Babies’ diets across the world are steeped in tradition and guided by local customs. For example, it is not uncommon for babies in Vietnam to be feed soups made from pork bones that have thin slices of prawns in them. In the United States, serving seafood to a baby is unthinkable. Instead, single-grained iron-fortified cereals are more common. If you’re in Kenya, your child’s first meal is likely to be mashed sweet potatoes. Because our world is now so much more connected, we are able to easily get information from across cultures and geographies, including healthy foods for your baby’s diet.
Here is a list of some healthy ingredients that may seem strange but are perfectly healthy for your little ones:
1. Hemp Seeds
Hemp is one of the oldest plants, domesticated in Asia more than 10,000 years ago. While the fiber was used to make clothes and paper, hemp oil also has a history of being used to combat different health issues. The seeds can be eaten raw. They are rich in the essential fatty acids omega 6 and omega 3. They are also a great source of protein, vitamin E, and minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc. Hulled hemp seeds are added to organic baby food blends for their multiple benefits for developing babies.
Turmeric is an essential ingredient in curries and gives them a deep yellow color. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric has anti-inflammatory effects and is a strong antioxidant. It also helps improve brain function and lowers risk of brain disorders like Alzheimer’s and depression. Curcumin helps to improve spatial and non-spatial memory. Plus, turmeric has a unique flavor, so you can always spice up your child’s meals with a little turmeric. Some baby food brands that include turmeric for its taste and health benefits.
3. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds were traditionally eaten by the ancient Aztecs and Mayans and were considered as an important source of energy. They are loaded with nutrients, including protein, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Chia seeds are full of antioxidants and even omega 3 fatty acids. They are perfect for babies. You can add them to smoothies, organic baby food blends, and even puddings. Also, keep an eye out for baby food brands that include chia seeds in their blends.
4. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are one of the oldest crops in the world. A single serving (1 tablespoon) of flax seeds is rich in protein, fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals such as calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. It improves digestion, encourages healthy bowel movement, and is good for brain health. Flaxseed oil can be added to purees and food blends for your baby.
Although these foods may not be what we traditionally think of as baby foods, they can be added to food blends to promote good health and assist with your baby’s growth and development.