One of the many reasons why I decided to make my own baby food is that I am able to experiment with a variety of taste, texture and use a wider range of herbs and spices than what is found in commercial baby food. Using spices and herbs in your baby’s foods is a great way to offer interesting flavours without the use of sugar or salt. It is a great way to liven your baby’s repertoire of daily dishes, expand your little one’s taste buds and also help her develop a taste for adult foods – that’s the ultimate goal of weaning right? To get your baby to eat the same meals as the rest of the family.
Garlic is considered healthy to consume and contains a good many nutrients that are good for people of all ages.
Benefits of Garlic in your baby’s diet
- Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it may help protect against conditions like arthritis in later life and may also reduce the symptoms of asthma.
- A diet rich in garlic may help protect the body against many forms of cancer. The allicin (this compound gives garlic its potent odor) in garlic acts as a powerful anti-oxidant and more and more studies are showing just how important garlic may be in the fight against this disease.
- Garlic is also great for your heart – it may help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risks of high blood pressures, strokes and heart attack in later life.
- It is a great source of vitamin C, and it also contains vitamins B6 and B1, manganese, selenium, potassium and iron.
When can I give my baby garlic
It is best to begin with a small amount of garlic to your baby during the initial introduction. Some garlic may be more potent than others and may hurt your baby’s stomach. Like with any food, garlic should be introduced to your baby at the right time. It’s important to introduce new foods one at a time as it will help you monitor your little one for signs of a food allergy. If he’s never had garlic, don’t serve it with other items he hasn’t tried, serve it with foods your little one is used to.
I incorporated garlic in my son’s meals from 7 months, I cook a lot with garlic so it was important to me to introduce it to my son, sooner rather than later.
How to cook garlic for your baby
I love cooking with fresh garlic in order to receive the benefits of garlic. Garlic squeezed through a garlic press is so much stronger in flavour than garlic minced with a knife, so use pressed garlic when you want full-force flavor to come through. Alternatively, you can use chopped garlic when you want to curtail it. Do not overcook your garlic either, as overcooking will get rid of its healthy benefits. You can add garlic to just about any savoury dish, as it only seems to enhance the flavour of whatever it’s added to! You’ll find many recipes in Micah’s Meals that list garlic as an ingredient.
Please note, garlic should be added to your child’s food and not given directly, as most babies will not eat raw garlic and it is too hard for your baby to chew and may pose as a choking hazard.
How to select and store garlic
When selecting garlic, choose unblemished, clean bulbs with unbroken dry skins and firm cloves. When buying garlic in the store, pick the bulb up and give it a light squeeze to be sure none of the outside cloves are too soft or dry. It should feel firm and not hollow or dehydrated.
Store garlic in a cool, dry place where air can circulate. Avoid storing garlic in the refrigerator; refrigerating garlic inhibits flavour and dehydrates the cloves.
As garlic ages, it will begin to produce green sprouts in the center of each clove. Don’t fret: these infant green sprouts are not harmful to eat but can be bitter, so discard them before using the garlic for your recipe.
Properly stored garlic can keep up to three months.