Happy National Herbs and Spices Day! At Baby Ventures, we’re big fans of inspiring little ones to explore the world around them, and that includes diverse tastes and flavors from their first solid foods! Herbs and spices are the perfect addition to baby purees and toddler meals – not only do they add nutrition and flavor, but they also pave the way for healthy and adventurous eaters later on.
Natural flavors have long been used in cuisines worldwide. Cumin, dill weed, cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron – to name a (very) few – have a host of health benefits, and delight taste buds young and old in dishes ranging from curries to savory meats and stews. In fact, much of the distinct tastes we love in Asian, Latin, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern foods stem from the unique combinations of herbs and spices found in each of these regions’ delectable culinary concoctions. These days crafting all-natural and flavorful baby food is on the rise, thanks to resources like the Baby and Toddler Cookbook, the Little Foodie Club, and WellnessMama.com.
Are you ready to spice up mealtime for your little one, and give your own cooking a creative kick in the process? Try out some of our favorite herb and spice infused puree combos below, enjoyed by our own Baby Ventures little ones (tweak to suit to your baby’s age/texture preferences/allergies):
- Cinnamon + cooked and mashed sweet potato, carrot, butternut squash, or ground lamb; raw banana; organic whole-grain baby cereal/oatmeal
- Cumin + cooked and mashed eggplant, red peppers, ground turkey, or stewed black beans
- Tumeric + cooked and mashed cauliflower, dark chicken meat, yellow split peas, or spinach (or combine *all* of this into a delicious blend!)
- Dill weed + cooked and mashed green squash or yellow squash, green peas, asparagus, raw cucumber or avocado (and for added richness to any of these: a few drops of organic olive oil!)
- Cardamom + cooked and mashed red lentil, raw pears or apricots, or baby pudding (coconut milk and organic brown rice)
Once you spice it up for baby, look for these welcome gradual effects: Easier feedings, blooming taste buds, and healthier eating habits all around! And when you do go for an herb or spice, make sure it’s fresh – the longer it’s been on the shelf, the less its flavor and nutritional benefits. Happy mealtime adventures!