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Baby Quinoa: The Perfect Baby Food

For years, fans of natural and healthy foods have been enjoying quinoa, the South American super food. Now, quinoa’s smaller cousin, called kañiwa, has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, kañiwa was first domesticated by pre-Columbian settlers of Tiahuanaco in what is now Bolivia and Peru. Suitable for growing in cold temperatures high in the mountains, this super seed remains an Andean staple and is typically taken on long trips by locals, who prize the lasting energy and nutrients it provides.

Sweeter than ordinary quinoa, with seeds half the size and a dark reddish-brown color, kañiwa has been nicknamed “baby quinoa.” The name fits: baby quinoa just might be the perfect baby food.

Gill Schneider, CEO of Pereg Natural Foods, says, “Baby quinoa is predicted to become the next ‘new’ ancient superfood. Also known as kañiwa, it is an excellent source of complete protein and amino acids, is exceptionally high in iron, and is gluten-free.” And unlike quinoa, kañiwa doesn’t need rinsing to wash away soapy-tasting saponins, making it a breeze to prepare.

Easy to make and packed with nutrients, baby quinoa is ideal for busy parents who want to raise healthy babies.

For babies eight months and above, baby quinoa delivers that same treasure trove of nutrients, in a delicious and easily digestible form. Kañiwa is packed with B vitamins to give babies energy, calcium, and phosphorus to promote bone growth, and it’s especially rich in iron.

Kañiwa also delivers amino acids babies won’t get from ordinary grains, especially lysine, which helps little bodies synthesize protein and create energy. It delivers omega fatty acids to help little eyes and brains develop. And it’s full of fiber, aiding in healthy digestion. (Always consult your physician when adding new foods to your baby’s diet.)

How To Prepare Baby Quinoa For Your Baby

There are so many great ways to serve baby quinoa. Here are a few ideas.

For a simple baby cereal, boil ½ cup kañiwa in a cup of water or milk for 12 minutes. Then blend to a smooth purée. You can also add cinnamon or vanilla.

To make a pilaf, mix 1 cup cooked kañiwa with ⅓ cup chicken or vegetable stock and ¼ cup peas. Simmer for 10 minutes.

For a fruity treat, boil ¼ cup kañiwa with ½ cup water, then reduce to a simmer and add a small diced apple and a spoonful of raisin. Simmer for 5 minutes, turn off, and stir in half a mashed banana and a pinch of cinnamon. Delicious!

Pereg Natural Foods Baby Quinoa is packaged in 5-oz. boxes ($3.57) and resealable 16-oz. bags ($5.50) and is available to food buyers, distributors, and food service. Pereg Natural Foods products are sold at supermarkets, specialty stores, and natural food stores nationwide

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