When should you start broadening your baby’s palate from mushy peas and carrots to something more interesting? for aisha has the lowdown
As a first time, Mum there’s so much conflicting advice on do’s and don’ts of weaning and breastfeeding – it’s an information overload! Spices have long been used in traditional cultures because of their known benefits. In many countries babies are introduced to spices early and you may be surprised at how much your baby can handle. Knowing the benefits of spices and when to introduce them into your baby’s food will give you the confidence to try something new.
When can I introduce spices?
Guidelines advise weaning from 6 months and recommend that you wait until 7-12 months to introduce spices and herbs. This is to reduce symptoms of stomach upsets and possible allergic reactions. If your baby is doing well with foods and does not seem to have any digestive upsets, then jump right in with the spices! Like any other new foods remember to follow the “4 day wait rule”, to help identify which food or ingredient may have caused a reaction.
What are the benefits?
Herbs and spices can be used to flavour your baby’s food, with added health benefits such as contributing to boosting the immune system. Ginger and cumin are used in traditional remedies to soothe upset tummies and help digestion, garlic and turmeric have antiseptic and antioxidant benefits.
What types of spices can I add to my baby’s food?
Diets based on rice and cereals are often bland and are not exciting and don’t do anything to promote your baby’s taste buds. Adding herbs and spices to your baby’s food is a great way to introduce interesting flavours so go on and “spice it up”. Here are a few great herbs/spices to try: to start with, select one or two herbs or spices at a time and gradually increase and combine them to offer different tastes. To begin with try a small dash or pinch for taste and increase as desired to stimulate the palate.
From 7 months: add small amounts of cumin turmeric, cinnamon, mint, dill, basil and rosemary. From 9-12 months gradually introduce ginger, pepper, chilli and garlic. You can also try curry powder; start with a little dash as some added ingredients may cause a rash.
Don’t forget, if you’re a breastfeeding Mum, your little one is already tasting herbs and spices from your diet as the flavours are transferred through breast milk.
Here are some suggestions to get you started to introducing spices and herbs to your baby’s food from 7-12 months onwards. These lovely additions can excite their little taste buds.
Add small amount of garlic, coriander and curry powder.
Add a pinch of turmeric, black pepper, garlic and coriander.
Add small amount of paprika, garlic, ginger and coriander.
Fish pie (made with cod, coley, hake- ensure bones are removed)
Add a dash of black pepper, turmeric and cumin.
Scoop out the middle of the cooked potato and mix small amounts curry powder/ paprika and coriander and top of with cheese.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices; they will expand your baby’s taste of the exotic and open them up to experience “a world of variety”. So go on Mum’s give it a go!
Written by dietitian for baby food brand “for aisha”
for aisha is a delicious new baby food formulated for babies from 7 months onwards. Packed with healthy natural ingredients and made with certified British halal meat, the nut-free, diary-free and soya-free pouches are available in a variety of exotic flavours from around the world. Available in selected Tesco, Asda, Boots, Morrisons and Whole Foods stores.