Sesame Lime Tofu Strips for Baby
Tofu is made from pressed, whole soybeans (you can learn more about soy here), and as per the 2017 Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy, both soybeans and sesame are a common food allergens that are encouraged to be introduced to infants around 6 months of age (preferrably one allergen at a time). Early introduction may help to reduce the risk of developing food allergies. I review what, when and how to introduce allergens in my 'Food to Fit your Baby: Introducing Solids' online course!
Tofu is a great first food for baby because it not only provides a source of iron, protein, calcium and zinc, it's a soft and safe texture for baby. Firm tofu that is raw or cooked is safe for baby. Note, because this recipe contains both soy and sesame, priority allergens, you want to ensure that baby has already been exposed to one of these foods and is tolerating that food before introducing the second allergen. That way, if baby does have a reaction, you know which food is the culprit.
Once baby shows tolerance to a common food allergen, Food Allergy Canada, recommends weekly exposure to help maintain tolerance.
These strips are lightly seasoned with whole ingredients, introducing your baby to different flavours. The lime not only serves to add flavour, but also vitamin C, helping absorption of the iron in the tofu 4-fold (let's just say vitamin C and iron are pals!). The sticks are a graspable shape making it easier for baby to pick up and self feed. The strips are soft and suitable for healthy term babies without teeth around 6 months of age.
1 x 350g package of extra firm tofu (we're only going to be using half of it though)
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive
- Juice from 1/2 a fresh lime
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (watch for garlic salt - this is not acceptable for baby)
1) Open the package of tofu and cut the loaf in half so that you have two skinnier halves. We're only using one half so you can store the other half in an airtight container in the fridge.
2) Wrap the entire piece of tofu with paper towel and press the water out of it. Let it sit with the paper towel a few minutes.
3) In the meantime, make the marinade in a large, shallow airtight container (or a Ziploc bag). Set aside.
3) Unwrap the tofu and cut the wedge into strips, the width and lengthy of your index or pinky finger.
4) Add the strips to the marinade and shake well until the strips are all coated. Let sit ~ 5 minutes.
5) Fry the tofu strips on a pan over medium heat, about 2 minutes per side (optional to serve the marinated tofu without frying).
6) Let cool and serve to baby.