Can I add Spices to My Baby’s Food?
It’s a very difficult time for the new mommas when they have to take care of the nutrition of the newborns. You can’t offer very dense fluids or solids to the newborn till 6 months. Just the breast milk fulfils the nutritional cravings of the baby.
When the baby turns 6-month-old, new mommas are excited to make some good real food for the little ones. But, the major concern is whether to spice the food up and if yes, then how much. Well, according to the nutrition experts, adding spices in small amounts in baby’s diet after 6 months is completely safe. Some spices have amazing characteristics that are great for the baby’s health. However, a new momma should stick with some tips that I have gained through my personal experience and mentioning them below.
Why Avoid Spices and Herbs for Babies below 6 months
In the initial phase, when your baby is ready to eat the solid food, it’s better to avoid the herbs and spices. Indians usually have a palate for spices and they want their kids to develop similar taste buds as soon as possible. But, adding regularly used Indian spices and herbs in the starting may upset your baby’s stomach and he may show some reaction as well. If you think this thing smartly, herbs and spices are tastemakers and developing the habit of rich or intense tastes in the babies in the initial phase only may cause trouble for you later. He may not like the real flavours of the veggies and always seek some tastemakers.
Teach Your Child to Admire Real Taste of Food
While being in Japan, a noticed some inspiring things related to the local cuisines. They hardly add the tastemakers to make the food tasty. Japanese prefer the real aroma and flavour of the food rather than processing it or adding artificial flavours. One of the reasons, they sustain long in the race.
The below mentioned spices are to be started only after the baby turns 1 year to improve the digestion and immunity
Which Spices Are Safe for a 1 Year old Baby?
Nutmeg, also called Jaifal in India is a great tastemaker but its benefits for your baby are more inspiring. Nutmeg detoxifies the body and boosts the digestion. It also takes care of your baby’s intestine and kidney. You can grate the nutmeg fruit over the prepared food. Instead of using the stored powder, use even less than a pinch of it in a bowl full of solid food. Nutmeg is safe for babies from age 7 months but avoid for the reasons explained above.
Pepper of Kali Mirch/Gol Mirch is a commonly used spice in every Indian household. Pepper combats fat, helps in brain development, boosts digestion and fights inflammation. You can use the powder as using the crusher can leave the big chunks of pepper corns that can upset your baby’s stomach.
Cinnamon is a popular spice and its dietary benefits are endless. Cinnamon helps your baby learn things faster and it acts as an effective antifungal and antibacterial agent. However, excessive use of cinnamon can be harmful for babies as it contains an element called Coumarin which affects the liver and thins the blood. You can grate the stick over ready food, instead of using stored powder, use even a less than a pinch in a bowl full of solid food.
Also known as Moti Saunf in India, Anise is used in various delectable dishes like Pulao, Biryani and Chana Masala. Anise is a great remedy for colic in babies. The spice is also helpful in various stomach problems. You can use the whole spice in making soups etc. Don’t keep the food after adding the spice for more than 5 minutes else the food will taste too much flavourful.
The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of Turmeric is well known to everyone. Apart from its medicinal uses, the spice is one of the elementary tastemakers. You can use the homemade turmeric powder in curries, Subji and wherever we use for adult’s food.
No mom wants to serve a bland food to her baby but a balanced diet is very important for all age groups. But please understand the right time to introduce spices to your baby. Spices are safe and ok for the babies above 12 months till they don’t reject them. However, every mom should be cautious about the amount and the nature of spices she is going to add to the baby diet as it may affect baby’s health.