Can i season baby food

Adding Herbs and Spices to Baby Food – Mummy Cooks

Adding Herbs and Spices to Baby Food – Mummy Cooks Skip to content Back to Advice Siobhan Berry

Adding herbs and spices to homemade baby food is a wonderful way of developing your baby’s taste buds. They're perfectly safe so don’t shy away from incorporating yummy flavours they are sure to love! And most importantly, introducing variety from an earlier stage is key to raising a more adventurous and healthy eater.

Everything from cinnamon, turmeric and garlic can be given to your weaning baby and they not only enhance flavour, but they are also great for health.

Tips for adding herbs and spices

When adding herbs and spices, make sure to start simple and try not to add too much so as to overpower the food. Start out by adding one herb or spice to your baby’s puree and then building it up from there by mixing with other flavours.

You should avoid adding salt to your baby’s food or a family meal that your baby will be eating. Until about 12 months, your baby can only manage about 1g of salt each day; most of which they will get naturally from their food, breastmilk or formula. Enhance your baby’s food with  herbs and spices instead. When preparing dishes that require stock cubes, make sure to opt for a low sodium version. Beware of pre-made herb or spice blends too as they are often high in salt and sugar.

What Herbs and Spices can I add to Baby's Food?

Your baby can enjoy a broad range of herbs and spices from cinnamon and nutmeg, right through to thyme, paprika and turmeric. So don’t be afraid to include baby in family meals! Check out some ways to spice up your baby’s meal below:

Turmeric: aids digestion and has great anti-inflammatory properties. Add it to Curries and Omelettes for a quick and easy way to boost flavour and nutrients. Try our Coconut Chicken Curry for a tasty family meal your weaning baby will love. It’s perfect to batch cook and store in Portion Pots so you can enjoy curry any night of the week!

Oregano: contains four times more antioxidants than blueberries and it is great for fighting off infections. Add some extra oregano to this Pasta Sauce with Hidden Veg for a healthy, flavour filled sauce your weaning baby will love. Batch cook and store in single servings in Portion Pots; it's great to have on hand on those busier nights.

Thyme: brimming with nutrients such as vitamins C and A, thyme is packed full of goodness and health benefits. This tasty herb can enhance anything from roast potatoes to soups and stews, while doing wonders for your immune system. Check out our tasty Chicken Noodle Soup recipe to boost your family’s intake.

Cinnamon: a great mood boosting spice, cinnamon is packed with antioxidants and can help fight bacterial infections. Add it to Quinoa Porridge or try our Cinnamon French Toast for a tasty, naturally sweet breakfast or snack the whole family can enjoy.

Mint – Mint is a great palate cleanser and soothes indigestion. Add it to purees like Courgette, Mint and Pea for a fresh and bright meal perfect for your baby.

Basil – With its sweet and fragrant aroma, basil adds great flavour to a variety of dishes. It’s one of the primary ingredients in pesto – so why not try our Homemade Basil Pesto recipe for a delicious finger food dip for your little one.  It’s also perfect for adding flavour to purees!

Ginger – A popular spice that aids indigestion and fights infections, ginger can be used to brighten up your baby’s food. Use it in recipes like Peach Puree with Basil and Ginger and Plum and Ginger Yogurt.

Rosemary – This fragrant herb adds wonderful flavour to soups and stews. It’s also rich in antioxidants and helps protect the immune system. Add it to our Winter Warmer Stew and Salmon Pasta with Courgetti for a delicious meal perfect for both baby and family.

Making your own Spice Mix

When it comes to dishes such as curries and marinated dishes, it could not be easier to boost flavour and health benefits with herbs and spices. Make the most of your spice rack by making your own spice mix so you don’t depend on shop bought ones as they can often be high in salt. Make it yourself without the unnecessary extras and store in our 9-12 months pots. 

Try mixing different spices to create a curry paste like in our Homemade Curry Paste  or make this simple spice blend to season chicken like in our Chicken Fajitas :

1 heaped tbsp paprika
1 tbsp of ground coriander
A pinch of cumin
2 medium garlic cloves, chopped finely

Don’t be afraid to mix and match different flavours; remember that babies and toddlers can have spicy food too!

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Baby food flavors: Using spices and seasoning in baby food

Baby food doesn't have to be bland – in fact, spices and seasonings are encouraged. The more variety, the better, to expand your baby's tastes. You don't have to make separate food for your baby – little ones can eat what the rest of the family is eating, as long it doesn't contain added sugars.

Many babies are ready for solid foods by the time they're around 6 months old, and parents often turn to such traditional first foods as infant cereals and other bland fare. Plain food isn't necessarily bad for babies, but too much of it can deprive them of important nutrients and may make them less likely to accept different textures and flavors. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it's important to offer your baby a variety of healthy foods.

So how do you get your baby to eat a variety of food from an early age? Here's the latest thinking on how to raise an adventurous eater.

Use spices for baby food

While babies throughout the world are dining on complex, flavorful cuisine, many babies in the United States are gumming plain, tasteless mush. The reasons we continue to serve babies bland food are open to debate, but one thing is certain – they're not based on research. In other words, a culinary walk on the wild side won't hurt your baby in the slightest.

And breastfed babies have actually walked that way already: Breast milk takes on the flavors of the food the mother eats. So if you dine at your favorite Indian restaurant and then nurse, your baby will also enjoy the taste of an Indian meal.

So toss some rosemary in with that squash, liven up that chicken with a dash of cumin, and give those mashed potatoes a kick with a blend of paprika and parsley. You may be surprised by your baby's reaction.

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to banish hot spices from the highchair tray either. Of course you'll want to steer clear of anything that could irritate your baby's skin or mouth (so no habaneros yet), but there's no harm in letting your baby try mildly or moderately spicy food. For example, milder chiles, such as Anaheims and poblanos, add flavor without causing pain. If anyone raises an eyebrow, just say that babies in other parts of the world thrive on spicy food.

Cooking with herbs and spices is a great way to expand your baby's palate, but skip the sugar (see next tip) and salt when preparing food for your little one. Not only are they unhealthy, but they can also lead to poor eating habits and health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in childhood and later in life.

Avoid added sugars

Sugars that exist naturally in foods, such as the fructose in an apple or the lactose in cheese, are fine. But watch out for added sugars. These are sugars or syrups added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared. These are products like corn syrup, dextrose, maltose, and sucrose.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services recommend that children younger than 24 months not consume any added sugars.

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You likely won't have problems with jarred baby food or whole-food purees you make at home. But as your little one moves on to finger foods, snacking, and eating what the family eats, be mindful that added sugars can be found in surprising places, such as in ketchup and soups.

Limit junk food

Everyone knows that junk food is unhealthy, but the negative effects can be much more serious for babies. (Unfortunately, some classic kid foods actually qualify as junk. See our list of the worst foods for babies.)

That's because even a very small serving of sugary or salty junk food is likely to make your baby feel full, leaving less room for healthier food with the nutrients necessary for brain growth and development.

Does this mean you're a bad parent if you let your little one sample a french fry or gnaw on a corner of your chocolate chip cookie once in a while? No – just don't make it a regular habit because it could encourage your baby to develop a taste for extra sugary or salty foods.

Give your little one homemade food for babies

and for grown-ups

"Homemade baby food" sounds daunting, but it's surprisingly easy and doesn't require a nutrition degree, gourmet cooking skills, or fancy equipment. Making baby food can be as simple as mashing up a banana or avocado with a fork, squashing canned beans together with some garlic, or pureeing veggies steamed with spices.

And as long as you're making something healthy, your baby can eat the same food you do – no need to make separate meals! Just use a blender, food processor, or baby food maker to make food the right consistency for your baby.

Or forget the purees altogether and try baby-led weaning: Place large, soft chunks of food on the table or highchair tray and let your baby feed themself.

"There's a lot of confusion when it comes to organics because there's no conclusive evidence that they're healthier than conventional foods," says dietitian and mom Jodi Greebel of New York. And there's conflicting evidence about whether pesticides and hormones in conventional foods are harmful.

"But the general feeling is that anything harmful will have a stronger effect on babies because of their small size – bad substances won't be as diluted as they are in an adult."

Some studies suggest a link between pesticide exposure and cancer as well as developmental problems in children, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and poor intellectual development. But the short-term and long-term effects of pesticide exposure are still poorly understood, and experts disagree on just how concerned parents should be. In deciding whether to feed your baby all, some, or no organic food, consider what works for your family and your budget.

The organic factor also matters more with some foods than others. For example, apples, spinach, and strawberries have the highest pesticide residue levels. On the other hand, sweet corn, cabbage, and avocados tend to have relatively low levels. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group ranks fruits and vegetables from best to worst in terms of pesticide residue.

You can also buy organic meat and poultry when possible, but keep in mind that conventional meat and poultry can still be free of antibiotics and hormones. The federal government prohibits the use of hormones when raising hogs and poultry, so just check packages of beef for a label like "no hormones administered," and check meat and poultry products for labels indicating that no antibiotics were added. Visit the United States Department of Agriculture's website for more information about meat and poultry labeling terms.

Whatever you decide, remember that general good nutrition trumps organics.

Expand your baby's tastes

Although consistency in everything from bedtime to discipline is a hallmark of sound parenting advice, a little inconsistency at mealtime can be a wonderful thing. Changing up the menu broadens your baby's palate and helps to ensure good nutrition, especially when it comes to produce. (For ideas to get you started, check out these experts' suggestions for adventurous first foods.)

Often this means heaving ourselves out of a well-worn food rut. Stuck on sweet potatoes? Shake things up with some steamed beets. Smashed peas and carrots every night? Consider pureed brussels sprouts with a little lemon juice instead. Oat cereal overload? Try quinoa cooked in vegetable broth.

Feed your baby the necessary fats

Grocery store shelves are bursting with low-fat and nonfat products – should babies be eating these? Absolutely not. Fat is essential for babies' growth, and both breast milk and formula contain a lot of it.

Experts recommend serving babies full-fat dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt, until age 2.

But don't give your baby cow's milk to drink until after their first birthday. At that point, serve whole milk (unless the doctor tells you otherwise).

The unsaturated fat in avocado makes it another wonderful choice for your baby, and the same goes for salmon and other fatty fish because they contain essential fatty acids, including omega-3s.

Offer rejected foods again – and again

When it comes to sampling new foods, babies make harsh critics. Offer a mouthful of your famous pureed green beans with dill, and your baby may swallow it reluctantly – or spit it out and push your hand away, mouth clamped shut.

Don't force the issue. For one thing, your baby may just not be hungry. Babies' appetites fluctuate, and they need less food than many of us think.

On the other hand, your baby might be turned off by the look, smell, or taste of a food. This doesn't mean you should ban it from your table permanently. If you keep trying, your baby may begin to tolerate that new food after you expose it to them a few times.

So although it can be frustrating to watch your baby reject the food you've lovingly prepared, take a deep breath and try again another day.

Demonstrate the joy of eating

"Dining with one's friends and beloved family is certainly one of life's primal and most innocent delights," Julia Child famously said.

Enjoying your food is the most meaningful thing you can do to foster a similar appreciation in your little one. Babies watch their parents and model them, so experiment with different flavors and new foods. Let your baby see you eating and savoring lots of different healthy foods. If you enjoy the simple pleasure of eating good food, chances are your baby will too.

Unfortunately, it's also easy to become frustrated and stressed about your baby's eating habits. Their fickle appetite, your concern about whether they're eating enough, and the sheer messiness can conspire to turn feeding time into a chore – or even an outright battle.

It doesn't have to be this way. There are several things you can do to make mealtime an enjoyable experience. First, make sure you have enough time so that you aren't hurrying your baby's meals. And hard as it is, accept the mess as a given – letting babies play with their food is actually good for them. They're learning about new tastes and smells while they're playing, and they're learning that eating can be fun.

To make cleaning up easier, put a splat mat under your baby's highchair. On warm days, consider letting your baby dine topless to lighten your laundry load. And take comfort in knowing that everything is washable, including your baby.

Children's food in different countries of the world - Encyclopedia Baby food

Levchuk Victoria©

Each country has its own cuisine. And baby food is no exception. Let's look at what are the features of baby food in different countries of the world.


Parents accustom their children to the social table quite early. Without fear for the life of the child, parents can give both cabbage and tomatoes for the first tooth. If the baby copes well with food, then the family prepares dinner the same for all family members. This approach greatly simplifies the life of parents and has a beneficial effect on the development of taste in a child. The French are connoisseurs of food and taste comes first for them. In kindergartens, the child will be offered a lunch of five different dishes. nine0007 Oysters and snails are quite common in baby food.

Ratatouille is a very popular French dish. This is a stew of vegetables, zucchini, tomatoes and eggplant, seasoned with sweet peppers, garlic and onions. This dish is often found on the French table. It contains many useful vitamins that every person needs.

Fricassee is a simple French dish. The basis of the dish includes meat (lamb, rabbit, veal, chicken). The highlight of the dish is considered to be bechamel sauce. The meat is cut into pieces, rolled in flour and fried in oil until cooked. When the meat is almost ready, pour the sauce and stew for some more time. nine0005

What are the characteristics of baby food in Japan?

Children from Japanese families eat not only sushi. Modern parents treat the issue of nutrition very carefully. In the menu of Japanese children, you can find rice, boiled white fish, spinach, burdock root.

In Japanese schools, children's menus are prepared by special people. It includes vegetables, fruits and dairy products.

Bento lunch is a lunch for a modern school student in Japan. It includes rice, fish or a piece of meat, and chopped raw or pickled vegetables. And all this can be bought in one box. Nutritious and economical. Japanese mothers believe that this is the best and most healthy lunch for a child. nine0005

What are the features of baby food in Thailand?

Thai cuisine includes various dishes. Children will love meatball noodle soup, rice soup ( kao-tom ), and the signature dish, seafood rice. As a dessert, children can taste pancakes with chocolate, fruit or condensed milk. Thai cuisine is famous for its various sauces. You can always see them in Thai cuisine. Rice – main dish. Everyone can add the sauce they like. Parents do not buy children's tables, but feed the child, putting him on their laps. nine0005

What are the characteristics of baby food in Finland?

Finnish dishes are based on fruits and vegetables. The children's menu is varied: fried or boiled potatoes with meatballs, salmon steamed with vegetables, spaghetti. Dairy products are also popular. Finnish people prefer grain bread. On the Finnish table you can find sandwiches with butter and herbs.

Kalekukko pies are fish pies baked by Finnish mothers for the holidays. Blueberry pies are a treat for the whole family. In Finland, since childhood, they have been focusing on a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition. nine0005

What are the characteristics of baby food in India?

Indian cuisine is based on vegetarian dishes. No one believes that different seasonings can harm the children's body.

Biryany is a popular children's dish. This is pilaf cooked in butter. Everyone can season pilaf with different spices. Carrot halva is prepared for children as a dessert.

Chutney is a famous Indian sauce made from pieces of vegetables and fruits. The consistency is similar to jam. If you do not add spicy seasonings to pilaf, you get a great alternative to ketchup. The main thing is that the kids like it. nine0005

What are the characteristics of baby food in Italy?

Pizza, lasagna and pasta is the basis of Italian cuisine. Lasagna is made from durum flour. It is impossible to get better from it, as it contains B vitamins.

Seafood, meat and cheese are on the menu of every Italian family.

Riccotta is a soft, milky cheese resembling cottage cheese. Italians add it to various dishes, using it as a seasoning and pizza topping. Baby food is not in the first place. From early childhood, kids are taught to eat adult food. They even allow you to drink coffee, sodas and eat sweets. Children do not like fruits and vegetables. The Italian family stands for the independence of the child. nine0005

What are the characteristics of baby food in Britain?

English cuisine is based on simple recipes. This approach continues for baby food. Nutrition and simplicity are at the heart of every recipe. The best food for the younger generation is sandwich , apple and juice. For dinner, meat and two types of vegetables are prepared. The British love different cuisines and see nothing wrong with adding different sauces to baby food.

What are the characteristics of baby food in the US? nine0029

Americans don't just eat burgers and diet drinks. Recently, they have been thinking about healthy eating. Most families support this idea and prepare healthy homemade meals. The most popular dishes are potatoes, corn, pumpkin. For breakfast, children can enjoy bread with peanut butter or pancakes with syrup. Dry breakfasts for preschool children are also popular.

Baby food, or How does he eat it all?

Do you remember the ad when dad gives his baby complementary foods and asks in bewilderment how he eats food that does not contain any salt, sugar, or any spices. And the baby is very pleased with the food offered, even licked the spoon. The question is what and how to feed a child after he has stopped suckling. And then every parent has their own preferences. nine0008

A particularly acute issue in children's nutrition is the issue of spices: salt and sugar. When exactly can they be introduced and how?

Why no spices?

Grandmothers like to say that jarred baby food is specially made without salt or sugar so that parents can season the food themselves. But you can not give fresh. Who can eat such tasteless food? And the parents' objections that the baby even suspects the presence of other food are not quoted! nine0005

No substantiated arguments are accepted that some WHO might know there, and especially pediatrician Tanya, from a neighboring entrance? Grandmothers have a lot of experience. And what can new parents know in such a subtle science as child nutrition? Previously, from 3 months they fed borscht and that's okay!

Read also: Why a mirror is dangerous for a baby

You should add some salt...

It is worth remembering that salt contributes to salt retention in a child's body. Accordingly, the load on the kidneys increases, and the child develops taste preferences too early. It is not recommended to add salt to a child's food for up to a year, and canned food before baby food should not contain salt, since the child's body cannot yet fully cope with its utilization. nine0005

So when should a baby add salt to food? In some cases, kids flatly turn out to be eating unsalted food, but if you add just a little salt, then things go much better.

Quite often, when parents introduce the first complementary foods to a baby, the babies may not like it. But this is not because it is not salty and not tasty, but because it does not taste like breast milk. The instinct of self-preservation works in a child: what if it is life-threatening? Gradually, the baby will taste a new product and already eats with pleasure, even if the complementary foods are not salty. nine0005

But parents often forget this. What if you just need to salt it, or add sugar and things will go better? No not like this! There are reasonable and rather strict rules of pediatricians and nutritionists, so that the baby eats the first complementary foods well, and parents do not even have thoughts about salt.

Pediatricians advise diluting complementary foods with breast milk or adding some formula to it, this will help to avoid rejection. And only if the child has no desire to try new complementary foods, under any pretext, then you can add a drop of salt. But this situation is extremely rare. nine0005

And a little bit of sugar…

Sugar is a source of energy for a child, all foodstuffs are digested exactly to sugars. Then they are absorbed. But do not think that the only source of energy is in the sugar bowl. Sugars are different, and in the sugar itself, in the usual sense, there are no proteins, no vitamins, no trace elements. It is for these reasons that there is nothing useful in sugar for babies under three years old.

There is no allergy to sugar, but this does not mean that it is safe. But still, the baby's cheeks may turn red as a result of some chain reactions. Sugar can cause obesity in a child, tooth decay and many other diseases. nine0005

Spices - only after three years

Pediatricians, nutritionists and dentists do not recommend introducing sugar into the diet of a child under three years of age. And when choosing baby food, parents should pay attention to the presence of sugar in it, if sugar is present, then it is better to refuse such food.

Sugar can be added to baby food, only vegetable origin - fructose. To do this, you can use natural vegetables or fruits with a sweet taste.

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