Are you planning to wean your baby? Do you plan to start your baby on semi solids and are thinking of introducing lentils? Is your baby bored with the regular mashed vegetables? Are you looking for new, interesting variations?
If you answered yes to any of the above, your baby is probably at the right age to start eating lentils. Read on to know how eating lentils can benefit your baby and how to prepare lentils for baby.
What Are The Benefits Of Eating Lentils?
Introducing lentils in your baby’s diet can add a good amount of nutrition on a daily basis. Here’s a quick look at how eating lentils can benefit your baby:
1. Lentils Are High In Fiber:
A half a cup of lentils have almost eight grams of fiber. Eating fiber rich foods will help clear up your baby’s digestive system and promote and aid in regular bowel movement. It will also prevent weight gain issues in your baby in later years.
[ Read: How To Prepare Baby Food At Home ]
2. Lentils Are A Good Source Of Iron:
A half a cup of lentils contains about 3.3 milligrams of iron. Eating iron rich foods will help your baby stay strong and energetic.
3. Lentils Are A Rich Source Of Folate:
A half a cup of lentils contains about 179 micrograms of folate . Folate is a kind of B vitamin that helps in the formation of new cells in your baby’s body.
[ Read: Sago Recipes For Your Baby ]
How To Cook Lentils For Babies?
Lentil purees are the best way to introduce lentils to your baby . A good time to introduce lentils in your baby’s diet is around the sixth month. This should have your baby’s doctor’s approval first.
While introducing lentils to baby for the first few times, remember to add some vegetables to the same. This will help avoid any digestion issues in your baby. Lentils can be difficult for your baby to digest and adding vegetables will ease the process.
Recipes To Prepare Lentils For Babies:
Here are a few interesting and easy lentil recipes for babies:
1. Pureed Lentils With Vegetables:
You will need:
- Onion, bell pepper, tomato, green peas, sweet potatoes – all finely chopped
- Lentils of choice
- Water or vegetable broth
- In a pan, add one tablespoon of oil. Put in some finely chopped onion and a little bell pepper. Sauté lightly for about five minutes and add a chopped tomato in the pan. Cook for another two to three minutes.
- Now add some washed and uncooked lentils in the pan. Add some water to cover everything up. You can also add some homemade vegetable broth if you wish. Now add some pureed vegetables like green peas or sweet potatoes. Cover and let the mixture boil.
- Reduce the heat and cook for some more minutes till everything becomes tender. Once it is cooked, remove from heat and let it cool. Now pour it in a blender and puree into a soft consistency. Let it cool to room temperature.
[ Read: Brown Rice Recipes For Babies ]
2. Lentils With Carrots And Brown Rice:
You will need:
- Lentils of your choice
- Brown rice
- Carrots finely chopped and peeled
- In a large pan, put all the ingredients and let it boil. Reduce the heat and let it cook for another twenty to thirty minutes. You need to keep checking the level of water to ensure there is enough water. Add some more if required.
- Check regularly to see if the rice is cooked and the rice and lentils have turned tender and soft. You can use the back of a big spoon to see if the ingredients can be mashed easily. This will mean that it is done.
- Once done, remove from heat and let it cool. You can give this as it is to your baby or blend it to a smoother consistency.
[ Read: Chickpeas Recipes For Babies ]
As with any new food item, you should first check with your baby’s doctor whether it is okay to introduce lentils. Do not introduce too many new foods to your baby at once. Check for any symptoms of allergy or discomfort in your baby and stop the new food immediately if you notice any.
Have you started your baby on lentils yet? If yes, do share your tips and suggestions in the comments below. Do try these simple recipes as a starter to introduce lentils to your baby. And let us know in the comments below if your baby liked it.
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