Quinoa is touted to be a superfood and is popular with weight watchers. This causes parents today to wonder: Can I give my Baby Quinoa?
Quinoa is something most of us didn’t grow up eating, but since it’s become more widely available now, many parents are considering including it in their family’s diet. So far, most of us think of quinoa as a superfood, or something that weight watchers eat, but we need more information when it comes to feeding our kids.
Quinoa is often mistaken for a grain, while in reality it is a seed from the Chenopodium quinoa plant. They are native to the northwestern region of South America, although today they are available everywhere. In India, quinoa is cultivated in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Quinoa is available in different varieties, differing in color, texture and taste. One reason quinoa is so popular is because it is gluten-free and protein-rich. Quinoa is also rich in other nutrients like fiber, Vitamins B and E, potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron.
Health Benefits of Quinoa
- Boosts gut health
- Increases satiety
- Provides energy
- Improves metabolic health
- Promotes better heart health
- Maintains strong bones
- Improves cell function
- Improves immunity
- Helps muscle growth
Can I give my Baby Quinoa?
Most grains can be safely introduced to babies after 6 months, and although quinoa is technically a seed, it can be introduced to babies along with other grains. Start by feeding baby a few spoons of a simple quinoa porridge, to which you can later add other age-appropriate ingredients. Please remember that the WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of age.
While introducing any new food, offer it only in the first half of the day. Once baby has become familiar with the food, you can give it any time of the day. Even though the 3 day rule is obsolete now, it’s better to be followed if there is a history of allergies in the family.
Although quinoa allergy is rare, some varieties contain a protein component which can trigger allergic reactions. For babies with celiac disease or a sensitivity to apples, it is best to first consult with the doctor before introducing quinoa. The saponin, which is a coating of the seed, may irritate the stomach in some cases, so it’s important to soak the quinoa and wash well before cooking.
If the child displays symptoms like hives, swelling of the eye or tongue and face, breathing difficulty, stomach pain, severe diaper rashes or burning sensation in the throat, he needs to be rushed to the doctor right away.
Healthy Quinoa Recipes for Babies and Kids
- Curd Quinoa Recipe by My Little Moppet
- Quinoa Vegetable Upma by My Little Moppet
- Egg Yolk Quinoa Stir Fry for Babies by My Little Moppet
- Quinoa Apple Porridge by My Little Moppet
- Homemade Quinoa Baby Cereal by Baby Foodies
- Quinoa upma by Dassana’s Veg Recipes
- Coconut Quinoa Curry Recipe with Vegetables by Archana’s Kitchen
- Rice with quinoa recipe by Archana’s Kitchen
- Quinoa Kheer by GK Food Diary