Cumin For Baby
Spices like cumin may not be the first food item you think to introduce to kiddo or baby, but it's never too early to give them a little taste of Tex Mex! In fact, did you know babies in other cultures are introduced to bold flavors very early on? Babies in Japanese culture are even fed wasabi with some of their first solid meals! Cumin seeds have a nutty, peppery flavor that pairs well with Mexican and Tex Mex cuisine but they are also surprisingly nutritious. Packed with immune-boosting iron, cumin has been shown to help reduce the risk of stomach cancer and liver cancers, has long been shown to help stimulate digestion and helps enhance the liver's detoxification pathways. Try adding some cumin to baby's favorite savory purees, chilis or soups for a flavorful, Mexican twist!
Highlighted Nutritional Importance of Cumin
Thiamin - a B vitamin essential for baby's healthy brain development and nervous system
Vitamin A - important for bone growth, eye health and a strong immune system
Vitamin B6 - needed to metabolize protein, fat and carbohydrates and helps form a healthy brain
Niacin - also known as vitamin B3, niacin is essential for good circulation and helps to keep gums and skin healthy
Iron - important for making hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying red pigment in blood and for regulating energy levels
Manganese - a potent antioxidant that helps to build baby's bone and cartilage
Magnesium - helps regulate energy production in the cell and is necessary for hormone production and healthy bones and teeth
Calcium - important for building strong bones and teeth and promoting nerve and muscle function
How to Select and Store Cumin for Baby Food
When selecting cumin at your local grocery store, spice shop or farmers market, it's important to know what to look for. Purchasing whole cumin seeds will yield a deeper flavor and they won't spoil as quickly as pre-ground cumin seed, but they will need to be ground in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Just like with other spices, try to purchase organic cumin to ensure it hasn't been irradiated - a process that exposes the spice to radiation to help with preservation and shelf life.
Cumin seeds and cumin powder should be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Ground cumin will last about 6 months, whereas whole seeds will last about a year.
The nutty, warm flavor of cumin will appeal to kids of all ages and is delicious added to veggie and protein purees. Cumin is also delicious in chilis, soups, and just about any recipe that originated south of the border!
Recipes Using Cumin: