When to introduce spices to baby

When to introduce spices and herbs to kids

When baby is eight-month-old parents can slowly introduce various flavors. Do not add spices and herbs in baby’s first foods. Slowly and little by little because young tummy cannot take different flavors all at one time. Introducing gently to spices and herbs will help child to get ready to eat healthier food and will also help to understand any digestive problem child might have.
Which are the flavors and spices babies can taste after 8 months?
Start adding single ingredient and let the baby’s tummy take time to adjust to new flavor. If the baby develops allergy or pain, you would know what is causing it. While introducing spices, start with mild one. For example, pepper is easier on baby’s tummy than green chilli or chilli powder.
Here are few herbs and spices one can slowly introduce in kid’s meals.
Mint – Add little mint to puree, mix with cut fruit as mint enhances flavor
Cinnamon– Sprinkle little cinnamon powder as it gives sweet and warm taste. Sprinkle on puree, bananas, sweet potato, apple and pear
Ginger – Grate fresh ginger and add it with beans, peaches, watermelon. Very little amount should be enough.
Basil –Add basil to zucchini, tomatoes and cucumber. It is like mint and enhances flavor.
Dill – Dill introduces kids tangy taste. Sprinkle dill on cucumber, broccoli, carrots, beets, peas.
Chilli – Don’t be afraid to introduce kids to spices. Introduce coconut chutney, coriander chutney to kids. These items will contain green chilli. Sambar, soup will contain red chiilli. Let them taste a little of these dishes with idli, dosa, chapati, pasta or rice. Add ghee or give small bowl of curd along with it. Sprinkle little pepper or red chilli flakes on pasta. Don’t make a big deal about it. Let kid taste it a bit. Another way to introduce spicy food is add curry powder to coconut milk and pumpkin or sweet potato soup. Add ghee to spicy foods to reduce spiciness.
Garlic – Garlic has strong flavor and adding a little to any dishes – soup, salad, chickpea curry, beans curry or to spinach dish will give a unique taste to the dish. Prepare yogurt dip with garlic and dill Fry garlic in little kids’ friendly oil and introduce this wonderful herb to kids.
Paprika and cumin: Both these go well together. Hummus is a good dish to introduce with paprika, cumin and garlic.
Lemon or orange zest – Adding citrus flavors to Brussels sprouts, strawberries, cauliflower, kiwi or watermelon enhances flavor. Some sweets also contain lemon zest. Once the tongue get used to the unique flavor, they won’t mind eating its presence in various dishes.

How to introduce spices and herbs to children
Being vegetarian and vegan – If you are vegetarian or vegan then think it is a blessing. It is easy to introduce lots of vegetables, fruits with spices and herbs to kids.
Be an example – do not prepare different foods to everyone. Cook one or two dishes for everyone. If kids see parents and elders enjoying the food, they will want to taste the food. It is natural.
Try variety: Mix and cook varieties of spices, vegetables, grain, fruits etc. Cook different varieties of rice dishes, quinoa or cracked wheat with spices and herbs.
Take kids for shopping with you: When you go for grocery, take kids with you and while walking in store, introduce them to fresh herbs, spices and condiments.
Introducing kids to various spices and herbs helps in smooth transition to regular home cooked food. Kids will benefit from eating varieties of food. Kids body will be introduced to antioxidant rich food and they gain benefit from eating wonderful herbs. This also makes their food interesting and will be ready to face the varieties in food world.


Image credit: Image by avitalchn from Pixabay  (Free for commercial use)

Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: December 28, 2019

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