‘I feed my 18-month-old baby weird insects for protein to save money on my bills’

A mother has revealed how feeding crickets to her 18-month-old toddler enabled her to save hundreds of dollars on grocery shopping, without compromising on the youngster’s health.

Tiffany Leigh, a Canadian food writer for Insider, said she introduced dietary insects into her toddler’s diet in a bid to be more adventurous and cut back on spending.

Her toddler now thoroughly enjoys the food, which comes in many forms, including Cricket Puff snacks, Cricket protein snacks and Whole Roasted Crickets.

“To be honest it was not only adventurousness that compelled me to do it but practically, too – I wanted to cut down on our family’s grocery bill,” explained Leigh.

Not only does the protein-dense snack meet all of her nutritional requirements, but it’s helped her to claw back on grocery costs – which have dropped from up to £240 ($300) a week to just £160 ($200).

READ MORE: Young more open to eating insects and lab-grown meat, study finds

“Because I’ve started rotating these insects with more traditionally expensive proteins like beef, chicken, and pork, I’ve managed to cut my bill down to about $150 to $200 a week,” said Leigh.

She went on: “A mere two tablespoons of cricket powders provides 100 percent of the daily protein needs of a baby, which for my 20-pound baby is nine to 14 grams a day, or 11 grams on average.”

These health claims are backed by Venus Kalami, a board-certified pediatric dietitian, and nutritionist at Solid Starts, who endorses introducing insects to children at a young age.

“During infancy, a child is particularly receptive to exploring a wide variety of foods – a strong argument for introducing insects early on and getting ahead of any negative stereotypes around eating bugs,” she told Insider.

“The only thing to be mindful of the feeding kids bugs is allergies,” cautioned Kalami, particularly if the child is born to parents with a crustacean allergy.

Making the dietary shift was no easy feat, explained Leigh, as both she and her toddler were put off by the sight and taste of insects at first.

It was only once Leigh started mixing them into pancake mix or mac and cheese sauce that she was successful in feeding them to her daughter.

“She took a big bite and clamoured for more. I ate some and could understand why – you couldn’t tell that crickets were in these fluffy cakes,” noted Leigh.

Since then, neither Leigh nor her daughter has looked back, and continue to enjoy the protein-dense snack in their day-to-day diet.

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She took a big bite and clamoured for more

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