The virus-fighting compound shikimic acid from star anise, ginger and fennel and quercetin from red onion and apple makes these delicious meatballs anti-viral bundles of deliciousness. Studies have shown that these two molecules together have potent virus combatting effects - in fact, shikimic acid is the starting point for the production of the world's best known anti-viral drug, Tamiflu! The next time the unwanted viral visitor shows, you know what to make. (Our Spice Spice Baby signature Pho recipe is also a delicious option)!
It was during my first trip to Vietnam in 2014 that I saw star anise in all its glory, proudly displayed in restaurants, at pho street carts and local spice markets. Star anise is the distinctly Vietnamese aromatic that makes the classic noodle soup dish known as pho what it is (pronounced "fuh" like "huh"). I have modified the classic to make a kid-friendly version that's also perfect for the family table.
Here I present a nutritious version of my beloved childhood potato cake that is ideal for the lunchbox and the family table. Cooled in the lunchbox, these energising patties provide resistant starch that feed the friendly bugs in our colon, promoting digestive and overall health and vitality. Enjoyed hot or cold, they are brimming with complex carbohydrate for sustained energy as well as B and C vitamins, highly absorbable minerals, complete protein and fibre. Spiced lightly with digestion boosting and iron-rich cumin, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer turmeric and anti-bacterial cilantro, these are 'I can't believe it's good for me' delicious. I hope your kids love them as much as we do.
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.
Eggs contain choline which is extremely important for brain and memory development. At only 75 calories, an egg has 6 grams of high quality, complete protein (as in, containing all 9 essential amino acids) as well as iron, vitamins like B12, D, riboflavin and folate, minerals and carotenoids that are vital for eye development and vision. The egg is therefore a tiny nutritional powerhouse. But what about all that cholesterol?! While it's true that eggs do contain a meaningful helping of cholesterol, experts agree that it's not cholesterol in food but saturated and trans fats in the diet that causes blood cholesterol to be elevated. So go ahead and enjoy those nutrient-dense eggs - one a day is considered safe for healthy people. I skip the mayo and substitute calcium and protein-rich, creamy Greek yoghurt here for a super nutritious and healthy version of this favorite.
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.