When you cook with herbs, food tastes better and smells fabulous. Plus they add a nutrition boost to meals. Herbs contain beneficial phytonutrients and antioxidants to keep the body strong.
Introducing herbs to your child at an early age helps to develop their sense of taste and can make foods more interesting. Start out by adding an herb or spice to baby food purees. Simply add a small pinch of one herb or spice before cooking the food. The flavor of herbs, spices and natural flavors becomes more subtle when cooked. Once the food is cooked, puree it.
Here is a list of baby friendly herbs, spices and natural flavor enhancers and the foods that pair well with them:
Sweet Herbs and Spices:
- Cinnamon: Sweet potatoes, Winter Squashes, Apples, Bananas, Peaches, Pumpkin and Cherries
- Clove: Apples, Sweet potatoes, Pumpkin and Pineapple
- Ginger: Sweet potatoes, Winter Squashes, Pears, Peaches, Pumpkin, Black Beans, Carrots and White Beans
- Nutmeg: Apples, Apricots, Nectarines, Peaches and Blueberries
Savory Herbs and Spices:
- Oregano: Yellow Squash (Crooked Neck), Zucchini and Eggplant
- Dill: Peas, Yellow Squash (Crooked Neck), Zucchini, Asparagus, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower and Beets
- Tarragon: Peas, Carrots, Snow Peas, Sugar Snap Peas, White Beans and Corn
- Basil: Yellow Squash (Crooked Neck), Zucchini, Green Beans and Eggplant
- Cumin: Black Beans, Carrots and Pinto Beans
Other Natural Flavors:
- Garlic: Black Beans, Broccoli, Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas), Spinach, White Beans and White Potatoes
- Lemon or Orange Zest: Winter Squashes, Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Cauliflower, Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas), Green Beans, Beets, Blueberries and Strawberries.
- Sweet Onion: Peas, Yellow Squash (Crooked Neck), Cauliflower, Pinto Beans, Spinach, White Potatoes and Corn
- Vanilla: Apples, Pears and Peaches