Are you looking to cook something different for your infant? You can try this: Ground Brown Rice and Periwinkles.
I bought ground brown rice at the recently concluded gtbank food and drink fair. Brown rice is great because it has more Fibre and nutrients compared to the normal white rice that has most of the goodness in it stripped off to make it more appealing to the consumers. The brown rice is not as appealing in looks but let that not deceive you, you also have to learn to look beyond the surface when dealing with food. Like I mentioned, it’s got more nutrients than the white. You can make yours from scratch if you want.
I also got some fresh leeks at the fair. The farmer said they were grown in Jos and I’m thinking maybe I should relocate to Jos because of all the interesting foods they grow. Leek is a vegetable and is a cousin to onions, garlic, spring onions, and chives. Like these cousins, leek contains a lot of antioxidants and minerals which are great for the body. It has a mild onion taste.
Tomatoes and onions are usually in the foods I make for Toddlers. Tomatoes are great for the lycopene they contain as well as vitamin C. They also help give the food a tangy taste.
I got some fresh periwinkles from the local market. The Periwinkles are small snails sought for its meat. Like other snails, periwinkle meats are high in protein, omega 3 fatty acids and low in fats. They are also a source of bio-available iron, magnesium and many other minerals. Periwinkles are considered a delicacy in Nigeria and it is a great addition to a meal. A down side to purchasing periwinkles is that it takes so much time to remove the shell and clean. However, one can easily buy fresh periwinkles that has been cleaned in the market.
Washing them is very important as well as cooking them appropriately. Many snails are vectors; carrying diseases from animal to man. Also, periwinkles from much polluted waters can have toxic heavy metals in them in addition to the microorganisms.
There is therefore a great need to apply care in purchasing, processing and consuming it.
To make this meal, I also chopped one little carrot to add some colour and nutrients. I put my pot on fire, added some water along with herbs and spices like black pepper, thyme, turmeric powder, rosemary and a little salt. When it boiled I added the onions, carrots, tomatoes and leeks to the pot as well as cooked periwinkles. I also added a little Atlantic mackerel that I grilled earlier to it to give it a nice flavor and a familiar taste for my Toddlers. I added the ground brown rice along with some oil (a tablespoon of palm oil and a teaspoon of groundnut oil). I stirred and allowed to cook. I realized that the rice was absorbing a lot of water so I had to add some more water to allow for softening and cooking. In about 30 minutes, I was done.
In using foods like periwinkles and other seafood for older infants and toddlers, we need to be careful and watchful for allergies. I had previously tested my toddlers with periwinkles so I know that it works well with them. I made this meal for my younger toddler that is still transitioning to some of the family’s diet. The older toddler had his periwinkle in other soups we ate in the house. I hope that you can try it.