Sneaking extra healthy nutrients into wee developing bodies is always a good idea. In her new cookbook, Organically Raised, professional chef and mother Anni Daulter offers some great ways to add a boost of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber to cereal, yogurt, smoothies, or any of your child’s other favorite snacks or meals.
Grind the following foods in a coffee grinder, storing any extra in glass jars in the refrigerator.
1. Nuts (8 months and up, wait at least until age 1 for peanuts)
Unless your child has a nut allergy, try adding protein- and healthy fat–rich ground walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, or pine nuts to warm cereals, muffin mixes, and sauces. Make sure nuts are raw and unsalted.
2. Goji berries (8 months and up)
Grown on shrubs in China and the Himalayas, these antioxidant-rich, tangy, bright orange-red, dried berries are good immunity boosters. Mix into baby food, applesauce, and other foods. And try them yourself!
3. Dried seaweed (8 months and up)
Rich in iron and calcium, as well as vitamins A and C, ground seaweed can be sprinkled on any savory meal.
4. Wheat germ (8 months and up)
This classic health food contains iron, folic acid, and vitamins B and E; it’s great for healthy brain development. Nearly flavorless, you can add it to cereals, smoothies, baked goods—nearly anything.
5. Flaxseed (7 months and up)
A great vegetarian source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, flaxseed can be used just like wheat germ. Another good support for brain development. Be sure to grind it for absorption.
6. Acai Berries (10 months and up)
This berry from the Amazon is full of antioxidants, amino acids, essential fats, fiber, and protein. You can buy dried berries and grind them, or buy acai powder—or even buy frozen smoothie packets. Great in cereals, yogurt, drinks.
For more tips on how to feed your baby well at every stage, read "Open Wide". And try our recipe for Creamy Millet with Apples and Honey (but substitute agave nectar if your baby is under age 1, to avoid a risk of botulism).