Buckwheat porridge is a great weaning food. It contains more fibre than brown rice, plus vitamins and minerals to support your baby’s nervous system.
I took a pretty Paleo approach to weaning. At four months, Ajax started off on bone broth; then pureed vegetables in more bone broth. Runny egg yolk with mashed veg was his staple breakfast for weeks on end with wild salmon and stewed meats featuring for lunch and dinner until he was 7 and a half months. Then all of a sudden, my Dad fed him toast… and he liked it. He was a paleo baby no longer and carbs were suddenly on the menu.
Why Postpone Grains?
“Babies developmentally do not have the enzymes to break down the starch complexes in grains,” says Chevonne Clasen, a naturopathic medicine physician. “You are putting a huge stress on their digestive system and therefore, their immune system.”
However, by 8 months I felt that Ajax was ready for some (non-plant based) carbs. Buckwheat, for me, was the obvious place to start.
Benefits of Buckwheat
Gluten-free and high in fibre, buckwheat is a brilliant choice for an older baby’s digestive health. Despite appearances, buckwheat is actually not a grain. The triangle shaped buckwheat seed, called a groat, is rich in both protein and antioxidants. These super nutrients include rutins, tannins and catechins (like you find in green tea).
Buckwheat is also a source of B6, which is essential for energy production. B6 helps to make hemoglobin that carries oxygen in red blood cells throughout the body, it also helps to balance blood sugar levels and is an important mood regulator.
Better than Brown Rice
A 1/4-cup serving of dry buckwheat seeds (roughly 3-4 tablespoons) contains 32 g of carbohydrates and 5 g of fiber. By comparison, brown rice contains only 1-2g of fibre per 1/4 cup.
In addition, the fibre in the buckwheat groats takes longer for your body to digest, which can help you feel fuller for longer. It’s no surprise then that studies show buckwheat can help you lose weight while research from Korea suggests it can slow cancer growth too.
Buckwheat porridge for Baby
2 Tablespoons of raw buckwheat groats
3/4 cup of water (180 mls)
Optional Coconut yoghurt and or beetroot puree to serve
Soak the buckwheat groats in a bowl of filtered water for 7 hours (or overnight). Rinse well, then place in a saucepan with 3/4 up of filtered water. Bring to the boil then simmer on low heat for 20-25 minutes, or until soft.
For a smoother consistency, whizz in a blender for 30 seconds before serving.
Tip: During the last 10 minutes I place a Lilypot on top of the saucepan and defrost beetroot or carrot puree to serve alongside. You could also use mashed banana or apple and apricot puree, whatever your baby likes.
If you’re planning to join your baby for buckwheat porridge in the morning, I use 6 tablespoons of buckwheat with 530 mls of water.
Buckwheat contains the compound d-chiro-inositol, which has been shown to lower insulin and testosterone levels and increase rates of ovulation, according to fertility expert Alisa Vitti, author of Woman Code. Plus, the B6 in buckwheat is essential for hormone regulation – a deficiency can lead to an imbalance of progesterone and oestrogen. Finally, the fibre in buckwheat helps reduce the ‘transit’ time of food in the body.This ensures that excess oestrogen is excreted rather than being recycled back into your bloodstream.