What is kamut?
Native to the Middle East and grown in North America, Khorasan wheat is an ancient grain, meaning the variety is largely unchanged over the last several hundred years of food processing and genetic modification of seeds. Today, you are most likely to see it as “KAMUT” – a trademarked brand name.
KAMUT is part of the durum family, and its popularity has grown in recent years, thanks in part to its higher protein and nutrient content than the standard highly-refined wheat found in most American markets.1 The owners of the brand, Kamut International, guarantee that it is organic and not genetically modified.2
When can babies eat kamut?
You may introduce wheat grains as soon as your baby is ready to start solids, which is generally around 6 months of age. A nutritious grain with a nutty flavor, KAMUT is a great option to diversify the whole grains in your baby’s diet.
Is kamut healthy for babies?
Yes. It contains higher levels of micronutrients and macronutrients, including 40% more protein, than standard wheat. It’s packed with iron, selenium, and zinc—three important nutrients that your baby needs for growth, healthy digestion, and cognitive and hormonal development. KAMUT also has ample magnesium, B-vitamins, and copper, which helps your baby’s body absorb iron, a critical mineral that’s often deficient in babies.
Is kamut a common choking hazard for babies?
No. Wheat is not a common choking hazard, though products made from wheat can be. Watch closely as your baby eats to minimize the risk of choking.
Is kamut a common allergen?
Yes. Like all wheat, KAMUT contains gluten—which can cause an allergic reaction. If your baby has not consumed wheat yet, introduce kamut in small quantities and watch closely as your baby eats. If there is no adverse reaction, increase the quantity over time.
How do you prepare kamut for babies with baby-led weaning?
Every baby develops on their own timeline, and the suggestions on how to cut or prepare particular foods are generalizations for a broad audience. Your child is an individual and may have needs or considerations beyond generally accepted practices. In determining the recommendations for size and shape of foods, we use the best available scientific information regarding gross, fine, and oral motor development to minimize choking risk. The preparation suggestions we offer are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for child-specific, one-on-one advice from your pediatric medical or health professional or provider. It is impossible to fully eliminate all risk of a baby or child choking on any liquid, puree, or food. We advise you to follow all safety protocols we suggest to create a safe eating environment and to make educated choices for your child regarding their specific needs. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen here.
6 to 12 months old: With the youngest eaters, Kamut pasta will be easiest for your baby to self-feed as wheat berries, which resemble brown rice, can be quite challenging for babies to pick up.
12 to 24 months old: At this age your baby’s pincer grasp is developing, enabling them to pick up smaller pieces of food. As such, it is great time to introduce wheat berries, which have the greatest nutritional value thanks to the minimal food processing needed to deliver the food from farm to plate. To serve, start by soaking the berries overnight in a pot of water. Before mealtime, drain and wash the berries, then return them to the pot with enough water to cover by an inch or two. Boil until soft, drain, and cool before serving. Note that like rice, kamut wheat berries will be quite messy!
For more information on how to cut food for babies, visit our page on Food Sizes & Shapes.
Kids love pasta, and there’s a whole world of shapes and flavors to explore! Many noodles are made with standard wheat, but pastas made from alternative grains (like kamut) and legumes (like chickpeas or lentils) are just as tasty and healthier for your baby, too.
Recipe: Pesto Pasta*
- Kamut pasta
- Pine nuts (optional)
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Boil the pasta according to directions on the packaging. If there’s a step to add salt to the water, ignore it. Too much salt is damaging to babies and young eaters’ digestive systems.
- Make the pesto while the pasta is cooking. Pick the basil leaves from their stems and place in a food processor, along with a handful of pine nuts, a spoonful or two of Parmesan cheese (only after your baby is 1 year old, as the cheese is too high in sodium for younger eaters), a few pours of olive oil, and a squirt of lemon juice.
- For an added nutrition and a punch of flavor, toss in some sautéed garlic. Exact measurements do not matter. If you want pesto to be runny, add more oil. If you want a thick pesto, add more cheese and nuts. Blend to taste.
- Drain the pasta and toss it in the pesto sauce. Serve at room temperature.
*This recipe contains common food allergens: dairy, nuts, and wheat. Only serve after your baby has been introduced to each ingredient separately and allergies have been ruled out.
Kamut pairs well with flavorful marinara and pesto sauces, as well as herbs, mushrooms, root vegetables, and veggie or bone broths. It also pairs well with pungent, salty cheeses such as Parmesan and pecorino.
- Halleem, A., Seleem, H., Galal, W. (2012). Assessment of Kamut wheat quality. London, United Kingdom: World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development. doi:10.1108/20425941211250543
- Kamut Brand Khorasan Wheat. Nutrition. (website) Retrieved January 8, 2020