Infant nutrition

Why you should include gofio in the diet of children

Why you should include gofio in the diet of children

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Gofio is a very nutritious food and very low in fat, which is why it is ideal in children's diets. Luckily it is increasingly common to find it in supermarkets around the world. Do you want to know why you should incorporate gofio in the diet of children? We will tell you!

Gofio is a toasted flour traditionally made from corn or millet, typical of the Canarian archipelago. Consumed since pre-Hispanic times, gofio is one of the most common foods in Canarian gastronomy and forms the basis of many of its food preparations.

In addition to the Canary Islands, gofio is consumed in other parts of the world, especially in the Caribbean area, probably introduced by Canarian emigrants, although it can be known by other names such as ñaco, fororo or toasted flour. Curiously, in Tibet, a toasted flour very similar to the Canarian gofio is consumed as a basic food, known by the name of Tsampa.

Currently, gofio is not only made from corn and / or millet, but can also be made with other cereals such as wheat, rye or barley, as well as some legumes, such as chickpeas or lupins. Legume gofio is very popular in the Fuerteventura area.

Roasting the grain for the production of gofio has many advantages. For starters, when roasting at higher temperatures than those used in roasting other cereals, for example barley for brewing, breaks the chains of complex carbohydrates or starches, achieving a final product much easier to digest than the original grain.

In addition, roasting involves reactions between sugars and proteins capable of enhancing the flavor of the grain, and, since the grain is toasted prior to grinding, the final product is microbiologically very safe, since fungi and toxins that could be in the grain, even that stored in less favorable conditions.

Although in Canarian gastronomy gofio is consumed in many dishes, such as soups, stews, sauces, and is even used in the preparation of desserts, the most traditional way of consumption is at breakfast, with milk and sugar, obtaining a thick porridge which can be lightened with water.

For breakfast, the gofio is very interesting in childhood. Depending on the grain or legume with which it is made, its nutritional composition may vary slightly, but basically it is a food rich in carbohydrates and proteins.

The protein will be of better or worse quality depending on the grain or combination of grains of origin, and the type of essential amino acids that it can provide, while carbohydrates, the majority source of energy in this food, belong to the category of complex carbohydrates, capable of releasing energy for long periods of time. In addition, and because the grain is roasted and ground whole, the gofio also provides fiber, something to consider since the contribution of fiber in childhood is usually deficient.

In general, the fat intake is minimal, although the fatty acids that may be in this food are mono and polyunsaturated, ideal for the intellectual development of the little ones.

The micronutrient contribution of gofio is also very interesting. Regarding vitamins, those of group B stand out, especially niacin, although it also provides vitamins A and C.

The contribution of minerals and trace elements is headed by phosphorus, the second most abundant mineral in the body, and whose contribution is key for growth. Phosphorus is closely related to calcium, combining with it in bones and teeth, ensuring good bone mineralization.

Gofio is also rich in iron, magnesium, and zinc. Although iron is not as easy to absorb as that from foods of animal origin, its combination with a food rich in vitamin C, such as orange juice, can increase bioavailability in the body.

Magnesium is another of the minerals that are extremely important in childhood, because it is involved in the development and strength of bones, as well as in regulating the nervous system.

Zinc, for its part, is essential in many biological processes and reactions that occur in the body, in addition to strengthening the immune system and defense against infections. In addition, like phosphorus and magnesium, zinc plays a very important role in growth.

Do you know this food? Do you dare to incorporate it into your recipes and your children's menus?

You can read more articles similar to Why you should include gofio in the diet of children, in the Infant Nutrition On-Site category.

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