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Introducing miso paste into toddlers' meals


I introduced miso paste to my toddler when he turned 19 months. He's 26 months old now. :)

Here's an adapted excerpt from "Journal of a nutritionist mom" that I refer to when I want to include miso into my toddler's meals. 

What is miso paste?

Miso paste is an Asian seasoning made by fermenting a mixture of soybeans, barley, brown rice and several other grains with koji or also known as Aspergillus oryzae. The result of this fermentation is a smooth-textured paste with a strong savory flavor.

Health benefits of miso

Nutritionally, miso provides mostly carbohydrate with some protein. It is also rich in several of the B-complex vitamins and contains several minerals, including calcium, iron, zinc, copper and magnesium.

Often used in Japanese cooking, miso is a healthy, probiotic food that helps support digestion by adding beneficial microorganisms to your digestive tract. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, consuming miso rich in probiotics can shorten the duration of infectious diarrhea, especially in children.

Do I need to worry about its saltiness?

Based on this article, recent research has shown that in spite of its high-sodium content, miso does not appear to affect our cardiovascular system in the way that other high-sodium foods sometimes can.

In recent animal studies, for example, identical concentrations of salt (sodium chloride) obtained from miso versus table salt were discovered to have very different impacts on blood pressure. High-salt diets that derived their high salt level from table salt raised blood pressure in these animal studies, but high-salt diets that derived their high salt level from miso did not raise blood pressure.


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How to add miso paste into toddler's meals?

Avoid boiling miso directly because this will nullify its effectiveness as a probiotic food. Gradually add miso paste a little at a time into simmering liquid and continue stirring, keeping the heat at a low temperature.

What I usually do is, after I have cooked my toddler's meal (e.g. porridge/soup/stew), I removed the pot from direct heat and stir in miso paste until well incorporated. I usually use one to two teaspoons of miso paste per meal.


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Sample meals that I have cooked



Stew Mixed Grains Rice with Miso

Ingredients:
(Serves 2)

6 tablespoons mixed grains rice, soaked overnight & drained
1 small red onion, chopped
1/4 piece organic tofu, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup organic salt-free seaweed strips
2 tablespoons goji berries
Enough water to cover the ingredients
2 teaspoons miso paste

How to: 

Put all ingredients, except miso paste, into the stainless steel pot of an electric lunch box. Add enough water to cover the ingredients. Steam-cook for about 40 minutes. Once done, remove the pot from the cooker and stir in miso paste until well incorporated.




Millet Noodles in French Beans, Egg & Seaweed Miso Broth

Ingredients:
(Serves 2)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 handful French beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch sticks
2 cups water or vegetable stock
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup organic salt-free seaweed strips
1 roll millet noodles
2 teaspoons miso paste

How to: 

Heat up vegetable oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add French beans and cook for about 2 minutes. Add water or stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in egg, seaweed, and millet noodles. Cover and simmer until the noodles are cooked. Off the heat and stir in miso paste until well incorporated.



Soy Noodles in Spinach & Seaweed Miso Broth

Ingredients:
(Serves 2)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, blanched
2 cups water or vegetable stock
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup organic salt-free seaweed strips
1 roll soy noodles
2 teaspoons miso paste

How to: 

Heat up vegetable oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add spinach and water or stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in egg, seaweed, and soy noodles. Cover and simmer until the noodles are cooked. Off the heat and stir in miso paste until well incorporated.



Steel-cut Oatmeal with Miso

Ingredients:
(Serves 2)

6 tablespoons steel-cut oats, soaked overnight & drained
1/4 piece organic tofu, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup organic salt-free seaweed strips
2 brown button mushrooms, chopped
Enough water to cover the ingredients
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, blanched
2 teaspoons miso paste

How to: 

Put all ingredients, except spinach and miso paste, into the stainless steel pot of an electric lunch box. Add enough water to cover the ingredients. Steam-cook for about 40 minutes. Once done, remove the pot from the cooker, add in spinach and stir in miso paste until well incorporated.

  
Veggie Quinoa Miso Soup
(cooked in Zojirushi Stainless Steel Food Jar) 

Ingredients:
(Serves 1)

4 tablespoons mixed quinoa & rice, soaked overnight & drained
1 handful radish cubes
1 handful spring onions
2 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon miso paste

How to: 

Fill up an empty Zojirushi jar with boiling water, close and tighten the lid set, and set aside for at least 2 minutes. Discard the water. Put all ingredients listed above (except miso paste) into the jar. Pour in enough boiling water to cover the ingredients. Close and tighten the lid set. Shake the food jar for a while. After 5 minutes, discard the water carefully so that the ingredients don't spill out. Then, pour in 2 cups of boiling water, close and tighten the lid set, shake, set aside and wait for minimum 2 hours. Before serving, stir in miso paste and test the temperature before serving.


Note: Collaborative blog post with Little Baby Grains will be up soon!


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