Healthy recipes for a baby’s breakfast are often time consuming – more in the feeding than preparation but either way I find each meal can take up to an hour from start to finish. That’s fine on a lazy weekend but during the week I usually find myself rushing to get out the door with no time to spare.
Most snacks that can be eaten in the buggy tend to be bad for blood sugar levels (bananas, rice cakes, raisins) and I really believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s certainly the one meal my baby seems most interested in – others mostly consist of me distracting her whilst shoving bits of food into her mouth.
So I have been experimenting and have finally come up with a muffin that is not only tasty, but contains all the ingredients a baby needs to set them up for the day. I will go so far as to say they taste so good that the whole family love them and I struggle not to eat half of them hot out of the oven. Those that actually make it to the cooling rack I freeze and take one out at night so breakfast is ready to go in the morning.
The reason they’re so healthy is they contain vegetables, fruit, protein and good carbs in a well-balanced combination. They also provide omega 3 fats so it’s a pretty well-rounded meal. I selected each element for their specific health properties, but the star ingredient is chia.
What are chia seeds?
They’re a very versatile and thoroughly nutritious seed. Small, like sesame, but incredibly powerful. They were liberally used by the Aztecs, both nutritionally and medicinally, and are rapidly growing in popularity. You can find them in supermarkets and health food shops.
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fats and full of antioxidants which help prevent this vital fat from going rancid. They’re a complete source of protein (perfect for vegetarians) and contain abundant vitamins and minerals as well as a significant amount of fibre.
The fibre is what really distinguishes the seeds and makes them so versatile. When added to water (as I did for these muffins) they form a kind of gel which acts as a fantastic replacement for eggs in baking. This ‘gel’ also acts as a binder in your digestive system meaning they’re great for people with IBS and for kids with either diarrhoea or constipation as the gel soothes the gut and promotes proper bowel movements.
More ways to incorporate chia seeds is to add them into porridge, smoothies, yoghurt, pancakes, even sprinkled into omelettes and added to soups and stews. They can be sprinkled into just about anything and really do enhance the nutritional value of meals. This is especially important for babies – they eat so little so you really need to make sure every meal counts.
We hope your family enjoys this recipe. Let us know how you get on in the comments below or on our facebook page and don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter to receive more recipes, nutrition tips and expert advice.