Are you considering giving your child corn as a first food? You’re in good company: it’s a popular choice! But is corn suitable for babies? And how do you prepare it?
In this guide, you will learn how to feed your child corn—with recipes for corn puree, mini quiches, stir fries and more. By increasing corn in your baby’s diet, you can help build their wellbeing from a young age; setting them up for lifelong healthy eating. Here’s what you need to know about feeding corn to babies.
For centuries, corn has been a source of nutrients for adults and children alike. Today, corn is one of the world’s major food sources: containing significant health benefits and bioactive compounds. It falls into the “Breads & Cereals” category of the Toddler Food Groups; and is mainly made up of carbohydrates and water.
Corn as a Nutrient Source
Compared with other whole grain foods, corn is unique in its nutritional composition. It contains a wide range of nutrients including:
- Vitamins A, B, E and K, as well as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and folate.
- Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.
- Resistant starch and fibre to aid with digestive health.
Below, we’ll break down some of the nutritional benefits of giving your child corn. Whether you’re learning about baby led weaning or updating your puree recipe collection, there are many ways you can incorporate corn in your little one’s diet.
Though corn and sweet corn have similar composition, Vitamin C is found only in sweet corn. Vitamin C is essential to the production of collagen – a fibrous protein found in connective tissue, throughout the body’s nervous and immune systems: and the bone, cartilage, blood, brain and nerves. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant.
Fibre is important for your child’s digestive health, as it encourages healthy bowel movements and helps them feel fuller for longer after meal times.
Being rich in insoluble dietary fibre and resistant starch, corn naturally contributes to digestive health. Corn is a great choice for first foods, as it provides your child with the benefit of fibre. It has 2g of fibre per 100g.
Corn is a good source of other nutrients. Of all the common grains (rice, wheat and oats), corn has the highest amount of antioxidant activity.
Antioxidants are crucial to the body’s fight against free radicals. When free radicals steal electrons from other molecules, this can damage DNA and cell membranes. To neutralise this harmful process, antioxidants offer some of their own electrons to the body’s free radicals.
How to Introduce Corn to Your Baby
There are a few different ways you can prepare corn for your child. Read on to discover our best baby food recipes involving corn. It may take a little experimentation to find your child’s favourite corn recipes; but once they discover this sweet and nutritious veggie, they’ll soon be asking for more.
6 Months – 1 Year
From the age of 6 months, you can introduce corn to babies: but it must be pureed, as the corn kernels may become a choking hazard.
13 Months – 2 Years
As your child grows, corn can become a tasty staple to fuel their energetic needs. There are many ways to prepare corn—from mini quiches to chicken and baby corn stir fries. They’re easy to make, and your baby will find delight in these favourites for years to come.
To discuss potential corn allergies and whether this food is right for your child, speak to their health care professional.
Corn & Ham Mini Quiches
8 slices wholegrain or multigrain bread – crusts removed
20g olive oil spread
125g can corn kernels – drained
1/3 cup (35g) reduced fat cheddar cheese – coarsely grated
50g ham slices – finely chopped
1/3 cup green capsicum – grated
1/2 cup prepared formula
- Preheat the oven to 160°C.
- Use a rolling pin to flatten bread to 5mm thick.
- Spread olive oil on slices and line a muffin tin with the bread, olive oil side down.
- Put equal amounts of the corn, cheese, ham and grated green capsicum evenly among the bread cups.
- Lightly whisk eggs and the prepared formula. Pour evenly into each cup.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until just set and lightly golden.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
Chicken & Baby Corn Stir Fry
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion – finely chopped
300g chicken tenderloin – cut into thin strips
10 baby corn spears – canned or fresh
1 carrot – finely sliced
50g (approximately 10) snow peas
2 tsp salt reduced soy sauce
¼ tsp chicken stock
2 tsp honey
½ cup brown rice
- Cook rice according to packet instructions and until tender. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and cook chicken in batches, setting aside.
- Heat leftover oil in a pan and stir fry onion, corn, carrot and snow peas for 2-3 minutes until softened.
- Return chicken to pan and add stock, water, soy sauce and honey: stir frying for 1-2 minutes until sauce boils and slightly thickens.
From the age of two, your child is ready to progress to a much broader range of dishes! As their confidence and familiarity increases with solid foods, they’ll likely want to experience more and more diversity in their meals. Whether you’re using fresh corn, frozen corn, or – if they’re old enough – corn on the cob – this versatile veggie can be used in a range of ways.
Benefits of Giving Corn to Your Baby
Enjoy this time, as you watch your infant’s taste buds develop. Their current diet will shape their eating habits in the future: it’s important to have a simple and nutritious repertoire of recipes on hand.