Baby Food With Spinach

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We all know spinach is good for you. It has vitamins, minerals, and even protein. But did you know that spinach is also great for babies?

Yes, it’s true! Spinach is one of the most nutritious fruits or vegetables that a baby can eat. Why? Because it has lots of iron, calcium and vitamin A—all things that are important to a growing baby or toddler.

But how do you get your baby to eat spinach? That’s the hard part! Here are some tips on how to get your child to eat their greens:

1) Mix it with something else they already like: If your child loves applesauce then mix some spinach with it so they don’t notice the difference too much at first. It will also help them get used to the taste which means they won’t be scared away from eating it again later on down the road.

2) Don’t use too much at once: Start out small and gradually introduce more as your child becomes accustomed to the flavor over time until eventually there will be no turning back!

Baby Food With Spinach

Transform simple ingredients into yummy iron-rich Spinach Baby Food with just a few minutes of cooking and zero special kitchen tools!

spinach-puree-in-white-bowl

Spinach Baby Food

Offering up iron-rich foods is important in the months when babies are first eating solids—the iron stores they’re born with start running out around 6 months, so they need to take more iron in through their food. This spinach puree is a great option to have in the mix with other iron-rich foods since it’s easy to make and is easy to freeze.

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Ingredients You Need

To make this baby food recipe, you need spinach—I prefer baby spinach but any works—and frozen peas. I like combining these too ingredients so that the flavor of the spinach is mellowed out a bit and the overall consistency is smoother. The peas also add protein, which is a nice element to have in the mix.

peas-and-spinach-in-pot-with-water

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at how to make this recipe. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full information.

  1. Add the spinach, peas, and water to a medium pot.
  2. Cook just until the spinach is wilted and the peas are warmed through.
  3. Puree smooth, adding in any of the optional flavorings desired.
  4. Serve or store in the fridge or freezer for later.

TIP: You can add avocado, lemon juice, or olive oil to add more flavor and nutrients to this recipe if you’d like.

spinach-puree-in-blender

Can babies eat spinach?

Yes, though it would need to be pureed since they can’t chew the leaves straight up. Serving it in a puree (or in a Simple Green Smoothie) is a great option.

Can a 6 month old baby eat spinach?

Introducing savory foods along with sweet ones when kids start solids around 6 months is a great plan and spinach is a nutritious food to introduce early.

Can I use frozen spinach to make baby food?

Yes, though since it’s very condensed you can add a smaller amount. See the Notes section of the recipe for more information. (I prefer the flavor of this puree when making it with fresh spinach, but see what you think!)

spinach-puree-in-ice-cube-tray

How to Store Spinach Baby Food

You can add this puree to small airtight containers and store in the fridge for 3-5 days or portion into a silicone ice cube tray and freeze overnight. Transfer the frozen cubes to a freeze bag and seal, removing as much air as possible, and keep frozen for up to 6 months. Find more tips on storing baby food here.

How can I use leftover Spinach Puree?

In addition to serving it straight, you can stir some of it into pasta or rice as a simple sauce (you could add a little butter, olive oil, and/or Parmesan cheese). You could also spread some onto toast before making grilled cheese to add some veggies!

Tips for Making the Best Spinach Baby Food

  • Store in the fridge in small airtight containers for 3-5 days.
  • To freeze: Portion into a silicone ice cube tray and freeze overnight. Transfer the frozen cubes to a freeze bag and seal, removing as much air as possible, and keep frozen for up to 6 months.
  • Add avocado, lemon juice, or olive oil to add more flavor and nutrients to this recipe if you’d like.
  • Mix half and half with Apple Puree or Pear Puree to make a baby food combination.
  • Sprinkle on a little grated Parmesan cheese for older babies to add flavor.
  • Stir leftovers into pasta or rice or quinoa as a simple sauce.
  • Serve off of a spoon or in a reusable pouch.

I’D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR FEEDBACK ON THIS BABY FOOD RECIPE IF YOU TRY IT OUT, SO PLEASE COMMENT BELOW TO SHARE.

spinach-puree-in-white-bowl

Spinach Baby Food

I prefer doing this with baby spinach, but full size leaves work too.

Print RecipeSave

5 FROM 1 VOTE

Prep Time5 minutes

Cook Time5 minutes

Total Time10 minutes

AuthorAmy Palanjian

CuisineAmerican

CourseBaby Food

Calories58kcal

Servings6 -12 servings

Ingredients

1x2x3xUS CustomaryMetric

  • ▢4 cups lightly packed baby spinach
  • ▢2 cups frozen peas
  • ▢2 tablespoons avocado optional
  • ▢1 teaspoon lemon juice optional
  • ▢1 teaspoon olive oil optional

Instructions

  • Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the spinach and peas and stir.
  • Cover and reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 4-5 minutes or until spinach is just wilted. (When you add the frozen peas to the boiling water, the water will stop boiling. It will take a minute or two to get back up to boiling, then another minute or two to wilt the spinach. Keep an eye on it to avoid overcooking.)
  • Transfer mixture to a blender and blend very smooth, starting on low and working up to high.
  • Blend in any optional ingredients as desired.
  • Let cool and serve or store for future meals.

Equipment

  • Vitamix Blender
  • Silicone Ice Cube Tray
  • Calphalon 5-Quart Pot

Notes

  • Store in the fridge in small airtight containers for 3-5 days.
  • To freeze: Portion into a silicone ice cube tray and freeze overnight. Transfer the frozen cubes to a freeze bag and seal, removing as much air as possible, and keep frozen for up to 6 months.
  • To make this thicker, remove 1/4-½ cup of the water from the pot after Step 2 so you puree with less water. Add just as much as you need to get the mixture to blend.
  • To use frozen spinach, replace the fresh spinach with 1 cup frozen spinach. Stir into the boiling water just until warmed through for about 1-2 minutes in Step 1. Skip Step 2 to avoid overcooking. Transfer the spinach and peas to the blender with a slotted spoon and add a little water at a time as needed to make the puree. (You likely won’t need as much liquid since the spinach is already condensed.)
  • Add avocado, lemon juice, or olive oil to add more flavor and nutrients to this recipe if you’d like.
  • Mix half and half with Apple Puree or Pear Puree to make a baby food combination.
  • Sprinkle on a little grated Parmesan cheese for older babies to add flavor.
  • Stir leftovers into pasta or rice or quinoa as a simple sauce.
  • Serve off of a spoon or in a reusable pouch.

Nutrition

Calories: 58kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 19mg, Potassium: 255mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 2253IU, Vitamin C: 26mg, Calcium: 33mg, Iron: 1mg

when to start spinach for babies

If you’re hoping your baby will be “strong to the finish,” just like Popeye – by eating spinach regularly – then you may be wondering when a suitable time would be to begin serving that iron-rich food to your little one. It’s because of the immense, power-punching, and mineral-rich superfood’s ability to pack on the nutrients, in just a little green leaf, that makes it such a great possibility for parents.

Contents

  • The caution surrounding spinach
  • When can babies eat spinach?
  • What can be done?

Adding a small amount of spinach to your baby’s regular diet can help add much-needed iron to their bodies. Iron is a critical nutrient in the preliminary stages of a baby’s development. It’s needed to produce red and white blood cells as well as for their overall lung and brain development. But when can babies eat spinach safely? More importantly, when that time comes, how can you make spinach baby food that your child will love? Whether or not they like it can make the difference between a lifelong love of the veggie or a world without it.

The caution surrounding spinach

While this may seem like a straightforward answer, unfortunately, it can become a little muddled for parents when broken down. Strictly speaking, spinach is an excellent source of iron for humans, and is used heavily and often in baby foods to help enrich their diets. Where the problem occurs when the spinach is processed, and nitrates begin to build up. This can cause damage to your baby’s red blood cells – more specifically, the hemoglobin protein within them. Nitrates can convert hemoglobin into methemoglobin, creating a lack of oxygen being shared from the red blood cells to the tissues.

When can babies eat spinach?

Luckily, babies are born with enzymes in their bloodstream to help flip methemoglobin back to hemoglobin without any lasting damage. However, the number of enzymes needed to combat a nitrate overload is not found in infants less than 3-6 months old. Because of the risks involved with using possibly contaminated veggies –either grown at home or bought at the store – it is not recommended for children less than 8 months old at minimum to be served spinach in any form, though most receive it as a puree.

Nitrates aren’t only found in spinach however, and as the American Academy of Pediatrics explains to parents, it’s important to keep in mind:

“Nitrates aren’t the only cause of methemoglobinemia. Certain antibiotics and the numbing agent found in teething gels can also convert hemoglobin to methemoglobin. And baby food isn’t the only dietary source of nitrates. Drinking water (especially well water) can contain high levels of nitrates from fertilizer run-off. In fact, the most common cause of methemoglobinemia in babies (including those older than 6 months of age) is the ingestion of infant formula made with nitrate-containing well water!”

What can be done?

The main thing to keep in mind is, all homemade baby foods that are prepared with ground-growing veggies have the possibility to be contaminated with nitrate-rich fertilizers. This can happen from contaminated veggies themselves, soil, or even groundwater. Keeping your baby on a steady diet free from these types of freshly-prepared veggies from home until after the age of 6 months – or 8 in the case of spinach – is the main area of focus. Vegetables that have been found to hold higher levels of nitrates are:

  • Spinach and other greens
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Squash
  • Beans

Keep in mind that baby food companies run testing for nitrate levels prior to bottling to prevent injury to infants. It’s important for parents to understand avoiding spinach only applies to parents who prepare their own baby foods at home. Due to the lack of sufficient home testing, pediatricians recommend parents wait no less than 8 months to prep and feed freshly made spinach purees to their infants.

We understand the importance of infants getting the best quality ingredients, even at home. This piece is not meant to discourage you from wanting to prepare your own meals at home for your growing baby, only that you do so in a safe and healthy manner. If you wish to prepare your infant’s meals, we encourage you to sit down with your child’s doctor or nutritionist to plan and prepare foods that will not only give them a healthy and balanced diet but will also hit all those important health marks such and organic and sustainably grown.

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