Think a menu of bland baby cereal each and every day constitutes an enticing culinary experience? Chances are your baby doesn't either. Interestingly enough, the United States is one of the only countries in the world where parents don't spice up their baby food a little. In many countries, children are introduced to spices very early in their learning-to-eat process.
The beauty of making your own baby food is that you can introduce your baby to a more exciting variety of ingredients than boring, commercial, jarred food. So take advantage and spice things up a little! By expanding their palate in the formative months, your baby may more likely be receptive to new and interesting foods later on.
When spice is nice
Barring any exceptional dietary concerns, most pediatric experts agree the age of 8 months is a good age to begin the process of introducing spices. Like with all new foods, before introducing any additional spices, it's best to wait four days after introducing a new spice to check for allergic reactions.
Which Flavors and Spices are best?
Salt and sugar are out (why start bad habits early?), but some less conventional/more flavorful options to experiment with include:
- Vanilla (great with yogurt or oatmeal)
- Cinnamon (always great with applesauce)
- Nutmeg (spruces up sweet potatoes)
- Ginger (can help calm a restless tummy)
- Garlic powder
- Mint (yummy with yogurt)