How To Use Chia and Flax in Baby and Toddler Food
Flax seeds are crazy popular in health circles these days and for very good reason. They are loaded with an incredible amount of Omega 3 fatty acids that are proven to aid in brain function and intelligence. Flax seeds are also an excellent source of fiber to help your little one’s digestive system move right along. They are great to introduce around 7-8 months of age but until 12 months, you should serve flax meal (ground flax seeds) or flax oil instead of the whole seeds to avoid a choking hazard. Since flax is a great source of fiber, you’ll want to keep your baby’s daily intake to 3 teaspoons or less to lower the risk of diarrhea. There are no known negative side effects of over-consumption of flax.
Never heard of chia seeds before? Well, you are not alone. In the past couple of years, chia has moved from being a household plant (Ch-ch-ch-chia!) to being the latest superfood craze with doctors and celebrities alike going bananas for it, but maybe you haven’t heard all the facts. Chia is a seed that comes from a plant closely related to the mint family. They are packed so full of antioxidants, they contain three times the quantity of blueberries. They also have twice the potassium as bananas (goodbye Charlie horses) and three times the iron of spinach (Popeye would be so proud!). So now that I have you convinced to make a midnight run to Whole Foods for a big bag of chia seeds, read on for a super simple recipe for homemade chia seed pudding using these little gems. They are gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free to boot… pretty much perfect!
CHOCOLATE CHIA SEED PUDDING
Yields 2 servings
- 3 tablespoons raw chia seeds
- 1 cup of water (warm or cold depending on your preference
- ¼ teaspoon cocoa powder (splurge for the higher quality brand – it is well worth it!)
- 1 teaspoon honey, coconut nectar or maple syrup *note, honey is only safe for kids 12 months +
- ½ a banana sliced into bite-sized pieces
- Whisk the chia seeds and water together in a bowl.
- Allow to sit for 10 minutes until the seeds turn into a “gel” consistency almost like tapioca.
- Stir in the final three ingredients, divide into two bowls, serve and enjoy!