14 Spices in Baby Food — What, When and How to Add?
India is well known for its exotic and tempting spices and these spices are heavily traded all over the world. They usually are seeds, fruits, bark or roots of a plant that is used for a variety of purposes. In addition, spices contain medicinal properties and help in treating several ailments.
Including spices in our diet is an easy task. But when it comes to your baby’s diet, it becomes more of a tedious task. Your baby’s feeding timeline is highlighted below:
- 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding
- 7 to 9 months weaning period
- 10 to 12 months solid diet
What Spices can I give my baby?
Babies require a good portion of food for their overall development. Spices act as a protective food for your baby’s immune system as they contain medicinal properties.
We have listed few types of spices that can be used in your baby’s food. Read more about their details further in the article.
When can my baby have Spices with his food?
So the main question on parents’ minds is when would be an appropriate time to introduce spices into their baby’s diet.
Spices are of different kinds including hot ones, aromatic ones, mild ones and more. So once your baby jumps onto complementary feeding, then you can include a pinch of spice in your baby’s food.
Mild and aromatic spices like cinnamon, coriander, mint, cardamom, saffron, turmeric and nutmeg can be introduced after 6 to 7 months in small amounts. But now the main question arises, how to introduce spices? Adding a pinch of mild spices in baby food such as puree and cerelac can solve the purpose. Rest all spices such as garlic, ginger, black pepper, star anise, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and cumin are good to be given after 9 months.
Every spice profile stands different in the case of your baby’s diet. Incorporating them in appropriate amounts is necessary, as less won’t serve the purpose and excess can be harmful. The benefits and various ways to incorporate different spices into your baby’s diet are mentioned below:
1) Cumin — Jeera
Cumin is what our moms call ‘Jeera’, the most consumed tiny flavoring seeds of India. It can be incorporated in baby foods when their weaning period has begun, at around 9 months of age. Cumin comforts your baby with a lot of benefits.
- Helps in treating colic
- Supports digestion
- Fights cold and cough
- Prevents infections in the gastrointestinal tract
- Produces sound sleep in babies
- Increases hemoglobin count
Recipe — Pumpkin-cumin puree
Ingredients: 1 cup chopped Pumpkin, Cumin
- Take a fresh pumpkin. Peel and chop it into small chunks.
- Prepare one cup of chopped pumpkin.
- Now add 1 teaspoon of cumin in it.
- Add them in a blender and puree it.
2) Turmeric — Haldi
Turmeric is a mild spice obtained from the root of the turmeric plant. It is rich in Iron, vitamin B6, potassium, and magnesium. It can be incorporated in baby foods when their weaning period has begun, at around 7–8 months. An aromatic spice that provides your baby the following benefits.
- Acts as an antioxidant
- Antibacterial properties to fight infections
- Improves bowel movements
- Strengthens immune system
- Protects from diseases and infections
- Treats eczema
Recipe — Baby Dal
Ingredients: ½ cup dal, ½ cup veggies, salt turmeric
- Soak dal for 30 minutes and chop veggies.
- Add dal and veggies like bottle gourd, carrot, and onion.
- Add a pinch of salt and turmeric.
- Pressure cook them till 2 whistles.
3) Mustard Seeds — Sarso seeds
Being a strong spice with a pungent smell, mustard seeds can be given at 8 months. It helps your baby in a lot of ways:
Mustard can be used to season dal, sambar or soups. These spices are to be incorporated in small amounts just to make your baby’s food flavorful.
How to season baby food?
- Heat half spoon ghee in a pan, add mustard seeds in it and let them crackle.
- Now take a strainer.Keep half of the strainer dipped in the baby food.
- Add the seasoning of ghee and mustard in the strainer and let its flavor infuse in it.
- Make sure you don’t leave any mustard seeds in the sambar or babyfood.
- Tap the strainer on the container to get rid of baby food sticking on it.
- Remove the strainer with mustard seeds in it, this way you can season your baby’s food.
4) Coriander — Dhania
Coriander is a herb as well as a spice. Its leaves can be used to garnish the dishes and soups while the seeds are used to flavor food just like other spices. It can be given when your baby has started his weaning period, at around 8 months. It is an aromatic spice that makes your baby’s food flavorful.
- Help prevent gastric disorders
- Have antimicrobial properties
- Aids in digestion
- Acts as an antiseptic
- Treats diarrhoea
- Helps in relieving gas problems in babies
Recipe — Dal
Ingredients: ½ cup yellow dal, 1 tomato, salt, turmeric, coriander.
- Soak dal in 1 cup water for about 30 minutes.
- Add finely chopped tomato in Dal.
- Add a pinch of salt, turmeric, and coriander in it.
- Pressure cook it for two whistles.
- Mash the dal and veggies using a fork.
5) Fenugreek — Methi
Fenugreek leaves are also used to add flavor in the dishes whereas its seeds are used as a spice to season dishes. Due to its pungent smell, it can be given after 8 months, when baby’s weaning period has begun. Its benefits include:
Recipe — Khichdi
Ingredients: Half spoon ghee, 6–7 fenugreek seeds, half cup Dalia, finely chopped veggies, salt
- Add ghee, put fenugreek seeds in it.
- Add dalia, veggies and a pinch of salt.
- Add 1 cup water to it.
- Pressure cook it for 3 whistles.
6) Garlic — Lehsun
Garlic bulb is divided into fleshy sections called cloves. It is consumed for cooking as well as medicinal purposes. Once your baby has started with weaning period around 7 to 8 months, garlic can be included in baby’s diet. Enriched with Vitamin-B6 and Vitamin C, it helps your baby in the following ways:
- Helps improve digestion
- Fights common cold, cough, and infections
- Supports immune system
- Helps to relieve stomach ache
- Prevents stomach infections
- Have Antimicrobial properties
Recipe: Carrot-Garlic puree
Ingredients: 1 whole chopped carrot, 1 clove garlic
- Take one whole carrot. Peel and chop it.
- Now take chopped carrot and garlic.
- Add them into a blender and puree them.
- You can add milk to lighten its consistency.
Read the complete article on 14 Spices in Baby Food here.
Originally published at www.babygogo.in on June 23, 2017.