Are you looking for nutritious food options for your baby or toddler? Making sure your little one is getting enough of the essential nutrients they need can be a challenge – but this recipe does its part. Chia pudding for babies and toddlers is a tasty and easy meal idea perfect for little ones. It’s a nice treat for older kids and adults as well! It’s naturally gluten-free, full of protein, fibre, omega 3 fatty acids and plenty of other vital nutrients. It’s the ideal power snack or breakfast option to fuel the day!
What are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are tiny, nutrient-packed superfoods that have been gaining popularity lately as a health food. Chia seeds come from the Salvia hispanica L. plant, which is native to Central and South America. They look similar to sesame seeds in size and shape, but are black or white in colour.
These seeds are loaded with nutrients, including healthy fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals. They contain antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation in the body. Chia seeds are also a complete protein, meaning they contain the full spectrum of the nine essential amino acids that are not made by the body.
Chia seeds are a great addition to many dishes, as they add unique texture and nutritional value. They are commonly mixed with water or milk and allowed to sit to create a thick, gelatinous texture – which is how we make our chia seed pudding!
Nutritional Benefits of Chia Seeds for Babies & Toddlers
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
A mere 100g of chia seeds also contains 17.8 g omega-3 fatty acids3a, which have been associated with improved memory and learning. They also play a role in brain development. Chia seeds are a great way to incorporate this nutrient into your child’s diet – in fact, chia seeds are the leading plant source of Omega 3s.
Chia seeds are well-known for their high antioxidant content, particularly peptide antioxidants, which also demonstrate anti-hypertensive effects that help to improve heart health.
This is due to the fact that they contain a variety of compounds such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, lignans and other polyphenols, all of which are powerful antioxidants.
Antioxidants help protect the body from free radical damage and can help reduce inflammation in the body as well as support overall health.
Our Chia Seed Pudding for babies contains 17.3g fibre. Dietary fibre helps to keep the digestive system healthy, and can help prevent constipation. It also plays an important role in regulating blood sugar levels.
Our Baby Chia Pudding has a number of other beneficial nutrients as well. One serving contains 8.77g protein, 692.6mg calcium, 178.8mg magnesium, 336.9mg potassium, 428.9mg phosphorus, 131.6mg Vitamin A, 1.24mcg Vitamin B12, 1.97mcg Vitamin D and 5.76mg Vitamin E – plus many more. As you can see, chia pudding is a veritable nutrient powerhouse.
- Protein is required for cells to grow and develop, enabling the tissues and organs of our bodies to function properly.
- Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth. It is also important for muscle, heart and nerve function.
- Magnesium plays a role in fortifying bones, muscles and teeth. It also plays a role in regulating blood pressure, blood sugars and maintaining nerve and muscle function.
- Potassium plays a role in regulating fluid levels, maintaining healthy blood pressure and supporting muscle health.
- Phosphorus plays a key part in healthy growth and development. It helps to build strong bones and healthy teeth, supports proper muscle and nerve functioning, and is a key component of both DNA and RNA.
- Vitamin A is essential for babies and toddlers as they are growing and developing so quickly. It helps to support healthy cell growth, bone formation and white blood cell production, which aids in maintaining immune health. 10a
- Vitamin B12 helps in the production of red blood cells and DNA as well as supports healthy brain and nerve function.
- Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for babies and toddlers that helps with the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, acts as an anti-inflammatory and aids in the development of strong bones.
- Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, increases immune health and can promote heart health.
*Based on 1 serving of our Chia Pudding for Babies; Recipe yields 2 servings.
When Can Babies Eat Chia Seeds and Chia Pudding?
Chia seeds are an incredibly nutritious ‘superfood’ that can be easily added to many foods. Chia pudding is a delicious and simple way to incorporate this nutrient-dense food into your baby’s diet. Babies as young as 6 months old can safely enjoy chia pudding, making it a perfect snack for little ones just starting out with solid foods.
Once your little one hits the 18 month mark, you can begin to add chia seeds to add texture to fruit smoothies or other multi-ingredient drinks.
Babies and toddlers should not be given dry chia seeds.
Are Chia Seeds a Common Allergen?
No, chia seeds are not a common allergen for babies. However, while allergies to chia seeds are rare, allergies have been reported in plant species from the same family as chia seeds, such as menthol, oregano and thyme. Whenever introducing a new food product to your baby or toddler, keep a close eye out for signs of an allergic reaction – and always start with small portions.
Are Chia Seeds a Common Choking Hazard for Babies?
When not previously soaked in water or liquid, chia seeds may pose a choking hazard due to the fact that they expand when they come into contact with liquid and can sometimes clump together. This means that dry chia seeds will expand when your child puts them into his or her mouth.
Do not serve your little one dry chia seeds. Instead, pre-soak the seeds for a minimum of 15 minutes, as we do in this pudding recipe.
Making Chia Pudding for Babies & Toddlers
Basic Chia Pudding Recipe
You Will Need:
- ½ cup Chia Seeds
- 1 ½ cups Full Cream Milk OR Alula Gold Toddler Formula
- 2 Tbsp. 100% Pure Maple Syrup
- ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract or Paste
Mix all ingredients together in a Mason jar or similar container and allow to sit overnight in the fridge. Voila! Serve plain or with optional toppings. Makes 2 servings.
Chia Pudding Variations
Popular variations of chia pudding for babies include chocolate avocado chia pudding, banana chia pudding, adding berries or other cut fruits, sweet potatoes or even miso for a fun, umami variation.
If you want to make your little one a savoury baby chia pudding, you can omit the maple syrup and vanilla from our base recipe and use miso or sesame paste instead.
The possibilities are endless. This is a very flexible recipe, so feel free to play around and see what your baby or toddler likes best. Add in your child’s favourite ingredients as a fun way to get them to try new foods!
Benefits of Giving Chia Pudding to Your Little One
Besides the fact that chia pudding for babies is packed with nutrients and fun flavours and textures, it’s super parent-friendly, too! With minimal ingredients and prep time, it’s easy to make ahead for a delicious breakfast at home or on-the-go.
For more yummy and nutrient-packed meals and snacks for your little one, check out our recipe collection