Benefits of Chia Seeds for Babies & Beyond
As parents feeding their baby homemade food, we are always looking for ways to make it as nutritious as possible. One way to make sure your baby is getting big time nutrients is by incorporating chia seeds, also known as Salba, into their meals.
Chia seeds are native to South America and have been around for centuries, only recently have they become popular here in the states because of their health benefits. They are rich in nutrients and antioxidants and have lots of omega 3s, fiber and minerals.
Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are composed of 60% omega 3s, which make them one of the richest plant-based sources of fatty acids. Because the seeds are high in fiber, they help regulate bowels, which is very important for babies because they can get constipated easily.
In just two tablespoons of chia seeds daily, you get:
* 10 grams of fiber
* 18% of DRI for calcium
* 35% of your phosphorus
* 24% Magnesium
* 50% Manganese
* Chia seeds can also be a egg replacer. The outer layer of the seed swells with mixed with liquids to form a gel. All you need to do is mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for 15 minutes.
* There is no need to grind the chia seed because you can digest it whole, unlike flaxseed, and it can be stored in the fridge for up to two years.
Baby Meals with Chia Seeds
Banana and Avocado Puree
1 banana mashed
½ avocado, mashed
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. lemon (if desired)
Blend together using an immersion blender or whatever electric type blender you have.
Carrot and Apple Puree
4 carrots, steamed
2 apples, peeled and steamed (you can steam the apples and carrots in the same pot, just add the apples a bit after the carrots since they do not take as long to cook)
2 tbsp. chia seeds
Blend together in a immersion blender. This mixture will make more than one serving. Extras can be placed in ice cube trays and freeze for other meals.
Butternut Squash and Pear Puree
1 butternut squash, roasted
3-4 ripe pears, peeled and diced (no need to cook after 6 months of age)
2 tbsp. chia Seeds
Once butternut squash is cooked through let cool and then blend with pears and chia seeds. Place extras in ice cube trays and freeze for other meals.
Trina O’Boyle is a Drexel Hill mom of two, a contributor to MK’s MomSpeak blogroll and an organic cooking expert. Check out her meal plans, recipes and ruminations at O’Boy Organic.