One alternative choice to infant rice cereal is quinoa. (Pronounced keen-wah)
Quinoa can be introduced to infants starting at 8 months of age, although many babies are able to tolerate it before 8 months.
Quinoa, a seed rather than a grain, is a “protein powerhouse”. Just one cup of cooked quinoa has over 8 grams of protein. The typical rice cereal has 1 gram of protein. Quinoa is also packed with fiber, calcium, iron and folate.
To prepare quinoa, use 1 cup of quinoa per 2 cups of water. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Cook quinoa for approximately 10-15 minutes.
You can also freeze baby food prepared with cooked quinoa. Simply divide the cooked mixture among freezer safe containers and freeze. Check out this article from Bare Wooden Spoon on freezing tips.
Are you ready to try some recipes? Below are recipes for baby food using quinoa. Not only is quinoa perfect for baby, but the adults at the table will love quinoa too!
Quinoa Baby Cereal
· 1/4 cup of quinoa powder
· 1 cup water
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the quinoa powder. Turn off heat. Whisk continuously until thickened.
Baby Banana Berry Quinoa (preparation)
· 2 tablespoons cooked quinoa
· 1 tablespoon frozen blueberries (thawed)
· 1/2 ripe banana, chopped
· 2 tablespoons vanilla yogurt (I used YoBaby vanilla yogurt)
Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Serve.
Banana and Quinoa Muffins
Makes 24 mini muffins
· 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
· 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
· 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
· Pinch of salt
· 2 mashed bananas
· 2 eggs
· 1/4 cup real maple syrup
· 2 teaspoons cinnamon
· 2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a mini muffin pan with cooking spray; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, quinoa flakes, baking powder and salt. Stir well to combine. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Spoon into the prepared muffin tin.
Bake for 6-10 minutes or until the muffins are cooked through and golden. Cool on a wire cooling rack.
Quinoa Fried Rice
· 1 cup quinoa
· 2 cups water
· 3 teaspoons soy sauce
· 1 teaspoon minced garlic
· 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
· 1 cup frozen peas
· 2 eggs
· Salt and pepper to taste
Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa. Return to a boil, then simmer 12 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Add the soy sauce, garlic, ginger powder and frozen peas. Stir to combine.
Push the quinoa to the side of the saucepan and add the two eggs. Cook over medium heat until the eggs begin to set. Scramble with a fork. Then stir well to combine with the quinoa mixture.