Loosely inspired by the traditional salade nicoise, this cold potato, veggie and salmon salad with a honey sweetened tahini honey or honey mustard vinaigrette was the first salad toddler EVER ate so I had to share it here. This versatile option allows the incorporation of cooked and cooled potatoes into your kid's diet in a healthy and fun way. You can serve it with one of the suggested dressings as a traditional salad or as finger food with a side of our favourite hummus or any veggie dip your family loves.
In 'Don't snub the spud! Why the humble potato is a kid superfood', I share nutrition-based reasons why the potato is such a great option for the family table, especially for kids. This simple recipe celebrates the spud in all its starchy, satiating glory.
Nothing screams cozy comfort classic like potato leek soup. I jazzed it up with white pepper - the seed of the matured black peppercorn minus the outer layer - and the results are delicious. A little goes a long way with white pepper so be careful. It gives more bite while also being more subtle than black pepper, perfect for the delicate flavours of this simple soup. We make this about once every two weeks and serve it with a grilled cheese sandwich or chicken strips and a side of veg - dip dip!
As previously discussed, cumin is the perfect spice for babies' unique needs - (1) Pro-digestion, (2) Immunity-boosting, (3) Anti-microbial and (4) Iron-rich - but it has additional powers that also make it ideal for the whole family. Cumin's benefits, in addition to those mentioned above, include: (5) Anti-cancer / Anti-oxidant, (6) Anti-diabetes (7) Anti-osteoporotic. While high doses of spices are often required to see disease-modifying effects, a close inspection of the amounts of cumin involved revealed that levels attainable through diet (a teaspoon a day) can have positive benefits on measures like cholesterol, lipid levels and body weight. A generous sprinkling on a fried egg for breakfast, in a lentil soup for lunch and in this chicken curry for dinner could get you to a high enough concentration to see health benefits, no pill required!
Khichdi, a rice and lentil porridge, often prepared with vegetables, is a revered food in the ancient Indian medical system known as Ayurveda (translated the Science of Life). The combination of rice and lentils provides all essential amino acids. When made with white rice (stay tuned for my post on my data-driven massive change of heart about brown rice for babies!), the dish is thought to be extremely energising and healing for the digestive tract and is highly recommended for babies who are learning to flex their digestive muscle. Khichdi also presents itself as a canvas for various vegetables rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. The addition of spices like turmeric and cumin boosts the antioxidant content and augments the digestibility of the lentils, although one typically uses skinned yellow or red lentils for babies, which are easier to digest anyway. All of these factors make khichdi a great addition to baby's meal plan, elevating it with science and flavour.
Butternut squash is not only delicious but alive with nutrients - carotenoids (that become vitamin A in the body), antioxidants, anti-inflammatory molecules, types of starches that aid in blood sugar regulation, B vitamins, including folate and surprisingly, a bit of omega-3 fats in the form of alpha linoleic acid, also a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Squash is abundant in winter and affordable so there really is every reason to make it part of your family table. Combined here with antioxidant-rich spices that regulate blood sugar, exhibit antibacterial effects and boost digestion, to name a few of the benefits, this delicious and soul-warming soup is sheer health and deliciousness in a bowl.
When a health craze makes it way backstage to fashion week, you know it's worth taking seriously (or gone too far ;)). Touted as a magic elixir that can fix all ailments, bone broth is precisely this craze du jour. There is honestly not a lot of scientific evidence for many of it's health claims (like collagen aiding healthy joints or healing of the intestinal lining) although a plethora of anecdotal evidence across many cultures spanning generations is suggestive of many positive health effects. There is some scientific evidence for the immunity-regulating and anti-inflammatory effects of chicken soup, particularly due to the amino acid cysteine which can thin out lung mucus and reduce upper respiratory distress. Bone broth is also rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium and phosphorus as well as protein. Here, it joins forces with anti-viral and anti-bacterial star anise, turmeric, ginger, lemongrass, black pepper and bay leaf to create a delicious, heart and soul-warming broth that's a powerful match for any pesky virus.
Lentils are one of the best foods for heart health - a large study following 16,000 adults found the regular intake of beans and lentils to be associated with a 82% reduction in mortality from heart disease! Their high soluble fibre, magnesium and folate content is responsible for the cardio-protective effects. Lentils are complex carbohydrates, providing sustained energy without a spike in blood sugar so they are great for weight management without compromising satiety. They are also an excellent source of protein, iron and B vitamins. Avocados are potent anti-inflammatory foods, rich in anti-oxidants and a source of excellent quality fat that aids in keeping inflammation in check and prevents heart disease making this genuine, creamy baby superfood in a bowl!
Both butternut squash and green beans are incredibly high sources of carotenoids which are converted to Vitamin A in the body and crucial for healthy skin, mucous membrane integrity and eye development. Coconut milk is rich in medium chain fatty acids which are more readily utilised for energy rather than for fat storage (take that cellulite). Moreover, lauric acid in coconut milk is converted into monolaurine in the body which has anti-viral and antibacterial effects. Combined with the benefits of turmeric, this is true baby super food. Add a bit more coconut milk and some salt for a 'thai inspired soup' perfect for the family table.
All too often, potatoes are thought of as fattening comfort food and not much else but that's absolutely not the case. They are a source of vitamins and minerals especially vitamin B6 that is indispensable in the synthesis of amino acids which are building blocks for protein in the body. They are also starchy and superb for the energy demands of growing babies and toddlers. Cauliflower, like all cruciferous veggies, is brimming with phytonutrients which help detoxify the body. It's also a great source of vitamin C and is being studied extensively for its anti-cancer effects. It can be a bit hard to digest for some which is why we combine it with fennel to aid digestion and also packs a vitamin C punch. Leeks are milder and sweeter than onions and my absolute favourite especially with other delicate ingredients like fennel and potato. They provide folate and phytonutrients making this potage (essentially a thick soup) truly nutritious comfort food for babies and everyone else. The gruyere cheese and paprika elevate the dish to a yummy place.
The content on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. We do not claim that any of the spices or recipes we discuss are a substitute for modern medicine or will cure you of a disease or ailment. Please consult with your doctor before introducing spices or any new foods mentioned on this site to your baby or kid if you are concerned about their reaction to them.