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The food industry has perhaps led us to believe that grain/cereal baby porridge are an essential food when infants start complementary feeding, but this isn’t the case.
This type of baby food is made with excessive amounts of sugars and sweeteners, which is clearly related to the increase in childhood obesity. 40% of Spanish children between 3 and 8 years of age are obese or overweight, according to the latest study on Nutrition, Physical Activity, Child Development and Obesity in Spain (ALADINO).
Although you won’t find the word “sugar” in their list of ingredients, the extrusion process of cereals (to make them more digestible), breaks their molecular structure, turning them from complex carbohydrates into simple ones, which our body absorb rapidly similar to what occurs with sugar. WHO (The World Health Organization) recommends zero sugars in complementary feeding.
It’s also important to keep in mind that giving babies sugary foods can condition their palate for life. Children can get very used to overly sweet flavors which are far different from the natural flavors of food and this can cause issues later down the road.
Did you know that you could be teaching your child how to be picky? When you give them extra sweet or sugary foods (especially at such a young age) they are more likely to refuse vegetables and other healthy options in the long run.
Baby Porridge Cereal-Free
I strongly believe that we shouldn’t feed our little ones industrial aka “boxed” baby food. Infancy is a crucial time of growth and is also of course, when a child establishes their eating habits and parents have a very important role to play.
Which leads me to today’s recipe, a paleo porridge that I started experimenting with a few months ago. My son Louis loves it! Keeping true to the fundamentals of a paleo diet it doesn’t contain any cereal. Instead, it is simply made with Cassava and Macadamia nuts, this combo is full of nutritional properties that are perfect for growing children.
Properties of Cassava for babies:
- It’s easy to digest
- Good source of energy.
- It’s gluten free.
- Rich in fiber.
- Calms hunger pains quickly and is very filling.
- High in vitamins C and B (B1. B2 and B6).
- Rich in minerals and trace elements such as magnesium, calcium, iron and potassium.
- It has a neutral flavor so it can be combined with other foods to make a variety of recipes.
Sugar & Cereal-Free Baby Porridge
- 1 medium-sized Cassavas
- 250 gr Macadamia Nuts
Cook the cassava together with the macadamia nuts for 30 minutes in a pressure cooker.
Let cool and then blend everything very well until it thickens just a bit to get a puree like texture.
And that’s it. You can leave it as is or you can experiment and add in different ingredients that your little one may like.
Today, I just added in a little butter. However, I recommend trying some avocado, sweet potato or banana. But feel free to get creative and explore with your little one!
Tip: If you’re a fan of prep days (or if you have been needing an excuse to try it) I suggest making a lot of porridge at once and then freeze it in cubes (using an ice tray). I always have several trays of this classic porridge on hand and it makes life 10x easier! I simply take out the cubes I need, defrost them and the porridge is ready in 5 minutes!