Have you ever given chia seeds to your baby? Chia seeds are nutritional powerhouses, and pack a lot of nutrition in relatively small amounts. I get a lot of questions around chia seeds for babies, though, and whether chia seeds are safe for babies and how to prepare chia seeds for babies.
Chia seeds for babies
Chia seeds are full of important nutrients that our kids need, like iron, zinc, omega 3s, fiber, and calcium to name a few. They have a relatively large amount of these nutrients in small portions. For example, 1 teaspoon of chia seeds has almost the same amount of iron that 1 tablespoon of beef does! And when it comes to babies who aren’t eating a ton of food, packing in the nutrition can really help to meet their needs.
Are chia seeds safe for babies?
There are rumors that go around from time to time online about chia seeds not being safe for babies. Well, that’s all they are. Rumors! Chia seeds are absolutely safe for babies. Chia seeds have been used for thousands of years as a food by many different cultures. I also scoured the research looking for any incidents with chia seeds and children, or even adults, to back up the rumors of them being dangerous.
All that I could find was one instance of a man who already had trouble swallowing (in other words, dysphagia). He ate a large amount of dry chia seeds at once and then drank water right after and got them stuck in his throat. This is one instance though, and chia seeds are quite a popular food!
How to serve chia seeds to babies
Chia seeds can be served by sprinkling them on top of things, soaking them first, or grinding them. If you are concerned about their safety, you can always stick to sprinkling chia on top of things that are already moist, like yogurt or oatmeal, or simply soak them first.
Do you have to grind chia seeds
The short answer is no, you don’t have to. Some research studies say that grinding them will allow for the absorption of more nutrients. Other studies say it makes no difference. So really, it’s up to you. I never grind my chia seeds, but I know lots of people who do. Chia is a small seed, and not a choking hazard for babies, even when not ground.
How to prepare chia seeds for babies
If you decide to soak chia seeds before serving them, simply soak them in a liquid of your choice. You can soak them in water, milk, breast milk, yogurt, or even oatmeal. They are incredibly versatile, and can be used in so many different ways.
If you grind your chia seeds, simply use them afterwards as you would if you hadn’t ground them.
Try sprinkling chia seeds on top of toast spread with nut butter, using them in overnight oats to help soak up some of the liquid, stirring them in at the end of cooking oatmeal, or sprinkled on top of yogurt.
How many chia seeds can babies have
Chia seeds are full of fiber. Because of this, I recommend starting slowly with them. Start by sprinkling a few on top of things, and gradually work your way up to more. I usually recommend keeping chia seed intake to 1-2 teaspoons per day to avoid overloading on them. Although this is just a guideline to keep in mind, and not a firm one at that.
Chia seeds for constipation
Many babies suffer from constipation. Chia seeds are a food that have been shown to help with constipation in some cases. While no food is a magic pill that will cure constipation, starting to add chia seeds to your child’s foods throughout the week is a good way to try to combat constipation.
Baby's First Foods - Free Printable Version!
Download this handout for your fridge to help you and your family remember quick and healthy ways to feed your baby! Full of tips on how much to serve and how to cook the food, you don't want to miss it.