Adding herbs and spices to homemade baby food is a wonderful way of developing your baby’s taste buds. They're perfectly safe so don’t shy away from incorporating yummy flavours they are sure to love! And most importantly, introducing variety from an earlier stage is key to raising a more adventurous and healthy eater.
Everything from cinnamon, turmeric and garlic can be given to your weaning baby and they not only enhance flavour, but they are also great for health.
Tips for adding herbs and spices
When adding herbs and spices, make sure to start simple and try not to add too much so as to overpower the food. Start out by adding one herb or spice to your baby’s puree and then building it up from there by mixing with other flavours.
You should avoid adding salt to your baby’s food or a family meal that your baby will be eating. Until about 12 months, your baby can only manage about 1g of salt each day; most of which they will get naturally from their food, breastmilk or formula. Enhance your baby’s food with herbs and spices instead. When preparing dishes that require stock cubes, make sure to opt for a low sodium version. Beware of pre-made herb or spice blends too as they are often high in salt and sugar.
What Herbs and Spices can I add to Baby's Food?
Your baby can enjoy a broad range of herbs and spices from cinnamon and nutmeg, right through to thyme, paprika and turmeric. So don’t be afraid to include baby in family meals! Check out some ways to spice up your baby’s meal below:
Turmeric: aids digestion and has great anti-inflammatory properties. Add it to Curries and Omelettes for a quick and easy way to boost flavour and nutrients. Try our Coconut Chicken Curry for a tasty family meal your weaning baby will love. It’s perfect to batch cook and store in Portion Pots so you can enjoy curry any night of the week!
Oregano: contains four times more antioxidants than blueberries and it is great for fighting off infections. Add some extra oregano to this Pasta Sauce with Hidden Veg for a healthy, flavour filled sauce your weaning baby will love. Batch cook and store in single servings in Portion Pots; it's great to have on hand on those busier nights.
Thyme: brimming with nutrients such as vitamins C and A, thyme is packed full of goodness and health benefits. This tasty herb can enhance anything from roast potatoes to soups and stews, while doing wonders for your immune system. Check out our tasty Chicken Noodle Soup recipe to boost your family’s intake.
Cinnamon: a great mood boosting spice, cinnamon is packed with antioxidants and can help fight bacterial infections. Add it to Quinoa Porridge or try our Cinnamon French Toast for a tasty, naturally sweet breakfast or snack the whole family can enjoy.
Mint – Mint is a great palate cleanser and soothes indigestion. Add it to purees like Courgette, Mint and Pea for a fresh and bright meal perfect for your baby.
Basil – With its sweet and fragrant aroma, basil adds great flavour to a variety of dishes. It’s one of the primary ingredients in pesto – so why not try our Homemade Basil Pesto recipe for a delicious finger food dip for your little one. It’s also perfect for adding flavour to purees!
Ginger – A popular spice that aids indigestion and fights infections, ginger can be used to brighten up your baby’s food. Use it in recipes like Peach Puree with Basil and Ginger and Plum and Ginger Yogurt.
Rosemary – This fragrant herb adds wonderful flavour to soups and stews. It’s also rich in antioxidants and helps protect the immune system. Add it to our Winter Warmer Stew and Salmon Pasta with Courgetti for a delicious meal perfect for both baby and family.
Making your own Spice Mix
When it comes to dishes such as curries and marinated dishes, it could not be easier to boost flavour and health benefits with herbs and spices. Make the most of your spice rack by making your own spice mix so you don’t depend on shop bought ones as they can often be high in salt. Make it yourself without the unnecessary extras and store in our 9-12 months pots.
Try mixing different spices to create a curry paste like in our Homemade Curry Paste or make this simple spice blend to season chicken like in our Chicken Fajitas :
1 heaped tbsp paprika
1 tbsp of ground coriander
A pinch of cumin
2 medium garlic cloves, chopped finely
Don’t be afraid to mix and match different flavours; remember that babies and toddlers can have spicy food too!