People everywhere are starting to become much more conscious of the foods they put into their bodies. For years health food nuts have been eating tofu because of its health benefits. Recently many parents have begun creating home made baby foods using tofu. There are many skeptics because there are so many misinformed ideas about tofu and whether or not it is good for babies. Tofu is a wonderful food in that it offers a very high amount of protein and can be considered a perfectly balanced meal when eaten with simple grains. In addition, tofu can be eaten in a number of different ways. It can be used to create delicious deserts or as a salty snack. It can be eaten alone in chunks or mixed with fruit or vegetables.
Benefits of Tofu
Tofu is believed to have nearly all of the benefits that are contained in soybeans. It contains a high amount of iron, calcium, fiber and fatty acids, as well as many other essential nutrients. In addition, tofu is a food that is considered a complete protein. The amount of protein in just four ounces of tofu is approximately 9 grams of protein. Firm tofu is even higher in fatty acids, calcium and protein, making it very nutritious as a whole food for babies. Tofu is an excellent choice for babies who are allergic to dairy products as it provides them with all of the essentials that dairy does.
Misconceptions About Tofu
Until recently most doctors believed that tofu was too hard on a baby’s intestines and digestive system due to an under developed flora. They felt that babies could not digest tofu because it would not break down well. More recent studies have shown that tofu is actually quite easily digested by babies and as a result many more parents are introducing it into their babies’ diets. While it is recommended that babies be at least 8 months of age before being given tofu, there are some parents who have opted to use it much earlier. However, it is vital to clear any new item that you want to include in your baby’s diet with his/her pediatrician. Please note that the recommended age for feeding tofu is 8 months or higher, whether or not some parents choose to follow that guideline or not.
One of the main reasons that it is suggested to wait until a baby is 8 months old before giving tofu is that there is a potential for soy allergy. When a baby has a reaction to soy it can be very ugly and this is why it is best to wait until the baby is a bit older. Severe allergic reactions in tiny infants can be very serious. The best way to find out if your baby has an allergy to tofu is to either consult with an allergist and have a skin test done or introduce a small amount at first to see how the baby does. Most of the time there are no issues at all but as with any new introduction into your baby’s diet you should use caution when first giving tofu.
Simplicity of Adding Tofu
The best part about adding tofu to your baby’s diet is that it is so easy to do. Not only is tofu very healthy for your baby but it does not have a very strong flavor. This means you can add it in a number of ways. Tofu acts a little like a sponge and tends to absorb the flavor of whatever food you have mixed with it. For example, if you blend tofu with peaches you will wind up with a creamy sort of peach dessert much like peaches and cottage cheese. If you add tofu to a vegetable then you would get something very similar to a ricotta type veggie mix. In addition, tofu can be served all by itself and cut into small chunks that your baby can eat right in his/her high chair.
Finding Tofu Baby Food Recipes
The best way to find a variety of recipes for making your own tofu baby food is to go online. There are a number of health websites that are geared toward creating your own healthier choices when it comes to baby food. There are probably hundreds of different recipes for all sorts of baby foods that include tofu. You may also check your local bookstore for a tofu recipe book. Most of the time, they will also include some ideas for making baby food. If you are already familiar with tofu then you will have no trouble coming up with ideas on your own. Keep in mind that storing tofu can be a bit tricky as there is also the risk of it spoiling. For this reason you may want to make only what you will use in a day or two. However, it is possible to freeze tofu but for optimum taste and freshness, making foods that include tofu to order is best. Also, pay careful attention to the expiration date on the tofu product you purchase.
As parents it is important that we help our babies get off to a good start where eating healthy foods are concerned. We have a choice in what we feed our infants and it is up to us to be sure that the foods we get them acclimated to are good choices. We can shape the way out children eat from a very early age, helping them to realize much happier and healthier lifestyle. Tofu is a great staple and a lot of people enjoy the many health benefits of eating it. If you have been considering using tofu in your baby’s diet then have a talk with your family doctor and see if he/she thinks incorporating it in your baby’s regimen is a good idea.