Babies and nuts are, for many, a scary combination. In a time when we seem to be frightened of our own shadow, especially when parenting, we tend to opt for the ‘safest’ option, avoidance.
Since avoidance has never been my cup of tea and in light of the growing body of pro-nut evidence, mentioned below the recipes, I am sharing some of Tilly’s favourite nutty recipes with you.
As always, we use organic produce wherever possible, particularly when it comes to canned or shelf stable food, as they tend to have more toxic additives and preservatives than fresher produce.
Just remember, if you don’t know what it is then you don’t know what it’s doing to you.
Use foods with single ingredients wherever possible (eg. Peanut butter ingredients: Peanuts)
Banana & Peanut Butter Smoothy
1 Ripe Banana (the spottier the better)
1 tablespoon Peanut Butter (Macro is excellent)
2 tablespoons filtered Water
1 tablespoon of Greek Yogurt (pot set)
Cinnamon – optional (little sprinkle)
Using a fork, mash over ripe banana in a bowl until it becomes a smooth paste. Add peanut butter, water, yogurt and cinnamon and continue mashing/mixing to combine.
This makes 1 to 1 and a snack serves, Tilly will eat this for breakfast, but separate half, in case it’s a bit much.
Coconut, Nectarine and Chia Pudding (6 months +)
1/2 can Coconut Milk
1 peeled Nectarine
3 tablespoons of Chia Seeds
2 tablespoons filtered Water – if necessary
Blend Nectarine and Coconut milk in a blender or food processor until smooth, add Chia Seeds and leave to soak for 3 hours. Check consistency and add water as necessary. Chia seeds will form a slight jelly, it should not be a thick pudding for a small infant 6months of age or less.
(Not recommended for children under 6months, ensure mixture is not thick as it can create a choking hazard – as with any foods and young babies, never leave your child alone with food.)
Pesto Chicken, with Sweet Potato
50g Chicken Thigh
50g Sweet Potato
3 Basil Leaves or half a teaspoon of dried basil
1/4 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Pine nuts
Boil Chicken and sweet potato in a saucepan with filtered water, until both are cooked. Strain and cool.
Add basil and nuts to food processor and blend with oil, as it is a small quantity this will only work in a small processor or a cup style blender. If you don’t have either then crush the nuts in a mortar and pestle and finely chop the basil.
If you don’t have a mortar and pestle put the nuts in a zip lock bag and crush with the back of a knife. It is important to crush the nuts firsf, as the nuts may not completely blend when mixed in with the remaining ingredients.
Blend all ingredients together and serve.
When it comes to introducing babies to allergens avoidance is not necessarily the safest option at all. Studies have shown that early introduction to allergens including dairy/lactose, gluten, egg and nuts may prevent allergies from developing and there is little to no evidence proving that the delay of introducing allergens during infancy will prevent them.
It is important to note that there are many types of nut allergens, as ‘nut’ is a broad term for several varieties of nuts and legumes. Whilst some may be allergic to several types of nuts, seeds and legumes, eg. Peanuts, Pistachio or Hazelnut, others may only be allergic to only one kind. Thus, it is important to introduce a wide variety of each, separately, in order to monitor reactions and encourage the prevention of each allergen.
When introducing these allergens ensure that you introduce one at a time, leaving days between each introduction.
Always watch the child for two hours, to ensure no adverse reaction, including anaphylaxis.
If you notice any signs of anaphylaxis, such as swelling of the tongue or airways, with difficulty breathing, call an ambulance or visit an Emergency Department immediately.
Anaphylaxis is only one kind of reaction, however you may notice less serious reactions to foods such as stomach or intestinal pain, in which case you can seek medical advice from a GP.