Spices are the gateway to not only enhanced flavor (without the use of excessive salt or sugar) and a wide range of health benefits as well. But you may be wondering when is the right time to introduce spices and which ones offer the best benefits. We are here to cover that with you today, as well as giving some inspiration to get started introducing your baby to the spices of life!
When can I Introduce Spices to my Baby?
While many recommend waiting until 8 months before introducing spices to baby, this has more to do with possible tummy troubles than an actual allergic reaction. As with all new foods, however, offer one spice at a time and wait to see (4 days) if baby has any adverse reaction. Be sure to consult with your pediatrician on starting solids and introducing spices as well. Once your baby gives the green light, feel free to dive into the wonderful world of spices.
Which spices should I start with?
If baby has been breastfed, keep in mind they have already been experiencing the flavors of mom’s food, so many of these spices will actually be familiar and may already be enjoyable flavors for baby. So if you introduce spices from your regular diet, they will likely be the most readily accepted by baby. Of course this ranges from culture to culture, while babies in India may gobble up curries, Korean babies might prefer garlic, ginger and chilies, and Mexican babies cumin an oregano, for example. Think about what spices you often add to your own food and consider starting there.
Some spices to think about:
For savory meals:
For sweeter meals:
6 Starter Spices for Baby:
- Turmeric- This spice is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is the bright yellowish-orange spice which is one of the primary ingredients in most curry powders. If baby is not used to it, start small and add a pinch of curry powder to one of baby’s savory purees, such as lentils, peas or carrots. A pinch of curry powder would be delightful in our Peas, Corn & Carrots blend for example.
- Cinnamon- This familiar warming spice is not only a favorite of many, but it is also rich in antioxidants, good for the mood and can help ward off bacterial infections. Sprinkle some on your baby’s oatmeal, mashed banana, or squash. At Amara we help introduce cinnamon in our Pumpkin & Pear flavor. The ingredients are simply 100% organic pumpkin, organic pear and a hint of cinnamon, yum!
- Mint- This common herb is found in most culture’s diets and for good reason. Mint not only brightens up the flavor of food, it also eases stomach upset and has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Try adding some fresh mint in your baby’s fruit smoothie or yogurt. It pairs especially well with tropical fruits such as pineapple, coconut and mango. Try adding some mint some to our Tropical Mango flavor before serving for an extra kick of flavor and boost of vitamins.
- Basil- Packed with antioxidants, good for the gut, with benefits for the skin, mood, and digestion, basil is an ideal choice for babies. It can be easily combined to savory dishes like tomato sauces or made into pesto. Basil also blends nicely with strawberry in purees.
- Ginger- Ginger boasts a myriad of health benefits, but maybe one of the best for babies is its ability to help calm tummy issues from bloating to gas. Grate a pinch of fresh ginger to add to fruit purees such as peach, plum or prune. Ginger powder can also be used in warm cereals and baked goods.
- Nutmeg- We’ve saved the best for last as nutmeg has been touted for centuries as a natural sleep aid (what!?). Nutmeg also helps detoxify the body and blood. Nutmeg is a pleasant addition to sauteed spinach and vegetable dishes with zucchini, squash and pumpkin. Nutmeg is a common addition to pumpkin pie spice and is lovely in fall-inspired muffins and scones.
Ready to start feeding your baby the best? Check out our 100% organic, plant-based blends ready in seconds. Simply add breast milk or water, stir and serve! Learn more HERE.