After experimenting with different baby purees for our daughter Jade, we decided it was time to spice up her world a bit. An advantage of making homemade baby food is your ability to play with flavors. We found that adding some herbs and spices in our recipes widened our choice of ingredients and helped expose Jade to a range of new tastes, textures and aromas.
Many baby books we read recommend waiting until the infant is 8 months or older to introduce spices and herbs but Jade was doing so well with foods that we started adding a little spice in her meals at 6 months old. And boy, did she love it. One of her favorite meals includes chicken, pumpkin and cumin; and for dessert: poached apple and pear with cinnamon. We also found that cinnamon is good for tummy upsets and diarrhea.
Another benefit of using spices and herbs is that it brings out the best in food without the need of any sugar or salt. I think introducingnew aromas and flavors to Jade early on really opened up her taste buds, and I am proud to say that she has grown to become an adventurous,adaptable and passionate eater.
So next time you’re whipping up a baby puree, try adding some of these spices and herbs: vanilla, basil, cumin, cinnamon, rosemary, dill, lemon zest, ginger, mint and nutmeg. Like any other new food, follow the "four day wait" rule when introducing new flavors.
1 chicken breast fillet, chopped coarsely
¼ pumpkin, chopped coarsely
1¼ cup water
Place ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil uncovered, until pumpkin softens and chicken is cooked through. Blend in an electric processor with cumin and a dash of olive oil or water until smooth.
Peel, slice and steam fruit. Blend in an electric processor with cinnamon until smooth.
Note: The information shared here is meant as a guide and does not replace professional medical advice. Please discuss the introduction of any new foods or drinks with your baby’s doctor.
Geoffrey Weckx is the owner of W Dine and Wine, and lives in Beijing with his wife Belina & 1-year-old daughter Jade.
W Dine and Wine, 22-1 Dongzhimenwai Dajie (opposite the Canadian embassy) (6416 9838) www.w-dinewine.com