Small but mighty.
Although small in size, lentils can offer huge benefits to your growing baby. Low in fat, lentils are also high in protein, folate, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, fiber and iron, plus feature vitamins A, B and C. Collectively, these healthy lentil ingredients help to build your baby’s immune, skeletal, and muscular vascular system, plus helps to enhance brain development. Like most beans and legumes, lentils are sometimes labeled as a gas-causing food for baby, so they should be slowly introduced into your little one’s diet. Most pediatricians recommend first serving lentils (and beans and legumes) when your child is between eight and 10 months old.
A healthy, versatile favorite.
Typically mimicking the flavor of the foods they are cooked with, lentils are an ideal, healthy ingredient for your baby food recipes. When preparing lentils, begin by rinsing them in cold water. Lentils cook to a mushier consistency than most other beans and vegetables, making them easier for your baby to eat and digest. When adding lentils to your baby’s diet, keep it simple. Start by simmering them in a homemade chicken or beef broth, or mix cooked lentils into your baby’s veggie puree. Lentils are also the perfect “thickener” for purees, soups or casseroles, and also go well with fruits and veggies. The cooking possibilities are virtually endless with this versatile favorite, so feel free to see which lentil recipes your baby loves best!
Interesting lentil facts.
Lentils are said to have originated in Asia and the Middle East over 8000 years ago, and were also found in tombs of the ancient Egyptians in 2400 BC. A member of the legume family, lentils come in all shapes and colors, including brown, yellow, red and black. Lentils are used as a key food ingredient around the world and are particularly popular in Middle Eastern countries, Greece, France and India. Since 1989, lentils have been honored each year during the National Lentil Festival in Pullman, Washington. The Greek playwright Aristophanes called lentil soup the “sweetest of delicacies.”
Try one of these delicious lentil recipes the next time you’re looking for a new recipe for your family.