Nov 192013
 

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.
Quinoa baby food preparation

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!

 

 

Sep 272012
 

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.