Would you believe me if I told you that there is a secret ingredient you can add to your baby’s food that will provide a massive nutritional boost? An incredibly healthy ingredient with a flavor so mild your child won’t even notice?
This sounds too good to be true, right?
However, that secret ingredient is out there – and you can boost the nutritional value of many of your child’s meals with a simple addition wheat germ.
Note: Before including wheat germ (which contains gluten), or any wheat products in your child’s diet, remember to check with your doctor.
What is wheat germ?
Nutritionally, wheat germ is one of the most valuable products available. It is the smallest part of the whole bean, consisting of 4 parts
- peel (outer layer)
- bran (a nutritious, high-fiber part of the grain)
- endosperm (the bulk of the grain used in processed grain foods)
- The germ (the smallest part of a grain full of nutrients)
Why is wheat germ good for my baby?
The list of nutrients found in wheat germ is impressive — in fact, wheat germ provides more nutrients per ounce than any other grain or vegetable. By adding it to your baby’s food, you are providing him with it
- Folic acid
- Phosphorous (necessary for healthy teeth and bones)
- The fiber
- Vitamin A
- Vitamins B1 and B3
- Vitamin B5 (also known as pantothenic acid, which helps the body absorb energy from food)
- Vitamin E (which strengthens the immune system)
- Protein (the protein content of wheat germ is actually higher than most meats)
Purchase and storage of wheat germ
You can buy wheat germ at health food stores and it’s more common in supermarkets. It’s sold in both fresh and roasted forms—fresh is best, if available.
You may notice on the packaging that it is advised to keep wheat germ in the refrigerator (fresh should be cooled immediately and roasted in the refrigerator as soon as opened). This is important because wheat germ contains fat and will spoil if stored incorrectly. To maintain freshness, always keep opened wheat germ in an airtight container.
Add wheat germ to baby food
Wheat germ has a very faint sweet taste, which means you can easily add it to savory and sweet baby food dishes. If your baby is fussy eating and you are concerned that he is not receiving enough nutrition from his solid food, adding wheat germ ensures that he gets an extra dose of valuable nutrients with everything he eats. It can be included in almost any dish…
- Sprinkle some on baby cereal or fruit puree
- Use it over cooked vegetables
- Stir it into your child’s soup, casserole, or soup
- Stir some into your baby’s milk
- Mix it with bread crumbs when spreading chicken, tofu, etc. for your baby
- Use it as a “dust” to cover your baby’s slippery foods
- When baking for baby, use small amounts of wheat germ rather than equivalent amounts of flour
Remember, wheat germ helps with constipation, which means giving your baby too much may have the exact opposite effect! Sprinkle a little on his meals and don’t use wheat germ if your child has diarrhoea.