How to Improve the Flavor of Baby Food

In light of the holidays I have another guest post for you.  The holidays are a time of spending time with family and wonderful foods. There is no reason your baby can’t enjoy the same foods you do.  If you are traveling, forget packing a bunch of baby food jars which are made with questionable ingredients (you may be surprised to see how many contain sugar as their first ingredient).  Below Adrienne, from Mercola.com will explain how best to introduce new foods and how to flavor your babies food with some healthy herbs and spices.

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How to Improve the Flavor of Baby Food

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People usually add spices and herbs to their dishes to enhance the flavor. However, these ingredients also improve the nutritional value of food.

Because of this, some parents consider feeding their baby dishes mixed with spices and herbs once they are ready to consume solid food.

Providing herb-infused baby dishes can introduce your child to different tastes early and allow her to experience many health benefits that spices and herbs have to offer. Both herbs and spices are great sources of nutrients that can contribute to your child’s health. At the same time, consuming spices can help babies get used to food seasoned with natural ingredients instead of processed foods loaded with sugar and preservatives.

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The Four-Day Wait – How to Introduce Spices to Your Baby

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You should not immediately mix spices and herbs to your baby’s food – it should be done gradually. Nursing mothers who consume spicy food can introduce ingredients through breast milk. However, doctors recommend waiting until eight months before adding spices to your baby’s diet due to the possibility of allergies.

The idea is to add these spices one at a time and in very minute amounts. After introducing one spice to your baby, you should wait at least four days (or as many as six days) to use another. This is to check if your baby has any allergic reactions.

Other spices and herbs you can introduce your infant to include garlic, oregano, cinnamon, rosemary, and turmeric. You can also use hot spices, but you should wait until your child is least 12 to 18 months old. If your family has a history of food allergies, it is best to wait even longer to incorporate spices to your kid’s diet. You can consult your physician about this matter.

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Some Ideal Spices for Your Baby

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There are a myriad of spices you can introduce to your baby. However, you should gauge if your baby can handle the spice first. You can do this by using your own palate to test the strength of flavor and level of spiciness.

Some people advise avoiding extracts, as they may contain additional ingredients that are unhealthy for your baby. It is best to use the spice itself – in its fresh, natural, unprocessed form.

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Below are some of the most common herbs and spices added to baby food:

  • Basil – Basil is known to have a good supply of nutrients, such as vitamins A, C, and K, iron, magnesium, and potassium. It also has antioxidant properties.

  • Rosemary – Rosemary is often added to poultry and vegetables. It contains fiber, iron, and calcium.

  • Parsley – While parsley is mostly used as a garnish, it is actually a good source of vitamin C and calcium.

  • Oregano – Oregano is known for its antioxidant, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. It is also a source of vitamin K, manganese, iron, vitamin E, and fiber. Oregano can be added to a variety of food, including meat.

  • Turmeric – Turmeric is a yellowish spice that also possesses antioxidant properties. It can be added to sauces and gravy.

  • Garlic – Garlic has been known to provide therapeutic effects for thousands of years. Some experts believe that nursing mothers who eat garlic can improve the taste of their breast milk.

  • Cinnamon - Manganese, iron, calcium, and fiber can be found in this spice, which can be added to rice puddings, fruit purees, and other type of desserts.

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Herbs and spices can be used not just for baby food recipes, but also as a marinade for meat.

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About the Author

Adrienne R. is a writer for Mercola.com. She is currently doing research on various herbs and spices, including basil, oregano, turmeric, and garlic. Her recent research focused on whey protein powder and its health benefits.

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