Are chickpeas safe for babies? Yes, you can make pureed chickpeas for babies as part of baby led weaning. Learn when it is safe to introduce chickpea recipes for babies, and get a recipe for baby hummus! You’ll love this easy and healthy homemade baby food recipe that you can modify for the whole family to enjoy. This chickpea dip is naturally plant based, gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan.
Considering making chickpeas for baby? Chickpeas (AKA garbanzo beans or chana) are a great way to introduce some plant based protein, iron, and fiber into your baby’s diet.
This chickpeas baby food has a special little twist to help increase the amount of iron baby absorbs from the chickpeas. It’s important that babies are introduced to iron-rich foods soon after starting solids if they are breastfed.
According to the NIH, the iron is breastmilk is not sufficient for the needs of babies older than 6 months. Foods rich in iron, such as baby chickpeas, are important to help prevent iron deficiency anemia in babies and toddlers.
Some other iron-rich foods for babies include iron-fortified baby cereals and beef baby food. Some picky eaters are slow to accept meat, making the plant-based iron sources even more important. Chickpeas and other legumes are also some of the best whole food sources of protein for vegans and vegetarians.
- ❓ When should you introduce chickpeas to babies?
- 🤔 Are chickpeas an allergen for babies?
- ⭐ Health Benefits of Chickpeas for Babies
- 🥘 Are canned chickpeas OK for babies?
- 🥣 What to Mix with Chickpeas for Babies
- 🔪 How to Prepare Canned Chickpeas for Baby
- 🌡️ How to Store Chickpea Puree
- 📋 Nutritional Value of Chickpeas
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👩🏻🍳 Other Baby Food Recipes
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
❓ When should you introduce chickpeas to babies?
At what age can babies eat chickpeas? Babies can try chickpea puree when they are old enough to eat solid foods and finger foods. This is generally at around age 6 months.
That said, all children are different, and you should ask your pediatrician if you have any questions about your child’s diet. If you’re pureeing canned chickpeas, make sure to get the ones with no added salt.
When can babies eat whole chickpeas? Whole chickpeas may be a choking hazard, so you should mash chickpeas or puree them before giving to a baby. Toddlers may also enjoy chickpea patties (baby falafel).
🤔 Are chickpeas an allergen for babies?
Chickpeas are not one of the nine most common food allergens. However, there appears to be a cross-reactivity between chickpeas and peas and lentils (source). That means baby may be more likely to have a negative reaction to chickpeas if there is a known pea or lentil allergy.
⭐ Health Benefits of Chickpeas for Babies
Why make baby chickpeas? Here are some benefits of chickpeas for 1 year old (and a bit younger):
- Plant-Based Protein: Legumes like chickpeas are rich in protein, which is necessary for healthy growth and development of the bones and muscles. Vegan and vegetarian families especially should ensure everyone in the family gets legumes and other plant proteins in the diet.
- Iron: It’s generally recommended that one of baby’s first foods is an excellent source of iron to help prevent anemia. In this recipe, the vitamin C from the citrus juice helps improve the absorption of the non-heme iron in the chickpeas. In other words, baby gets an iron boost when you combine vitamin C and plant-based iron sources. Vitamin C also helps support healthy immunity!
- Fiber: Garbanzo beans are rich in fiber. Fiber is important for healthy digestion and a healthy heart.
- Introduce baby to new flavors: Introducing babies to a wide variety of flavors early may help them to expand their palate. They may be less likely to be picky eaters in later years as a result (though there are no guarantees). Why not make one of the first foods this delicious hummus for babies?
🥘 Are canned chickpeas OK for babies?
You can puree canned chickpeas for babies. However, I recommend the chickpeas have no added salt and are in BPA-free cans.
It’s better to avoid added salt in baby’s food, so they don’t develop a lifelong preference for salty foods. The FDA has already banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups. It makes sense to try and avoid BPA in the other food packaging of items fed to baby as well.
You can use dry chickpeas in this recipe if you pressure cook them to make them very soft. Make sure to remove any small stones or other debris from the dried chickpeas before you cook them. Don’t add salt or baking soda to them, just cooking them in water is perfect.
Dried beans tend to be cheaper but a little more work than canned beans. Choose the option that fits your budget and lifestyle best.
Do you have to cook chickpeas for babies?
Canned chickpeas are already cooked, and do not need to be cooked again before eating. Dried chickpeas must be cooked before eating.
When baby starts solids, I think it’s smart to start with simple foods and recipes like this one. If baby has a negative reaction to a recipe, starting simply makes it easy to figure out which food was the issue. As baby is introduced to a wider array of foods, you can try more complex recipes.
🥣 What to Mix with Chickpeas for Babies
What goes well with chickpeas for babies? I’m adding citrus (fresh lemon juice or fresh orange juice) to this hummus for babies. Vitamin C foods help make the iron in chickpeas more available to the body.
Here’s a list of foods to add to chickpeas for babies. Cook the fruits and veggies first (except the avocado) to make them soft and easier to blend:
- Sweet potatoes
- Roasted red peppers
- Cooked apple (applesauce)
- Pear sauce
- Green beans
- Mashed banana
- Pumpkin puree
- Cooked squash
- Coconut milk
- Plain yogurt
Another fun idea I tried was roasted beetroot, which made the chickpeas a lovely pink-purple color.
According to the AAP, you should not introduce beets to babies before age 3 months due to their high naturally occurring nitrate content. (They also say don't introduce complementary foods to babies before ages 4-6 months anyway.)
A word of caution- beets can change the color of what is left in baby’s diaper. If you don’t remember you gave your baby beets, the color change can be quite scary! Some may choose to hold off on the beets until baby is older, and that is ok.
🔪 How to Prepare Canned Chickpeas for Baby
Drain a 15 ounce can of chickpeas (with no salt added) well. Place the chickpeas in a food processor or high-speed blender. Add 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice or orange juice.
If you’re making this whole batch for baby (you’ll need to freeze some) add ¼ cup water. Blend until smooth. You will have to stop the food processor several times, scraping down the sides with a spatula, to get a smooth puree.
Add additional water if needed. Don’t forget you can blend in additional cooked veggies if you wish!
🌡️ How to Store Chickpea Puree
Leftover chickpea puree can be kept in a covered container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also freeze small portions of pureed chickpeas in ice cube trays. Pack the cubes in freezer bags with the air pressed out for longer term freezer storage.
📋 Nutritional Value of Chickpeas
Here is the nutrition information for chickpeas (one half cup of boiled chickpeas, no salt). Nutrition information is for one adult serving of chickpeas per Cronometer. Babies new to solids will only try a small taste of chickpea puree.
- Calories: 134
- Total carbohydrates: 22 grams
- Fiber: 6 grams
- Net carbohydrates: 16 grams
- Added sugar: 0 grams
- Fat: 2 grams
- Saturated fat: 0 grams
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Protein: 7 grams
- Vitamin A: 0.4% DV
- Thiamin: 6% DV
- Riboflavin: 3% DV
- Niacin: 2% DV
- Pantothenic acid: 2% DV
- Vitamin B6: 6% DV
- Folate: 35% DV
- Vitamin C: 1.8% DV
- Vitamin K: 4% DV
- Calcium: 4% DV
- Copper: 14% DV
- Iron: 13% DV
- Magnesium: 10% DV
- Manganese: 42% DV
- Phosphorus: 13% DV
- Potassium: 7% DV
- Selenium: 4% DV
- Zinc: 8% DV
Chickpeas are an excellent source of folate and manganese. Chickpeas are a good source of iron, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Are chickpeas good for babies? Yes, as long as you keep a few important points in mind.
This baby hummus is packed with protein, fiber, and iron, and is a great option for baby. Just remember that it is never to be used as a nutritional replacement for baby formula or breastmilk.
This recipe is meant to be used as something fun for baby to taste after starting solids. It should not be the main source of nutrition in the diet.
For older members of the family, you can make hummus. Hummus is packed with energy-dense (AKA high calorie) ingredients such as tahini and olive oil.
If you’re an adult trying to maintain the calorie deficit needed for fat loss, I don’t think hummus is a great choice. That said, the relatively high calories and low volume servings in hummus makes it a great snack for growing children.
Unfortunately, the oligosaccharides in chickpeas can cause some gassiness in babies. It’s smart to start with a small amount to see how your baby reacts; excessive consumption is not recommended! Soaking dried chickpeas, discarding the water, and using fresh water to cook them may help if they are causing discomfort.
The fiber in chickpeas tends to help alleviate constipation, not cause it. There are several things that can cause constipation, such as inadequate fluid intake and certain medications. If your baby is regularly having issues with constipation, it may be a good idea to check in with the pediatrician.
Chickpeas can be a choking hazard for babies, so save the whole (hard) roasted chickpeas for older family members. They make a healthy snack at potlucks and playdates for older kids!
Make black chickpeas for baby by boiling or pressure cooking them in water until very soft. After they’ve been cooked, you can use them in the chickpea puree for babies recipe below.
👩🏻🍳 Other Baby Food Recipes
After making this chickpeas baby puree, here are some other recipes for baby food to try:
- Baby Vegetable Stock
- Bone Broth for Babies
- Instant Pot Almond Milk Yogurt (can also be made with dairy milk)
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Chickpeas for Babies (Baby Chickpea Puree Recipe)
- 15 ounces chickpeas, no added salt (425 grams; from a can)
- 2 tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed (fresh lemon juice may also be used)
- ¼ cup water (or more, as needed)
- Drain a 15 ounce can of no salt added chickpeas well. Place the chickpeas in a food processor or high-speed blender. Add 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange or lemon juice.
- If you’re making this whole batch for baby (you’ll need to freeze some) add ¼ cup water. Blend until completely smooth. You will have to stop the food processor several times, scraping down the sides with a spatula, to get a smooth puree.
- Add additional water if needed. You can also blend in additional cooked veggies if you wish!
Chickpeas for the Family (Hummus)
- 15 ounces canned chickpeas with no added salt (425 grams)
- 2 tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 small beet, peeled and chopped (6 ounces/170 grams after peeling)
- ½ teaspoon orange zest
- salt and pepper, to taste