Editor’s Note: The following article is one in a series of pieces inspired by a celebration of Latino heritage and smart nutrition, brought to you by Beech-Nut/Goya.
As philosophies around feeding babies evolve, experts are moving away from the recommendations of only plain, bland foods for infants. As it turns out, a vast array of spices and flavors carry not only nutritional benefits but also set our children up with more accepting palates in the future. Gone are the days of mashed banana and pureed peas being the only thing your baby can eat!
There are great choices and a wide variety of flavors available for babies, and now, some even have a Latin flair. Beech-Nut and Goya have teamed up to create authentic, Hispanic flavors in prepared baby food for our kids to enjoy.
HISPANIC FLAVORS FOR BEGINNERS
At home, we can prepare and introduce traditional Latino flavors simply by mashing up some fruit of choice. But if we’re looking for convenience and the rib-sticking goodness of a cereal for beginning eaters, there are now corn cereals, oatmeal with bananas, rice cereal with mango, and whole wheat cereal options. From there, after sampling pureed fruits and veggies, there are both beef and chicken options that are soy and gluten-free.
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FUN FLAVORS WITH LATIN FLAIR
Fruits and vegetables that are standards of the Latino diet didn’t used to be available in prepared foods, but thanks to Beech-Nut and Goya, now they are. How incredible does a puree of apples and guava sound, right? Some other great new combos are peach and mango, pear and guava, and a fun vegetable medley. For the more advanced eaters, combinations include banana, apple and plum and pear apricot. My personal favorite, because I’m a sucker for the sweet stuff myself, is the new rice pudding flavor. Yum!
The Latinization of America is providing the Hispanic community with more choices in the market as we continue to grow and thrive. Beechnut and Goya have created a fusion of Hispanic flavors and traditional American baby food purees to give us all more options for our children’s oh-so-important first foods.
AN EARLY START ON OUR HERITAGE
While it’s not recommended to go nuts with the habaneros for your infant, there’s no reason why we mamis can’t sprinkle a little cumin or add a little cilantro to our infant’s foods. Our children will be much more likely to embrace the flavors of their heritage later in life if they’re exposed to them early on. Nobody wants a picky eater who only wants applesauce and chicken nuggets, so why not work on bringing the flavors of our culture into our kitchens not just for us, but for our infants?
These new baby foods are truly a winning combination for us as Latina mothers and for our non-Hispanic counterparts. Jarred purees are by far the most easy and convenient options for busy moms, so we all benefit from these brand new options that include the flavors and health benefits of traditional Hispanic foods. And they taste good, too!