Chia is a superfood seed which derives from Salvia Hispanica, a desert plant natively grown in South America. These tiny seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch, with one ounce containing roughly 139 calories, four grams of protein, eleven grams of fiber, nine grams of fat, antioxidants and a healthy dose of calcium, manganese, and omega-3s. Unlike flax seeds, chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be easily absorbed by the body. Their mild, nutty flavour makes them an ideal versatile ingredient to add to foods or beverages.
As with adding any new ingredient to your baby’s diet, check with your pediatrician first before introducing chia to your baby’s food.
What are the benefits of eating chia seeds?*
Levels out blood sugar
Induces weight loss
Aids with intestinal regularity
Helps reduce acid reflux
How to incorporate chia seeds into recipes:
Add to yogurt, fruit purees, rice dishes, salads and salad dressings, etc.
Use as a substitute for eggs in vegan recipes by mixing with water (1 Tbsp chia seeds : 3 Tbsp warm water). Allow to sit until thickened and the chia eggs are similar in consistency to regular eggs.
Add to drinks and smoothies for a denser consistency.
Add a tablespoon or two to baked goods, such as muffins, breads, etc.
Sprinkle on cereals or mix into granola or energy bars.
Here are some nutritious, chia-inspired recipes to make for baby:
main image: Getty / m-chin