Herbs and spices are fantastic for adding to children’s food.
- They add flavour to dishes without the need for sugar or salt.
- They are full of vitamins.
- They are full of minerals.
- They can be eaten in their raw state.
- They can easily be added to both savoury and sweet foods. (Encouraging your children to help cook dishes with them in will help interest them in eating it.)
When fresh herbs aren’t an option, dried herbs still are a good source of both nutrition and flavour 🙂
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important for everyone, but children in particular need to receive all of the necessary nutrients for growth and development. Imagine raising a child that is not reliant on artificial sweeteners to entice the appetite and please the tastebud!
There are no specific recommendations as to when herbs and spices can be introduced to children, but many pediatricians seem to agree that as your baby is transitioning to solid foods, you can start adding herbs and spices to the foods that they eat.
Starting with spices and flavours that the family typically cooks with is important. For example, sprinkle cinnamon on porridge at breakfast time, or add a little bit of garlic or basil to your pasta sauce.
Don’t forget, if you are a breastfeeding Mum your little one is already tasting herbs and spices. Herb and spice flavors are transferred through breast milk, helping create and develop a taste for non-bland foods.
It is so easy to incorporate fresh herbs into simple dishes.
Add cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, ginger, rocket or mint to fruit dishes.
Add mint, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, ginger, allspice or cardamon to plain yogurt.
Add cinnamon, nutmeg, dash of vanilla or ginger to sweet quinoa.
Add garlic, pepper, chive, basil or oregano to savoury quinoa.
Add basil & garlic to carrots. Baked cinnamon carrots are yummy too!
Add chives to cream cheese.
There are so many easy ways of adding fresh herbs to dishes just before serving to boost not only the flavour but the nutritional value of the food.
Which herbs do you serve to your children? Do you have a favourite, simple dish that you add them to?