Chia Seeds for Baby
Recently deemed a "superfood", chia seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch! In just one ounce, there are four grams of protein, eleven grams of fiber, nine grams of healthy fat and numerous antioxidants and minerals. Chia seeds are a bit crunchy by themselves, but expand to almost 10x their original size when added to liquids, creating a soft pudding-like consistency that kiddos will love. One of the main reasons chia seeds are so popular is because they are full of omega-3 fatty acids that help combat inflammation, support a healthy brain and help stabilize mood. When exposed to liquids, fibrous chia seeds become puffy and gel- like, and are great at soothing the digestive tract and helping to prevent constipation. Add chia seeds to yogurt, smoothies, fruit and veggie purees, baked goods, or even cereal. Baby and kiddo will love the texture of these antioxidant-rich seeds and will benefit from the many medicinal properties!
Highlighted Nutritional Importance of Chia Seeds
Niacin - also known as vitamin B3, niacin is essential for good circulation and helps to keep gums and skin healthy
Vitamin A - important for bone growth, eye health and a strong immune system
Thiamine - another B vitamin, thiamine is essential for baby's healthy brain development and nervous system
Phosphorus - this mineral is vital for healthy teeth and bone (about 85% of your body's phosphorus is found in bone!)
Manganese - a potent antioxidant that helps to build baby's bone and cartilage
Calcium - regulates bone growth and skeletal development and plays a critical role in hormone production
Zinc - helps with good digestion and increases baby's appetite
How to Select and Store Chia Seeds for Baby Food
Chia seeds come in two colors - black or white - and both have the same mild, nutty flavor. Some companies even sell the two colors mixed together. Since chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, they are prone to spoilage and free-radical damage when exposed to light, heat and air. In order to avoid this, it's important to store chia seeds in the refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to use. Chia seeds will keep for about 6 months stored in the refrigerator and will be fresh for up to a year when frozen.
Try adding chia seeds to liquid, yogurt, or milk - baby and kiddos will love the fun jelly-like texture once they've expanded. Use them as a healthy topping for yogurts, blend into smoothies and purees for a big fiber boost, or bake them into your favorite muffins, granolas or breads!
Recipes Using Chia Seeds -
- Chioggia Beets + Radishes + Chia Seed Puree
- Cantaloupe + Banana + Yogurt + Chia Seed Puree
- Easy Strawberry + Chia Seed Oatmeal
- Peach + Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes + Avocado Finger Salad with Chia Seeds
- Cherry + Almond Chia Seed Jam
- Toddler Chocolate + Chia Seed Pudding
- Green Mint Smoothie
- Back-To-School Granola with Cranberries + Coconut