Written by Andrea Gilroy, Registered Dietitian
As a Registered Dietitian and a Mom I'm always looking for easy and healthy options to feed my whole family. Riley's Kitchen's products are both convenient and nutritious.
When starting solid foods for the first time around 6 months of age we recommend:
- iron rich foods first
- little or no added salt or sugar
- nutrient dense
- a variety of different textures
Riley's Kitchen products check all of these boxes. The muffins, pancakes and fritters can also be cut into small pieces or strips and offered as finger foods. Allowing babies to feed themselves can help them to be more receptive to trying new foods. Let them get messy as they explore food with all their senses.
Babies are born with enough iron stores to last until 6 months of age. At 6 months their iron stores start to drop therefore solid foods are needed to provide enough iron for growth and development. This is why we recommend starting with iron rich solids.
There are 2 types of iron:
- Heme iron is found in meat, poultry, fish and eggs and is more easily absorbed by the body.
- Non-heme iron is found in plant-based foods like tofu, beans, lentils, enriched grains, nuts and seeds. It is not as easily absorbed by the body.
Riley’s Kitchen pancake, muffin and fritter mixes contain iron and you can help your body absorb the non-heme iron by pairing it with vitamin C. For example, you can top your chia oat pancakes with strawberries which are high in vitamin C; you can give your baby a banana oat muffin along with some kiwi for a snack (kiwi is also high in vitamin C); the fritter mix combined with sweet potato, red bell pepper or broccoli would be perfect because these are all high in vitamin C.
The products are also all high in fibre which is beneficial for the whole family. Fibre is one of those wonderful things that has so many health benefits including bowel regularity, heart health, blood sugar control, colon cancer prevention etc. Just make sure you’re giving your baby enough water because a high fibre diet without enough fluids can actually contribute to constipation.
Omega 3 fats are what we call essential fatty acids because our bodies can't make them so they must come from our diet. The highest source of omega 3 fats comes from fish but for a plant-based diet we can also get them from chia seeds and hemp seeds which can be found in Riley's Kitchen products. Omega 3 fats are important for babies because they help with brain, eye and nerve development. In adults they can also help to lower the risk of heart disease.
The best part is that Riley's Kitchen’s pancake, muffin and fritter mixes are healthy enough for baby but also tasty enough for the whole family. The muffins are naturally sweetened with banana so they are still sweet despite the fact that there is no added sugar. When you are feeding pancakes to baby just omit the syrup and add a dip to the fritter mix for the adults or older kids in the family.
Riley’s Kitchen has created some excellent products that can save parents time while still providing quality wholesome foods to our families. Thank you, Jen, for making our lives just a little easier!