Can Babies Eat Zaatar?
Zaatar is an herb used in cuisines, but it is also the name of the spice mixture containing the zaatar herb, but also toasted sesame seeds, dried sumac, salt, thyme, oregano and marjoram. Zaatar recipes can vary from country to country, even from a family to another, sometimes they contain roasted flour, cumin, coriander or fennel seeds too. It is popular in Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Palestine and Turkey.
This herb, traditionally dried in the sun, is usually eaten with pita, which is dipped in olive oil and afterwards in za’atar. The dried herb can be moistened with olive oil, resulting in a mixture, which is usually spread on a dough base and then baked as a type of bread. It is also used as a seasoning for vegetables and for meats, or it is often sprinkled on hummus. Zaatar is used in a salad, but in this case, fresh za’atar leaves are used, mixed with fresh thyme, finely chopped onions, garlic, with a touch of lemon juice, olive oil and salt. It is also used as an herbal tea, and it is regarded as a good way for reducing and eliminating internal parasites.
Parents can introduce herbs into their babies’ diet starting at the age of 6 months old, once their babies eat solid food. Zaatar is a mixture of herbs, but it also has salt. Salt is not good for babies, because it might affect their kidneys, so if you choose to give your baby zaatar, try to pick one with less salt or even better, make your own zaatar from scratch. Herbs and spices are a great way to flavor baby food in a healthy way. Zaatar is full with antioxidants, protecting cells against free radicals and reduce damages caused by oxidants.
Lentil, Veggie & Za’atar Soup
Ingredients: 1/3 cup of cooked lentils, ½ cup of sliced celery, 1/3 cup of sliced carrots, ¼ tsp ground za’atar, 30g cured ham.
Line the base of a steamer basket with parchment paper, for preventing the lentils from falling through. Put all the ingredients in the steamer basket and add water, then start the cooking. Once the vegetables are cooked, transfer them into a blender, reserving some cooking liquid and adding it if you need to adjust the consistency of the soup.
What is zaatar?
Zaatar is an herb, but also a condiment, made primarily from the herb.
How healthy is zaatar?
Zaatar is packed with antioxidants, and it is also a good way for flavoring food instead of salt.
When can you start giving zaatar to your baby?
You can start giving zaatar to your baby, once he starts eating solid food, usually at the age of 6 months old.
The risks of giving zaatar to your baby?
Zaatar, as in the condiment, has added salt, so parents should not add salt to the baby food, to which zaatar is already added.