For the first six months, it's best if a baby is exclusively breastfed. Breast milk contains antibodies which will help your baby fight various types of viruses. Besides that, it also lowers the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Post that, the weaning phase begins and the kid is introduced to solid food. Salt and sugar is a no-no till the baby turns one, but as a parent, you need to start introducing different flavors and textures.
When pureeing food makes sure you keep changing the veggies and add some lemon or spice to it. The food habits you inculcate when your baby is small go in a long way. If you keep giving your baby the same food to eat, her/his taste may not develop and later on s/he may refuse to eat certain items. In fact, one of the things that most parents complain about is that their kid does not eat spicy food. We, Indians, love to add a variety of spices to our food, so it is best to start getting your child used to them when s/he is small.
Benefits of Spices:
Most spices have anti-inflammatory properties and are packed with antioxidants that help fight multiple diseases.
Black Pepper improves digestion and bowel movement.
Red pepper lowers the risk of skin and colon cancer. It also aids in weight loss.
Nutmeg has antibacterial compounds that fight Listeria and Salmonella.
Tumeric prevents Type 2 Diabetes and makes the skin glow.
So now that you know how good spices are, you must be thinking of ways to get your kid to eat spicy food. Follow these tips when introducing spice to your child:
Do not notify your child about it in advance. Yes, if you are adding some green chili to the sabji or red pepper to a pasta, ensure that your kid is unaware of it. Cause your child knows that the dish is spicy, s/he will most liley throw a tantrum and refuse to eat it.
Most of us are guilty of eating with our eyes and our interest in a dish would increase if it looked appealing. Well, the same goes for kids. When serving a spicy dish, make sure it is plated well and looks delicious. This may make your kid eager to try it out.
Finely chop the spices cause if your kid eats a big piece, his/her tongue will be on fire. This isn't good and may put your child off spices.
Even as adults, we all prefer certain spices over the other. So if you introduce black pepper (one of the most common spices in India) to your kid, try and use that in most dishes until s/he is very used to it. In case you use say red chili in another dish, your kid may find it way too spicy.
Maintain consistency when it comes to the amount of spice you add to a dish. If you use a tablespoon of chili powder in your sabji, do not double the quantity the next time you make it. Your kid’s tolerance to spice will grow slowly so keep using the same quantity for a while.
Make simple food as kids do not understand multiple flavors. If you are making a vegetable dish, just add salt, pepper, cumin seeds and maybe some kadipatta. Adding too many condiments will cause your child’s tastebuds.
Serve the spicy dish with something that’s a bit bland. In case your child finds the item too spicy, s/he can balance it out by having a sweeter accompaniment. For example: Mashed potato should be served alongside a spicy meat dish.