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!
‘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
On CBS’s Sunday morning this past week, Cindy Crawford was featured. We love Cindy Crawford and not just because she is a fan of Super Baby Food and appeared with Ruth Yaron on a segment of Good Morning America, but also because she’s a wonderful gal..smart, bright, caring, and a giver.
We thought it would be appropriate to share the segment of Good Morning America where Cindy teaches Charlie Gibson, and of course, the audience, how to make our favorite, Super Porridge! Enjoy!Pin It
To learn more about The White Out Campaign, you can visit Dr. Greene’s website: DrGreene.com.
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
Moms Want To Know About:
Feeding Oatmeal to their baby.
Is my 6 month old too young for oatmeal porridge?
No, he’s not too young, you can start him on oatmeal Super Porridge, just make sure it’s very smooth so he won’t choke on any lumps. Get the organic steel cut oats or just plain oatmeal flakes from the natural foods store or the part of the supermarket that has “health” foods. Quick cook oatmeal or the brands processed with sugar aren’t as healthy as plain, unprocessed oatmeal. It is perfectly normal and very common for babies to get constipated when they start eating solid foods, especially on whole grains because of the fiber.
Here’s what to do about constipation: Feed him about 2 ounces of commercial jarred baby prunes with the oatmeal. Only two ounces, though, or you’ll have poop up the back ! With each meal, offer your baby a few tablespoons of plain water in a cup. Let him get used to and like drinking plain water, not juice. Thanks for writing!Pin It
“You don’t mention phytic acid in your book (Super Baby Food), but I have read that its presence in whole grains can limit the absorption of nutrients. Do you recommend sprouting grains before grinding them for super baby porridge, or soaking? Thank you!
Great question! Actually, I sometimes do sprout my own grains before using them to bake bread or for porridge so that the phytic acid goes away and so that the nutrient content increases. I also grind my own grains into flour for baking using the Whisper Mill or the Nutrimill grain grinders. Grains must be totally dry before you use a grain mill or it gets ruined. I use an Excalibur dehydrator to dry my sprouted grains before grinding in my mill.
When soaked, the phytic acid takes a while to go away if the grains are whole kernels–about 8-12 hours. However, the grains for Super Porridge are first ground to a powder, not a fine powder, but a powder. The finer the powder, the faster the phytic acid disappears because more water comes into contact with the surface area of the powder. For well-ground flour like you would use in breads, it takes only 5 minutes of soaking to remove the phytic acid.
Grinding the grains to a course powder is perfect for Super Porridge. Much of the phytic acid goes away when boiled in water, but some may remain. Phytic acid is a phytonutrient that is good for us, so we should get some of it in our diets.
Because Super Porridge is only coarsely ground, it is low on the glycemic index scale, which is good. The lower the GI, the better the food is for us because it doesn’t shoot up blood sugar and cause the pancreas to quickly produce lots of insulin. An overworked pancreas can lead to insulin resistance and maybe even full-blown diabetes.
So the bottom line is, you can sprout your grains, but only for a day or so because otherwise they will be too difficult to grind with longer sprouts. And the grains must be totally dry before you grind them. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can dry them in a low oven- at about 200 degrees so that all bacteria that might start growing are killed.
Happy sprouting and grinding! Thanks for writing!
When you start a baby on solid food for the very time, it is not always smooth sailing. Here’s a question from a mom about starting her second baby on solid food and Ruth’s answer. Maybe YOUR feeding solid question will be answered too!
Love Super Baby Food! My first child is a terrific eater and I know it is from using your book. However baby number two is presenting a bit of a challenge. She’s 6 months and becoming really gassy after rice cereal. I don’t get it. I am still nursing and am very careful about what I ingest. We haven’t been able to really start other solids like avocado and banana because it is such a battle. Could it be the rice cereal? We were about the start the super porridge, but now I’m not so sure. Thoughts?
NO BATTLES! Wait a week and then gently offer again. Try banana well mushed and liquidy-tastes like breastmilk. Ages 6 and 7 months are for LEARNING TO EAT. Not until 8 months will you baby actually need calories from solid foods to supplement breastmilk. Wait a few days, try again, and let me know how things worked out. Never force or push! (Rice cereal and gas – I’m not surprised. I’d be willing to bet that the cereal as first food will be changed to banana some day.) Make sure your baby is getting an iron supplement and a vitamin D supplement-ask your pediatrician.
If you have any feeding solid food questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment here. Ruth would love to hear from you and to help.Pin It