Who loves porridge? I do but sometimes the addition of something different like chia can make something as common as porridge into something quite ‘cool’. Chia can be added to almost anything from smoothies, to salads, and certainly to make a chia seed pudding but ever wondered what it is exactly? And ‘what-if’ it’s just another fad food, another food trend? There’s no denying the numerous trendy foods available in this very hip and modern world, but let’s grab a cuppa and chit chat some more about chia.
Chia is a wholegrain. The plant is native to Mexico and Guatemala and has a similar nutrient composition to flaxseed. It won’t come as a surprise when I confirm that it is high in fibre and other nutrients.
A tablespoon provides around 4g of fibre, 68mg calcium, just over 1.5g protein and over 3g of fat. Being a plant, the fat profiles are mostly polyunsaturated but more importantly chia is a source of essential fats called omega-3 and omega-6. For this reason chia can be a useful addition in vegetarian diets. Foods that are typically abundant in omega-3 fats are fish. For more information on this see Fishy Bite – Should Your Kids Be Eating Fish?
It’s easy to forget that by eating a varied diet, children can meet their requirements for vitamins, minerals and essential fats without the use of trendy foods. However, if you like experimenting with new foods then chia can be an enjoyable addition for you and your children. A small amount goes a long way. Other important sources of omega-3 fats for children following a vegetarian diet include hemp seeds, walnuts (consider a butter version for under 5 year olds), soybeans, tofu and canola oil.
Chia seeds are also naturally gluten free.
To make a toddler’s bowl of Pear & Chia Powered Oats, prep a large bowl of powered oats first.
3 cups rolled oats
1 tablespoon milled chia seeds
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
Mix the ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
To make the porridge (suggested portion size for a 1 year old):
2-3 teaspoons of powered oats
1/4 – 1/2 pear grated or cut into small pieces
Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
Mix the oats, grated or pieces of pear, enough milk to cover the oats and then a pinch of the cinnamon. You can either place this in the fridge overnight or cook in a saucepan for 5-7 minutes until cooked through. Serve immediately.
The ‘Grown up porridge’
3 – 5 tablespoons powered oats
1/2 – 1 pear grated or cut into small pieces
Skimmed or semi-skimmed milk
Pinch of cinnamon
Cook as above and serve immediately.
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