If you're a parent then you know the time you have to educate and nurture your child is precious.
You are always looking for ways to expand their minds and taste buds. Many parents add healthful herbs and spices into their baby's food as soon as they're ready for solids. In many cultures it's not only encouraged, it's a part of their everyday menu. This practice usually primes young taste buds to recognize and enjoy these flavors well into adulthood.
One spice that is always on the top of health professional's lists is turmeric. It's the yellow ingredient that is extracted from the root of a plant that grows in Southeast Asia. It gives a variety of dishes its vibrant color and is even used to give American mustard it's lovely yellow tint. Some of you may have also seen the root, resembling ginger root, in your local supermarket. It is fast becoming a popular super food, for good reason.
Why is it so healthy?
Curcumin is the polyphenol found in turmeric that provides the color and healthy properties all these scientists are clamoring about. Polyphenols are found in many whole foods and are classified as antioxidants. Essentially it helps fight free radicals present in our body.* Free radicals are chemicals that have the potential to cause damage to cells and tissues in the body.* So basically, polyphenols would get over a million followers on Instagram, no problem. Because of its antibacterial properties, you can even sprinkle it on your little one's cuts and scrapes for a more natural healing process.* Other ways you and your family can benefit from turmeric include:
- Promoting immune system health*
- Natural mood enhancer*
- Promotes healthy cognitive function*
Turmeric is a mild spice that is used all over the world and said to be the best for beginners. Your baby will never know that you added some to their homemade or store-bought baby food. Your toddler may be a different story. In the interest of preventing a tantrum or two, we've put together some fun and delicious food ideas to help effortlessly introduce turmeric into your child's diet. As always, consult with your doctor before introducing a new food to your baby.
EVERYDAY LUNCHBOX FOODS TO ADD TURMERIC TO:
- Chicken or Tuna Salad
- PB & J
- Add a dash of turmeric and cinnamon to peanut butter. If you need to, add honey, agave, or maple syrup for some added sweetness. Even better, replace the jam with sliced bananas.
- Turmeric will alter the color of anything you add it to but what kid wouldn't love a bright yellow dipping sauce for their veggies?
- Golden milk
- Create a turmeric paste and stir a half teaspoon into your baby's milk, whether traditional or plant based. Add your sweetener of choice if needed and see your baby drink up all that goodness. You might think the taste will turn them off but it's mild enough to go undetected. Start with a small amount and as they get familiar with the flavor you can start to stir in more.
Remember—the color in your bowl = fun. The stain it may leave on your brand new, white sofa = not fun. If you have a younger child, using bibs and designated feeding areas would be beneficial during feeding time, especially for a Turmeric-rich meal. By the way, don't let your kid have all the fun. Adults have the option of taking a turmeric supplement and sneaking some of the spice into their own lunchboxes.
We see you eyeing that PB & J...