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Why is spinach useful and at what age can it be given to a child?

Why is spinach useful and at what age can it be given to a child?


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Spinach is a real treasure trove of vitamins and minerals. Its benefits for a growing child's body can hardly be overestimated.

It does not belong to greens, as is commonly believed, but to vegetables and is very popular in European and American cuisine.

In Russia, few people know about the beneficial properties of this plant and the possibility of including it in the children's diet. In this article, we will tell you what the benefits of spinach are, and at what age it can be introduced into complementary foods.

At what age can you give?

The unique composition of this vegetable makes it especially beneficial for the health and development of the child. It has a beneficial effect on the formation of the child's central nervous system, his cardiovascular system, and the work of the digestive tract. This leafy vegetable also helps children with constipation as it is high in fiber.

Most Russian pediatricians agree that children need to introduce spinach from six months only after the child has tasted other leafy vegetables. But foreign manufacturers of baby food include spinach in dishes with potatoes intended for children from 4 months old.

You need to start the introduction only with a thermally processed vegetable, that is, in the form of mashed potatoes or soup. For the first time, a minimum dose (1 tsp) is sufficient. Although spinach is not an allergic product, individual intolerance is not excluded. In the absence of a response, the daily dose can be gradually increased to 50 g.

Fresh spinach leaves are added to the menu of a child over two years old. It is recommended to add greens to salads in the proportion of 50 g of leaves per 200 g of salad.

Important! Dishes with spinach are not recommended for your child more than twice a week.

Only a freshly prepared dish can be offered to your baby.

Benefit

The usefulness of spinach is related to its composition. Nutrient content (per 100g of product):

  1. Vitamins (mg):
    • A - 0.75;
    • B1 - 0.1;
    • B2 - 0.25;
    • C - 55;
    • E - 2.5;
    • B3 - 1.2;
    • B4 - 18;
    • B5 - 0.3;
    • B6 - 0.1;
    • B9 - 80;
    • K - 483;
    • H - 0.1.
  2. Minerals (mg):
    • Potassium - 774.
    • Calcium - 106.
    • Magnesium - 82.
    • Phosphorus - 83.
    • Sodium - 24.
    • Iron - 3.5.
    • Zinc - 0.53.
    • Selenium - 0.001.
    • Copper - 0.013.
    • Manganese - 9.
    • Iodine - 0.02.
  3. Nutritional value (per 100 g of product):
    • Calories - 23 kcal.
    • Proteins - 2.9 g.
    • Fat - 0.3 g.
    • Carbohydrates - 2 g.
    • Dietary fiber - 1.3 g.
    • Water - 91.6 g.

What spinach is rich in, what is the calorie content of the plant and its chemical composition, read here.

Thus, spinach in baby food contributes to:

  • normalization of metabolism;
  • prevention of rickets and the formation of strong bones and teeth;
  • strengthening immunity;
  • treating anemia;
  • getting rid of constipation.

Also, spinach contains lutein, which improves immunity, dietary fiber. It is believed that the antioxidants contained in the vegetable prevent the occurrence of cancer. The pluses of spinach include its low calorie content, so the child is not threatened with overweight.

In addition, you need to add to this list a tonic effect, a mild diuretic effect, help with stress and mental stress, and support the thyroid gland.

Learn more about the benefits and dangers of spinach and how to eat it here.

Can it be harmful and when?

The main disadvantage of spinach is the presence of oxalic acid in it. Because of this, it should not be offered to babies with kidney or urinary tract problems. Also, this leafy vegetable can harm the health of children with liver disease, gastrointestinal ulcers. However, an excess of oxalic acid is observed only in old spinach leaves, while in young leaves there is very little of it.

Important! Oxalic acid can be neutralized by adding milk or cream to the dish. These are the must-have ingredients in all baby spinach dishes.

What is it combined with and how to use it?

  • Fresh spinach goes well with first and second courses. But when freshly cut, children do not like him because of the freshness. Before use, it is necessary to sort out the leaves, removing the old ones. You can store fresh spinach only in the refrigerator for no more than 2 days, after wrapping it in parchment or in a damp cloth. Otherwise, salts are formed in it, which are harmful to the body not only of the child, but also of adults.

    It is better not to give fresh spinach to children at an early age. You can add it to the menu for children from two years old, no more than twice a week, and only young leaves no more than 5 cm in length.

  • Dried spinach used as a seasoning for fish, meat dishes, cereals and side dishes. Fresh leaves are carefully selected, washed and dried in the fresh air or in a special dryer.

    The dried herbs are stored in an airtight container in a dark place and, if necessary, chopped, they are added to the dish a few minutes before the end of cooking. Dried spinach is recommended to be offered to children from 1 year old as part of main courses.

  • Frozen spinach good in that it retains its nutrients and flavor when frozen. Frozen greens can be added to baby meals. But you cannot store spinach in the freezer for more than 3 months. When cooking, it should be borne in mind that frozen spinach should be taken 2 times less than fresh.

    After removing it from the freezer, it must be immediately lowered into a hot dish, because when defrosting beforehand, spinach loses more vitamins.

  • Boiled spinach as well as frozen, it does not lose its nutrients. The first water must be drained and boiled in new water. This will get rid of the nitrates in the leaves. Fresh leaves with a uniform color are suitable for cooking for children. Spinach cooks quickly, so it is added to the dish at the end of cooking.

    For babies up to a year, they prepare mashed potatoes and soufflés with spinach and meat or vegetables, add it to mashed soups. Older children willingly eat omelets with herbs, pies, salads and just spinach leaves with various fillings, for example, egg pate or cheese.

See tips for eating and cooking spinach here.

Step-by-step recipes for children's dishes

Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • young spinach - 1 bunch;
  • banana - 1 pc.;
  • milk - 1.5 tbsp.;
  • honey - 1 tsp;
  • lemon juice - 2 tablespoons

Preparation:

  1. Rinse the spinach well, separate from the old leaves and place in a blender.
  2. Add sliced ​​banana, honey and lemon juice to the spinach.
  3. Grind everything with a blender, then pour in the milk and beat the contents of the blender again.

Serve the smoothie right away. during storage, spinach loses its color and beneficial properties.

We suggest watching a video about that. how to make a spinach smoothie for your baby:

Chicken soufflé

Ingredients:

  • spinach - 1 bunch or 1 tablespoon frozen;
  • egg - 1 pc.;
  • milk - 30 ml;
  • boiled chicken meat, chopped in a blenler - 0.5 tbsp.;
  • a pinch of salt;
  • butter for greasing the mold.

Preparation:

  1. Steam the spinach briefly in a container under the lid.
  2. Finish the yolk, salt and milk with the chicken, beat thoroughly.
  3. Beat the protein separately until foamy and, stirring, add to the mixture.
  4. Then pour everything into a pre-greased form.
  5. Cook soufflé in a double boiler with a lid on. Or place the mold in a container filled with water and put it in the oven for 30 minutes at a temperature of 180 ° C).

This delicate soufflé will be appreciated by little gourmets who still do not know how to chew food well.

Casserole

Ingredients:

  • fresh spinach - 500 gr;
  • sugar - 2 tablespoons;
  • egg - 2 pcs.;
  • noodles - 100 gr;
  • juice of one lemon;
  • butter for greasing the mold;
  • a pinch of salt.

Preparation:

  1. Rinse spinach leaves, chop and boil for 3-5 minutes. Squeeze water and grind in a blender.
  2. Pour in lemon juice.
  3. Beat eggs with sugar.
  4. Boil the noodles, drain the water.
  5. Mix everything, salt.
  6. Place the resulting mass in a mold pre-greased with vegetable oil.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 ° C.

The casserole is a separate dish and is suitable for children from 1.5 years of age.

Spinach is an amazing herb, widely known throughout the world for its incredibly beneficial properties and chemical composition. Why should men and women eat spinach and whether a vegetable will help with weight loss - read in our materials.

Other leafy vegetables

In addition to spinach, there are many other leafy vegetables that are great for kids. Peking cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, watercress, beetroot are very rich in easily digestible iron, calcium and vitamins, especially necessary for the development of the child.

Thus, spinach is one of the richest leafy vegetables in the world. It contains vitamins and minerals in large quantities. But due to the lack of a pronounced taste, children often refuse to eat it. Nevertheless, even a small amount of this product in the daily children's menu will significantly improve the health of the child and have a beneficial effect on his development.


Watch the video: The Problems with Eating KALE! (June 2022).


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