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The best herbs and spices to give to babies

Although it is important that babies get to know pure flavours, you can definitely add flavour by adding some herbs and spices. Fresh, soft herbs like basil, coriander and dille and fragrant spices like cumin, cinnamon and nutmeg are great ways to introduce some more fragrant flavours into your baby’s palate. On top of that, herbs and spices are beneficial for our bodies. For example, parsley is very rich in vitamins C and K and in iron and many spices have antioxidant properties.

Herbs and spices

The world of herbs and spices has long been avoided for our little eaters. Not rightly so. Fresh, soft herbs like basil, coriander and dill can really take dishes to another level, offering fresh, zingy and fragrant flavours. When it comes to spices, there’s a world of flavour waiting for your little one. Spices are used throughout the world to add that bit of extra to food. Some cultures use lots of spices, and others use less or just more neutral ones. Whatever you prefer yourself, we think it’s important your child learns about them and can develop their own flavour preference. Also, herbs and spices can even contribute to our health, and also that of our children. For example, parsley is very rich in iron and vitamins C and K and many spices have antioxidant properties.

When can babies eat herbs and spices

Although it is important that babies get to know pure flavours, you can definitely start incorporating herbs and spices early on. There is no rule or specific amount of weeks before which babies can’t eat herbs and spices.

We recommend starting the transition to solids with pure vegetable and fruit flavours. Let your child get used to the sweet, grassy or even sometimes bitter flavours of vegetables and fruit. After a few weeks you can take their familiar flavours and add some new flavours to them. Try adding some dill to your beetroot puree, or a pinch of cinnamon to an apple puree. Experiment a bit and don’t overdo it with the quantities. A little goes a long way for a baby who’s never tasted any of these flavours before.

Celeriac thyme

How to introduce the first herbs and spices

You want to start with fresh herbs that are not too tough in texture. You could also use harder herbs, like rosemary, while cooking to add some flavour but you will have to remove it before serving it.

Here’s a list of soft fresh herbs that are perfect to start with:

Basil - Chives - Coriander or cilantro - Dill - Thyme - Mint - Fresh oregano - Sage - Tarragon - Parsley

Here are some of the best spices you can start with:

Nutmeg - Saffron - Paprika - Cinnamon - Turmeric - Cumin - Sumac - Curry powder - Mild chili powder - Ground coriander

Some classic combinations you and your baby will love

In terms of flavour combinations, a lot goes! Go wild and experiment, or if you’re not sure yet, try some of these classic combinations:

- Basil & tomatoes
- Sage & pumpkin
- Dill & salmon
- Mint & lamb
- Coriander & avocado
- Oregano & courgette
- Chives & potatoes
- Cinnamon & apple
- Cumin & chickpeas

These are just a few combinations but there’s tons of opportunities and little chance to get it wrong. Give our cauliflower and turmeric pasta with ham a try!

Cauliflower pasta

Let you child discover with all their senses

Herbs are not only tasty but some also have a very strong smell. It’s great to let your child explore with all their senses by crushing some mint, for example, or basil between your fingers and letting them smell. Let them play with some different herbs that are soft enough to eat just like that. It’s a great way of exploring by touch, smell and taste and really expanding the world of flavour.

Father feeding child landscape

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