Introducing Spices To Babies & Toddlers
Introducing Spices To
Babies & Toddlers
Baby and toddler food shouldn’t be bland! Experimenting with a range of spices can help to expand their palettes and cultivate adventurous eaters who enjoy a range of flavours, textures and are excited by food!
Introducing bold flavours early on is essential as babies receptiveness to new tastes narrows as they get older. Broadening their palettes at a young age will hopefully result in appreciation of wholesome, unprocessed and flavoursome food. Furthermore, as salt should be avoided for under 1’s adding spices is a fantastic way to add flavour.
Advantages & Benefits Of Introducing Spices Early On:
- They add flavour and fragrance to food without the needed for added sweetness or salt.
- Younger palettes are more receptive to new flavours and enjoyment of different flavours will hopefully lead to adventurous eaters.
- Spices provide health benefits and can help fight cold and boost immunity.
- You can serve the same meal to the whole family, with minor modifications.
- Spices add dimension and depth to food and you may find they enjoy food they wouldn’t usually eat!
How To Introduce Spices:
The key is to begin with aromatic spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, paprika, mint, cardamom, cumin and coriander. Avoid anything that is spicy, such as cayenne pepper or chillies as this may irritate and upset their tummies. You can always add these to individual adult portions before serving.
Also start with a small amount of spice and build up the quantity. Spices that have a strong flavour and aroma can overpower if used too generously.
Be persistent! Babies and toddlers often need a lot of exposure to something new, so don’t be put off if they reject new flavours at first.
Did you know?
If you breastfed/are breastfeeding your baby then your little one will already have been exposed to a range of flavours through your milk and this can actually help to develop a taste for flavoured food!
Do peruse the recipes on my website and app as I make full use of a wide and varied range of spices to add vibrancy, depth of flavour and get your little one's excited about food!
Spices to start with:
Basil has a delicate light aroma and works well in sauces, on pizza and with veggies.
Cardamom has a subtle light and sweet flavour with a mild eucalyptus undertones and works well in both sweet and savoury dishes.
Cinnamon adds an earthy, warm, delicate and slightly sweet flavour to dishes.
Cinnamon works well in porridge, yoghurt, with bananas, in some curries.
If using cinnamon regularly ensure it is Ceylon cinnamon as this contains a low liver toxin (coumarin) content in comparison to cassia cinnamon.
Coriander is one of the oldest spices in the world and has a green-yellow colour.
Coriander seeds have a distinctive fragrance which is reminiscent of citrus tones. When cooking with the seeds they must be dry roasted or added to hot oil/ghee until they begin popping in the pan.
Coriander powder is simply the seeds ground down and pairs well with cumin, adding a delicious earthy tone to food.
Cloves, technically a flower, have a sweet flavour and warm aroma. Clove pairs well with sweet and savoury dishes and is often used alongside cardamom and cinnamon. As it has a strong flavour it can overpower more delicate spices so it’s always better to start with less and adjust to your preference
Cumin seeds have a warm, aromatic and slightly bitter flavour. They must also be dry roasted or added to hot oil/ghee until they being to pop to best emerge their flavour.
Cumin powder adds an earthy flavour to curries. It pairs beautifully with vegetables.
Mint is very aromatic and has a vibrant and fresh taste which pairs well with veggies.
Nutmeg has a sweet and warming flavour that’s works well in both sweet and a airy dishes.
Oregano is earthy and aromatic and is a great addition to sauces, stews, pizza and veggies.
Smoked paprika has a wonderful sweet and rich taste. It pairs well with sweet potatoes, carrots and coriander.
Best known for its medicinal and healing properties, turmeric has an earthy flavour and adds a beautiful vibrancy.
Always be mindful of allergic reactions when introducing anything new to babies and toddlers.
Ensure whole spices are removed before serving.
Have you checked out my eBook, Baby & Toddler Friendly Authentic Family Food where vibrant spices are the star of the show! The recipes are a fantastic way to introduce spices to your little ones and tantalise their tastebuds with new and exciting flavours.