One of my main goals when feeding baby boy his meals is that they are balanced and have a variety of foods with each one. I wrote about my baby meals a bit ago where I threw a veggie, grain, meat, & spices together to make a yummy meal. Barley, rice, and couscous were three of my go to grains when mixing up a meal. Another great grain that adds some great flavor is quinoa!
Quinoa (pronounce keen-wa) is a protein powerhouse! Now that baby boy is a year old and eating more of what my hubby and I are eating instead of his easy make baby meals, I try very hard to get a grain in there to help keep his fiber intake up. Oh so important for keeping things running!
I love using quinoa as a go to grain because it has a nutty flavor, and is tastier than rice (in my opinion!). I serve it to baby boy especially when there is not a meat (chicken is his fave!) with the dinner. The protein in the quinoa makes up for any that would be in the meat. Perfect!
It is a small grain so can be hard to use as a finger food. But – I have a solution! If you are serving a softer vegetable that can be mashed (like sweet potatoes or squash) the quinoa can be mixed with the veggie and plopped on baby’s tray or plate in little clumps that are easy to pick up.
Making quinoa for baby
- Purchase quinoa. Most kinds of quinoa sold in U.S. stores is pre-washed (which is what you want), but double check to make sure that it is indeed pre-washed.
- Boil the quinoa. Following the directions on the box, add the desired amount of quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, and cook until the water is absorbed and the “ring” around the quinoa has come off. The measurements are usually 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water.
- Fluff with a fork and let cool. Easy peasy!
- Serve. Like I mentioned before quinoa is great mixed with a veggie to form little clumps that can be picked up easily. It can also be served as a replacement for rice in stir fry’s or rice base dishes.
So many options for quinoa! I usually will only cook a small amount and then eat it up as leftovers for the next couple days, but you can also freeze it in individual baggies in the freezer and defrost as needed.