Thinking Chickpeas, full of protein and iron, great for children!


Chickpeas are a great source of protein and iron, brilliant for children who are growing rapdily


When we think about foods that are high in protein and fibre, chickpeas might not be one of them. We should because they are a great source of protein especially when cooked.


Chickpeas are a great source of iron (as well as folate, zinc and B6). These vitamins are vital for growth and development. Iron is vital for babies being important for the rapid growth spurt that happens up till around the age of two. The stores that babies are born with start to run out by the age of 6 months. Iron deficiency is a real concern and it is important that babies are getting enough of this important mineral.


Foods that are rich in vitamin C help the iron to be absorbed during meals; suggestions are:


Broccoli

Citrus fruits

Bell peppers

Berries


When to start


A baby can start eating chickpeas as soon as they start to wean at around 6 months. Be careful not to give them whole at this age because of the danger of choking. They mash up really easily. Make sure you take off the skin which peels away very easily.


Hummus made from chickpeas is particularly good for babies. Homemade hummus is easy to make and by making your own you know exactly what has gone into it. Some babies might be allergic to sesame if so your homemade version can omit the tahini. Also, watch the salt and be mindful of the oil you use and how much.


Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 tin of chick peas drained

  • 80 ml olive oil

  • 1 - 2 garlic cloves or a squeeze from a tube

  • A little lemon juice

  • 3 tbsp tahini ( Or omit if allergic to sesame)


Method


Rinse the chickpeas

Mix all the ingredients together until blended

If too thick add some water to stir thoroughly




Chickpeas puree really well and can be added with ingredients such as tomatoes to make a first food. Roast the tomatoes and remove the skins and seeds from the tomatoes and the skins from the chickpeas. Puree until smooth. Freeze in ice cube trays.


Falafels are another really easy meal to make that older children will love


Falafel


You dont need the butternut sqaush but I liked the taste, you can use any veggie or just chick peas


Ingredients

  • Half a butternut squash

  • 1 onion

  • 1 tin chick peas

  • 2 garlic gloves

  • Salt pepper and other flavourings such as garam or coriander,cumin, mixed herbs..


Method


  • Cut the squash in to cubes and slice the onion

  • Drizzle with a little oil and bake in the oven for 20 mins - temp 180

  • Mix together with the chick peas and spices,

  • Using a food processor or a potato masher mix until smooth, if there are odd pieces of chick peas this ifs fine as it will give more texture

  • Roll into balls,if abit wet cover in flour

  • I bake mine in an air fryer but they could be baked in the oven ( 180 for 15 or so mins) Usually, they are deep-fried, but this is unhealthy!




There are two different ways to buy chickpeas, either in cans or dried in packets.