of antioxidants.

Amazing Quinoa Recipes For Babies

Amazing Quinoa Recipes For Babies

Amazing Quinoa Recipes For Babies

After understanding its method of cooking, let us discuss a few interesting recipes as well. These are ideal for babies who are open to trying something special each time.

1. Quinoa Porridge

  • Mix ¼ cup quinoa powder with a cup or two of water
  • Start cooking and stirring till it is smooth and has no lumps.
  • Switch off the flame once you get the desired consistency.
  • One can even choose to add the porridge with fruits, nuts, yogurt to bring more flavor.

2. Creamy Quinoa and Bananas

  • Mix 1 cup cooked quinoa, ½ mashed banana, ½ cup plain whole milk yogurt in a pan over medium flame till about 10 minutes.
  • Once mixed well, remove from the flame.
  • Get it to the room temperature and serve.

3. Creamy Quinoa Breakfast

  • Steam 1 apple and 1 pear that has been peeled, cored as well as diced.
  • Puree it with 1 drop of vanilla in a blending machine.
  • Cover and cook on low flame till 5 minutes.
  • Add ½ cup yogurt to the puree.
  • Finally, add ¼ cup cooked quinoa and stir.
  • Serve warm

Tips To Add Quinoa To Baby Food

Quinoa is a choice for a nutritional variant, yet its taste is not borne by all. Apart from cooking it by itself or adding with fruits and vegetables, there are few tips that can be used to add quinoa to the baby food and they are as follows:

  • One can add a small stick of cinnamon to the water in which quinoa is being cooked, this gives a unique flavor to it.
  • Quinoa with milk or water in the same ratio can be mixed for preparing a sweet dish.
  • Coconut water or apple juice can even be added to cooked quinoa to make it tastier
  • Cooked quinoa can even be added to banana as well as blueberries.

Thus, one should remember to familiarise the baby with the taste of quinoa in the early stages of life to be able to enjoy it later and make healthy and mindful choices that are good for healthy development. The key is “sooner the better”. The healthier choices or different tastes the child experiences in the early years of life, the better it is for him and he ends up with healthy habits which impact his life.

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