Quinoa is an ancient grain which comes from the Andean region of South America. It was traditionally used by the Incas to fuel their great journeys across the Andes, and is still enjoyed by generations across South America to this day.
Quinoa isn’t actually a grain – it’s a seed – which is why it is so rich in essential vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein.
For babies, a small amount of quinoa is fine to introduce early on, but initially the focus should be on getting them to eat vegetables. That’s why we use only 9% of quinoa in our stage 1 foods.
Once your baby has been weaning for a few weeks, you can make your own quinoa porridge. Do make sure you give it a good rinse, cook it very well and puree it down with some breast milk or formula milk to make it nice and mushy. You can also get quinoa flakes which are easier to make into more of a porridge consistency, or grind whole quinoa into a powder to cook into a porridge. It’s important to make sure the puree is nice and smooth, that you rinse it first to remove the bitterness, and that no small bits of quinoa are left which could be difficult for you baby to swallow.
Of course, every baby is unique and has different dietary requirements, and it’s important to listen to your health advisor or medical professional if your baby has a particular health concern. But for the majority of babies, you can use small amounts of this grain to add to their weaning journey, alongside a variety of different vegetables, small amounts of fruits and other protein rich foods.
We’ll be increasing the quinoa content of our baby foods as we journey onto stage 2 and 3, and have exciting plans for our quinoa based products in the future!