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Introducing Chickpeas

Chickpeas – also known as garbanzo beans – are a great food for your baby! Chickpeas belong to the legume family, and are a superb source of many important nutrients. Their delicate flavour makes them perfect for adding to many dishes – and they puree to a really smooth texture, so are easy to incorporate into your baby’s diet.

Chickpeas1

When is it OK to introduce chickpeas into my baby’s diet?
Ask your baby’s doctor or paediatrician for advice, but chickpeas may usually be introduced from 6 months of age. Some parents choose to wait until about 8 months of age, because chickpeas – like many other legumes – sometimes cause uncomfortable wind (gas) and are slightly more difficult for a developing digestive system than the simpler fruits and vegetables.

Should they be avoided altogether, as they might cause digestive problems?
Some very healthy foods like broccoli cause wind – but they also provide nutritional benefits that are extremely important for your baby. Also, bear in mind that in some cultures this type of food forms a major part of the diet for adults and babies – showing that regular consumption over a period of time leads to the foods being processed more and more easily so that problems gradually decrease.

Is there any risk of allergy with chickpeas?
Chickpeas2In western countries allergy to chickpeas is not very common. However, in India – where chickpeas form a major part of the diet – the incidence of chickpea allergy is much higher.

If your baby is allergic to soy, lentils or latex – or if there is any family history of these allergies – the possibility of him or her having a reaction to chickpeas is increased.

It is always important to check with your baby’s doctor before introducing new foods to your baby. The same applies with chickpeas – and don’t forget to follow the 4-Day Rule so that you can easily identify them as the cause if your baby shows any signs of a reaction.

This information presented to you acts as a guide which contains researched information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.

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