Food Type: Legume
Age Suggestion: 6 months +
Common Allergen: No
Yes. Chickpeas are an incredibly nutritious legume with concentrated amounts of key nutrients that babies to thrive, including folate, iron, vitamin B6, and zinc. Chickpeas also contain ideal amounts of every other mineral (except sodium), including copper which, like vitamin C, helps your baby’s body absorb the iron—a major bonus.
Babies need increasing amounts of iron starting at around 6 months, when their reserves from their mother become depleted. This is why, for example, iron-fortified rice cereal for babies is sometimes recommended by pediatricians. But rice cereal need not be your baby’s first food! There are plenty of whole foods that are naturally high in iron—like chickpeas—that can easily be worked into your baby’s diet. Serve them alongside a food that is high in vitamin C, such as berries, broccoli, or citrus, to boost your baby’s ability to absorb the iron.
How do you prepare chickpeas for babies?
Every baby develops on their own timeline. The preparation suggestions below are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional, one-on-one advice from your pediatric medical or health professional, nutritionist or dietitian, or expert in pediatric feeding and eating. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen here.
6 to 9 months old: Smash , puree, or flatten and serve in a bowl that suctions to the table and encourage your baby to hand-scoop and/or offer a pre-loaded spoon. You can also spread hummus on other foods such as avocado slices, toast, thin rice cakes, or cucumbers. Our 3 varieties of handmade hummus is the way to go; store-bought hummus can contain quite a bit of salt and other undesirable ingredients for babies, like canola oil.
9 to 12 months old: Offer slightly flattened chickpeas to encourage your baby to practice the pincer grasp and explore dishes with soft, cooked chickpeas in them. Again, to reduce the risk of choking, flatten each chickpea.
12 to 24 months old: The world is your chickpea! Experiment with different recipes and preparations as your baby’s chewing and swallowing skills become more advanced.
It's a fact!
Chickpeas are one of the earliest cultivated legumes. Remains of chickpeas from the Middle East have been found that are roughly 7,500 years old. These remains were found in the aceramic levels of Jericho and Çayönü, Turkey, meaning that humans had been cultivating chickpeas since before they could produce pottery. Chickpeas can be eaten raw, milled into flour, blended to make hummus, and even ground to make coffee. Chickpea flour in particular is a terrific pantry item to have on hand and can be used in a variety of recipes as a gluten-free replacement for wheat flour.