Quinoa, a seed, is a complete protein perfect for baby food
In my last blog post I covered chia seeds, flaxseeds, and tahini (seasame seeds) and revealed how they may be prepared for baby food. I saved another seed for it’s own blog post becasue of the sheer overwhelming healthy, nutritive value of it…You might have guesssed I am talking about quinoa.
Quinoa, commonly referred to as a grain is actually a seed! It is a very special seed. Quinoa’s roots are Incan and its nutritive value, particularly its protein value is out of this world. It is considered a complete protein (all of the essential amino acids are represented and in correct proportions) and 1/2 cup will fulfill a child’s daily protein needs.
Quinoa fun facts:
- Quinoa is the seed of the Chenopdium or Goosefoot plant.
- Quinoa is pronounced “Keen-wah”
- Quinoa has a mild and slightly nutty flavor
- When quinoa is cooked whole it has the texture of couscus
- Beets, spinach, and swiss chard are all relatives of quinoa
- Quinoa varieties include pale seeds, red seeds, and black seeds
- Quinoa can be toasted, sprouted, grinded and then cooked or cooked whole.
For a baby, the healthy effects of eating quinoa are fantastic as you may have already guessed. I suggest grinding the quinoa to a powder, just as I suggest preparing super porridge brown rice cereal or super porridge oatmeal. Cook the powder (1 cup ungrounded) in two cups of boiling water, whisking throughout the cooking process to prevent lumps. As always, you may cook the quinoa whole and then blend to desired consistency for your 8 month old. Mixing the quinoa porridge with fruit, vegetables, or yogurt is always a good idea.
Unprepared quinoa should be stored in a cool dry place. Quinoa super porridge may be frozen. Moms have had some terrific results with freezing quinoa but the defrost time may be a longer than with super porridge. You may also prepare a few 1/2 cup batches and place in the fridge for a few days at a time. There are unlimited baby food recipes that you can create using Quinoa. Have you had any luck preparing quinoa for your baby? Share your recipe with me!
Seeds are a super healthy part of your baby’s Super Food Diet
Seeds may be the very last food on a parent’s list when considering first solid foods for their baby and then later, their toddler. They might want take another look at seeds and add them to the very top of their list! Seeds are jammed packed with precious nutrients that can provide an easy healthy boost to any meal.
The history of the seed
It makes sense that seeds are chock full of goodies. Think about it. If a seed is placed in the ground, it grows! If a seed is placed in water, it sprouts! Nature must have put a concentrated store of nutrients in the seed, which can grow a new plant with no soil and nothing more than plain water. The seed is the nucleus of a plant, the part that maintains survival of the species, and the part that is most important to nature. If there is a variation and lack of nutrients in the soil, the other plant parts suffer at the expense of the seed. In infertile soil, the roots forage for every trace nutrient they can find in order to first form the seed. The seed is life itself! Fascinating, is it not?
How to add seeds to your baby’s prepared food
There are many seeds that you could add to your child’s diet. I would like to share three in this post: chia seeds, seasame seeds (in the form of tahini), and flax seeds. Most pediatricians agree that you can add these three seeds (one of a time, of course) to your baby’s diet at eight months of age. Check with your pediatrican before feeding as always. I suggest grinding chia seeds and flax seeds immediately before serving to your baby, as the unground seed could be a choking hazard and the most nutitinonal value will be delivered when the seeds are ground. As well, seeds become rancid quickly so best to grind and serve!
Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, and Tahini (seasame seeds in paste form)
Chia Seed Nutritional Value
Chia seeds have become very popular and it is no wonder. Just some of the nutritional benefits of chia seeds include: Omega 3 Fatty Acid, anti-oxidants, fiber, and protein. Grind chia seeds to a fine powder and sprinkle on your baby’s yogurt, oatmeal super porridge, and atop soft or pureed fruit.
Flax seeds contain omega 3 fats, manganese, Vitamin B1 and antioxidant properties, just to name a few of its goodies. I recommend grinding flax seeds in a blender immediately before feeding and then add to scrambled eggs, yogurt, pancakes, etc.
Tahini (Seasame Seeds in paste form)
Tahini touts iron, calcium, phosphorous, zinc, B1, and dietary fiber as a few of it’s beneficial nutrients. Since tahini is sesame seeds ground into a butter it is super convenient to easily add to your baby’s yogurt, super porridge, practically anything that you can add a spread to!
If you have experience feeding seeds to YOUR baby, share what you have found works best. What other foods can you stir ground seeds into?
‘Tis the season for apples, that is for sure! Apple puree is a terrifc choice for a first food as part of a healthy Super Baby Food Diet. Apples are so nutritious. You can feed apple puree to baby starting from 6 months.
Apples are steeped in vitamins and minerals……They don’t say “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away” for no reason!
Livestrong.com tells us that apples are a good source of vitamin C. Our bodies “needs vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, to synthesize collagen, a component of tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, skin and cartilage. Vitamin C also helps repair and maintain bones and teeth and helps wounds to heal. As an antioxidant, vitamin C protects DNA by reducing the harmful effects of free radicals, which are unstable molecules that help age the body and contribute to the development of diseases.” All pretty good reasons to eat apples, right?
To begin making apple puree for your baby choose from these sweeter apples:
Golden delicious, Red Delicious, Braeburn and/or Gala apples. Honeycrisp and empire work, too!
Select Apples that are smooth without bruises and very firm…no yielding when pressed!
Remember that apples are part of the “dirty dozen” (pesticide risk) according to the EWG so an organic choice is best!
Apple Puree for Baby
- Wash and Peel 2 Medium sized apples
- Core and chopped apple into pieces
- Place apple pieces in covered pot with 1 1/2 tablespoons of water
- Cook over low-medium heat for 4 minutes
- Pour apple pieces and water / juice into blender to Puree
You can freeze puree using the Food Cube Method for up to two months.
Serve apple puree alone as part of a super meal or add to super porridge!
What is your favorite way to pair apple puree with other foods for your baby? Have you ever tried to pair apple puree with a vegetable?
Oatmeal is a super healthy whole grain and a terrific first baby food. With recent concerns about arsenic levels in white and brown rice, oatmeal is a great choice as a Super Porridge baby food base. Oatmeal for baby food differs from oatmeal that you might make for yourself as an instant breakfast on the run. Oatmeal for baby is comprised of whole grain oats that look similar to brown rice grains or old-fashioned rolled oat flakes. Oat flakes are made from whole grain oats that have been steamed and flattened.
Whole grain oats have fiber, calcium, protein and vitamin b vitamins. It is often not an allergen and has been found to relieve constipation in babies. You can find rolled oats or “oat groats” at your local health food store and more recently (hurray!) in the organic section of your grocery store. Bob’s Red Mill is a brand that carries groats and rolled oats and can be purchased online. I have recently seen this brand on the end of grocery isles.
Below, I describe the preparation of Oatmeal Super Porridge appropriate to feed your baby at 6 months old as part of the Super Baby Food Diet. Adding a bit of mashed babana and or yogurt can boost the nutritional value of the Oatmeal Super Porridge. At 9 months, you could also add the new favorite ”super green” – steamed, puréed Kale.
To Prepare Super Porridge with Oatmeal:
➢ Place a cup of water on the stove to boil
➢ While it is heating put 1/4 cup of rolled oats or oat groats in the blender and grind to a fine powder, approximately 2 minutes.
➢ Whisk the oat powder into the water and let it sit over low heat for 10 minutes. Whisk frequently to prevent lumps. Add breast milk or formulas to reach the appropriate consistency for your baby and serve.
➢ Select kale that is loose and not in plastic bags, if at all possible
➢ Wash each leaf thoroughly under cold water
➢ Discard unwanted leaves
➢ Remove stems
➢ Steam leaves for 5 minutes, reserving the liquid
➢ Place pieces in blender with some reserved liquid
➢ Purée away!
➢ At this point in preparation, it would be perfect to add the puréed kale to a stainless steel ice cube tray for freezing for later use.
A word on kale. Kale is, in my opinion, the most super of the Super Green Veggies. Kale has so many wonderful nutrients including fiber, calcium, Vitamin B6, magnesium, Vitamins A, C and K, copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.Its strong flavor makes Oatmeal Super Porridge perfect to mix with it.
You can add almost any age-appropriate food to Oatmeal Super Porridge. I am interested in your “blending” discoveries. What combinations have worked for you and your baby?
Recently, rice has been found to contain arsenic. There is plenty of information online, and you’ll find that the amount of arsenic in different types of rice varies greatly. Although doctors on TV and other sources have been telling us it’s still OK to still eat rice, why take the chance–especially with our babies! I recommend not eating any rice when there are so many other whole grains available. That goes for any foods containing rice–infant cereal, breakfast cereal, brown rice syrup, cooked rice, granola with rice, rice milk, etc.–read the ingredients list on the label.
A healthy diet is about variety. Just as babies (and adults) should eat a variety of organic fruits and veggies to help ensure we get a vast array of nutrients, we should eat a variety of organic whole grains and legumes (beans, peas, lentils). You shouldn’t feed carrots, and only carrots. to your baby for veggies and you shouldn’t feed only brown rice for whole grains.
The Super Baby Food Diet is about eating a vast array of healthy organic whole foods. Quinoa, millet, and oats are other super whole grains recommended for Super Porridge, as well as those listed in the Super Baby Book on page 222. Page 235 has a list of legumes. On page 215, see my tips for mixing several whole grains and legumes together to ensure your baby will have a variety of these foods in their high-protein Super Porridge (2 parts grains + 1 part legumes). Make Super Porridge even more healthy by sprinkling freshly-ground seeds and nuts (if your baby has no allergies) into cooked Super Porridge. (Freshly-ground immediately before feeding because once seeds and nuts are cracked open, their super healthy oils/fats start becoming rancid.) See Page 135 for a list of seeds and nuts. If you can’t find these foods in your supermarket, visit your local natural foods store. You can also find these foods online; you’ll have to pay shipping, but you might find it’s worth it when you consider your time and energy, since you don’t have to use gas and bundle up baby or get a sitter. (I always buy from www.BreadBeckers.com, a website you can trust for only the highest quality foods.) You may even want to join a food coop to buy in bulk and save $.
Parents who are concerned because they have been feeding large amounts of brown rice to their babies should talk with their pediatricians. Rice is one of the grains that is gluten-free, therefore many people might be eating it frequently. The American Academy of Pediatrics has information about arsenic at http://www.aap.org; search for “arsenic.” We should expect more information about arsenic in rice as more studies are completed.Pin It
Dr Greene.com recently asked Ruth to be a special guest perspectives blogger on their informational website. Ruth was more than happy to provide 5 terrific blog posts sharing all kinds of great, detailed information on finger foods and tips for getting started with finger foods for babies and toddlers. In case you missed it, here is a description and a link to each fantastic blog post.
Super Baby Food is happy to be a part of the Dr. Greene team! Be sure to check out some of the other terrific information on Dr. Greene’s website.Pin It
To learn more about The White Out Campaign, you can visit Dr. Greene’s website: DrGreene.com.
Martha introduced Ruth and prepared a recipe for baby “pink applesauce” that is now featured on her website. We thought it would be fun to ask Ruth a couple of questions about her visit with Martha. Her answers may surprise you. The answers are also a great conversation starter for those holiday dinners when you need something witty to contribute to the conversation.
You can visit the Martha Stewart Website for more information on the episode that featured Super Baby Food here.
Question for Ruth:
Can you tell us one thing about Martha Stewart that you didn’t know before you met her?
I never knew she was a professional model. She has photos on the walls in the hallway behind the stage. She is as beautiful in person as she is on TV and in the pictures of her in the media and in her books. She is a natural beauty.
Question for Ruth:
What was your favorite part of meeting Martha Stewart?
Meeting THE Martha Stewart. I loved watching all the activity behind the scenes while the show was being taped. Every one of her staff was professional, very kind, and organized and they all worked together perfectly, like a well-oiled machine. They were all very capable and extremely efficient without rushing anyone, and they had a great sense of humor and an easiness about them. They enjoyed me kidding around saying stuff like, “What do you say when you meet Martha Stewart? ‘Hello, your majesty!’ with a curtsy? (which I did NOT say to her, by the way).” It was really an all-around fabulous experience and I had fun being a part of it.
How is that for some Martha Stewart Trivia? Martha was, indeed, a model for Chanel. Check out this link which shows the proof!
Thanks to all the Super Baby Food fans who tuned into the show and told all their friends. You are the best!Pin It
In a recent comment a mom asks about dessicated liver. We thought it was a great question and that we would ask Ruth for her thoughts…
The mom asks:
I really love your book. Thanks for such a great work.
I’d like to start using desiccated liver powder for my 8 months old daughter but I cant find the powder version of it, all I can find is the tablet version.
Can you recommend a brand/company who makes powder form of the desiccated liver?
Desiccated liver is a powdered nutritional supplement made from dried liver. It is high in vitamin B12 (a nutrient sometimes claimed to be lacking in vegetarian diets) and other B vitamins. You can introduce desiccated liver to your baby beginning at about 8 months. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon to your baby’s Super Porridge daily or several times a week to make up for whatever you feel your baby would be missing in a meatless diet.
I recommend the Now brand. Please go light on the liver powder so baby does not get too much iron. The nutrition section of Super Baby Food discusses the daily recommended amounts of iron. The iron is “heme” iron and is very well-absorbed, unlike iron from plants. You can also buy the tablets and crush them by putting them in ziploc bag and crushing with a spoon
Check back at the Super Baby Food Blog for more information for feeding your baby the very best!Pin It
We had a blog request for the Egg-less Salad Spread recipe found in Super Baby Food p.317. We are happy to oblige.
Egg-less Salad Spread
1 pound tofu, crumbled
1/4 cup tofu mayonnaise
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 green pepper, minced
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1/2 medium onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon tamari