Adding Wheat Germ to Your Baby’s Food
Adding wheat germ to your baby’s food is an effortless way to give your little one a real nutritional boost.
Wheat germ contains gluten and many pediatric experts recommend that it is not introduced to your baby until he is AT LEAST 6 months of age.
Before giving your baby any foods containing either wheat or gluten, please check with your doctor.
You may also like to visit our section all about introducing wheat and gluten to your baby, which looks at wheat allergy and gluten intolerance, with links to relevant resources.
What is wheat germ?
Wheat germ is the smallest, most nutritious part of a wheat grain. A whole wheat grain is composed of four parts
- the husk (which is the outer layer)
- the bran (a nutritious, high fibre part of the grain)
- the endosperm (this is the main part of the grain and is used in processed grain foods)
- the germ (the smallest part, yet one of the most nutritionally valuable products available)
Why wheat germ is wonderful!
The following list shows just how many beneficial nutrients wheat germ can bring to your baby’s diet:
- vitamin A
- vitamins B1 and B3
- vitamin B5 (helps your baby’s body assimilate energy from food)
- vitamin E (strengthens your baby’s immune system)
- folic acid
- dietary fibre
- phosphorus (promotes healthy bones and teeth)
…that wheat germ provides more nutrients per ounce than any other vegetable or grain.
And the protein content of wheat germ is even higher than meat!
Tips for buying and storing wheat germ
Fortunately, wheat germ is becoming more widely available and now appears on the shelves of many supermarkets.
If your local supermarket doesn’t stock it, then you should be able to find it at most natural food and health stores.
Wheat germ is sold in two forms – fresh and toasted. Fresh is best but, typically, harder to find! Fresh wheat germ should be placed in the refrigerator as soon as you buy it, whereas toasted wheat germ only needs refrigerating once it’s been opened.
Why is it important to keep wheat germ in the refrigerator?
This is because it contains fat and will spoil very quickly if stored at room temperature.
To keep it fresh, it is recommended that you put opened wheat germ into an airtight container before refrigeration.
Tips for adding wheat germ to your baby’s food
One of the great things about wheat germ is that its taste is so subtle, it blends nicely with both savoury and sweet dishes.
In fact, wheat germ is barely noticeable when combined with other foods, making it ideal for ‘picky’ babies. Adding wheat germ is a wonderful
way to get important nutrients into your baby if he eats little, or will only eat a limited variety of foods.
- Use wheat germ to make an interesting ‘topping’ for cooked veggies.
- Wheat germ serves as an ideal thickener for overly runny purees.
- If you are baking for your baby, try using a small amount of wheat germ as a substitute for an equivalent amount of
flour (for example – if your recipe calls for 6 oz flour, use 1 oz wheat germ and 5 oz flour).
- Stir wheat germ into your baby’s yogurt.
- If you are breading foods like tofu or chicken for your baby,
stir some wheat germ into the bread crumbs.
- Stir it into your baby’s soups, stews and casseroles.
- Make a ‘baby apple pie’ by topping sugar free applesauce with wheat germ.
- If your baby finds finger foods like bananas, peaches and pears too slippery to handle, coat them with wheat germ and they’ll be
much easier to pick up!
- Try our wheat germ rich recipe for Pumpkin and Apple Muffins with Flaxseeds.
Sweet Potato and Apple Pancakes
Sugar free and made with mixed whole grains!
Don’t overdo it!
You should only sprinkle wheat germ over your baby’s food – and avoid it altogether if your baby
Learn about another healthy addition to your baby food recipes…