We haven’t had very much luck feeding our 10 month old (meat) proteins such as chicken, fish, turkey, etc so we decided we would try adding quinoa to most of his purees, and this was a success. This is a great option for any other parents out there who are at a loss of how to feed your infant protein.
We use the Beaba Babybook machine for almost all of our cooking. We purchased a rice/pasta/grain insert for the Babycook for $6.99 and it has been awesome. Having a 10 month old who literally can’t sit still, makes it extremely difficult to cook quinoa on a stovetop – I burnt the first batch because I wasn’t watching it and the water all got absorbed, and when I finished the second batch (properly cooked), I left it on the counter and didn’t get a chance to “prep” it and put it away, so I ended up having to throw it out. So, having the insert for the Babycook has been a lifesaver.
I found the best ratios for cooking quinoa in the Beaba was 1/4 cup of (raw) quinoa, to 1/2 cup of water (in with the quinoa in the insert), and then fill the Beaba Babycook to level 3. (Yes, you need to add water to the quinoa as well as the Babycook). It takes about 15 min for it to finish steaming, and voila, you have perfectly cooked quinoa! (If you want it more el dante, just add less water to the quinoa, but the ratio provided above was perfect for baby food). While this was steaming, I cut up some carrots and put it on the other side of the Beaba to cook/steam. When those were done, I added the quinoa to the carrots, and then pureed it all together. It was seriously the easiest thing. And Linden doesn’t mind it, in fact he loves it. The quinoa thickens the carrots (or anything else you mix it with such as apples, pears, etc) so keep that in mind when mixing it with other foods. It adds 6 grams of protein per cup – not that he gets that much quinoa in the amount of food he eats, but it definitely adds something so that helps.
So, there you have it – adding protein into their diet without adding meat (if you have an infant who won’t eat meat yet).