Indian Super Meals
From the very start, moms worry about what baby is putting in their belly. Are they latching? Will it be enough? Should I supplement meals? What’s the best formula?
When that period passes, one set of apprehension retires and another surfaces. Case-in-point: the sass-filled toddler. Be afraid.
We’ve written a few pieces about feeding baby and toddler with tips, tricks and recipes. But it’s always a sigh of relief to see another resource; so I’m happy to share a book we came across, Indian SuperMeals: Baby and Toddler Cookbook by Zainab Jagot Ahmed.
This book is unique because it tackles the feeding issue from a South Asian perspective. And the author makes it easy. Zainab simplifies and breaks down different ingredient groupings and shows her readers how to open up their children’s taste buds while putting exceptionally good foods (superfoods) into their diet. It’s not always a hit, there are trials to go through, but the end result is worth it.
With over 60 recipes for babies and toddlers between 7 months to 3 years of age, we can see it being a really handy resource. I enjoyed the read, like having a friend explain to you how this all works and that’s what makes it a comfortable read. Not overly heavy or complicated – many of the dishes are inexpensive and readily available.
We’re delighted to have the opportunity to discuss the book and her approach for bringing SuperMeals into your home.
What do you say to moms who are nervous adding “spice” to their babies and toddlers food?
Don’t be nervous. Spices are hugely beneficial to babies and are all natural so are unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in babies. Just to be on the safe side though it is always best to follow the ‘four-day-rule’ when introducing new spices into your baby’s diet, as you would when introducing new foods.
Without giving too much away, can you give us an idea of what SuperSpices and SuperFoods are?
All foods contain some nutritional value which will be beneficial to baby, however, there are other foods naturally chock-full with an even HIGHER amount of nutrients. These foods have been labeled ‘SuperFoods’, as they are known to have extra health benefits.
‘SuperSpices’ is the term awarded to certain spices due to their amazing health promoting properties. For example, superspices are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and have been scientifically proven to be higher in antioxidants than more conventional superfoods such as blueberries.
What’s the biggest challenge a spice deprived baby/toddler will need to overcome? Does it take time for a child to adjust their taste buds to spices?
The biggest challenge has to be getting used to lots of yummy new tastes!
From my experience I found each time I introduced a new spice or taste into my daughter’s diet, she pretty much rejected it the first time around. But when I introduced the same taste to her again either later the same day or the next, she ate the whole lot. So in a word…. yes, babies may take a little time to adjust their taste buds to new flavours. My daughter needed a day or so but all babies are different so some may need more or less time than others.
What inspired you to write this book?
My daughter. As soon as she was ready for new tastes and textures from the age of 7 months, I was keen to introduce her to her culinary heritage. I began searching for Indian or ethnic baby food cookbooks online and was surprised to find that there weren’t any. So I began inventing my own recipes – traditional Indian, Spanish, Italian, British and more, all inspired by Indian cuisine to broaden my daughter’s palate as much as possible.
I also wanted to feed my daughter nutrient-rich food to give her the best start in life so I turned my attention to researching spices, dietary recommendations and various superfoods and the rest is history .
If you could only have one kitchen tool/appliance to make baby/toddler food, what would that be?
A pot – you can boil, steam and simmer!
What’s the best piece of advice you can give mom’s who are new to introducing foods?
Relax. Babies aren’t as delicate as people think they are so try not to get too stressed out when introducing new foods and flavours.
Can you share a recipe with us?
Of course…. try my Banana & Blueberry Raita recipe suitable for babies 7 months plus. It’s still one of my daughter’s favourite snacks and only takes minutes to prepare.
Banana & Blueberry Raita (V) – Stage 2: 7 months plus
A simple yet delicious, naturally sweet, fresh fruit raita chock-full with amazing health benefits for your little one.
– SuperFoods included: banana, blueberries, yogurt
– SuperSpices included: ground ginger
Yogurt is calcium-rich and probiotic, necessary for a healthy gut and immune system. The potassium (found in bananas) works efficiently to aid calcium absorption, leading to strong teeth and bones for baby. The blueberries add an extra boost of vitamin C (for healthy immune system) and vitamin K (for healing cuts and grazes), and the ginger is wonderful for digestion.
Total preparation time: 3-4mins
Makes 1 serving
1 banana – peeled, sliced
Handful of blueberries – fresh, washed, halved
2-3 tbsp plain unsweetened yogurt
Sprinkle of ground ginger
Place the banana and blueberries in a bowl, spoon in the yogurt and sprinkle over the ginger.
Mash the fruit with a spoon to create soft lumps for baby, and stir. The yogurt will change colour from white to a very subtle shade of purple courtesy of the blueberries. Serve to baby as a dessert, or a healthy between meals snack.
Learn more about Indian SuperMeals by visiting:
BUY BOOK FROM AMAZON HERE.
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