Can i feed my baby spinach

Can I give my Baby Spinach?

Spinach is one of the trickiest vegetables to feed kids. That’s why most Moms want to introduce it as soon as possible and ask: Can I give my Baby Spinach?

Health Benefits of Spinach

Can I give my Baby Spinach?

Tips for Buying and Storing Spinach

Healthy Spinach Recipes for Babies and Kids

Buy Healthy Nutritious Baby, Toddler food made by our own Doctor Mom !

‘Popeye the Sailor Man’  is one of those special cartoon characters of our childhood, whom all of us can relate to! Who didn’t enjoy seeing Popeye’s muscles pop out to save the day, all thanks to gulping down a can of spinach? It certainly increased my interest in the vegetable! That’s saying something about the power of the Popeye character, since Spinach is one of the trickiest things to feed young kids.

Spinach is a dark green nutrient-rich leafy vegetable which belongs to the Amaranthaceae family and is scientifically known as Spinacia Oleracea. Spinach is believed to have originated in ancient Persia, which then made its way into England in the 14th century where it was known as the ‘Spanish vegetable.’ It’s not clear when and how spinach was introduced in India, but it’s quite a popular vegetable here now.

Spinach is known as palak in Hindi, keerai/pasali in Tamil, cheera in Malayalam and saka in Bengali. The leading spinach producing states of India are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Gujarat. Now let’s look at why spinach was such a big deal for Popeye!

Health Benefits of Spinach

Being highly alkaline, spinach is considered good for the stomach and digestive system. Spinach is very low in calories, cholesterol and high in vitamins K and A. It’s a great source of several other vitamins and minerals, including potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B6, B9, and E.

  • Strengthens immunity
  • Regulates blood pressure
  • Prevents cancer
  • Maintains bone health
  • Prevents anemia
  • Provides hydration
  • Prevents asthma
  • Prevents constipation
  • Maintains skin and hair health
  • Improves for eye health
  • Helps kill intestinal worms and maintains gut health
  • Maintains muscle health

With all the fuss kids show with spinach, most Moms would prefer introducing spinach as early as possible so their child gets into the habit of eating the vegetable without any trouble. This makes sense, and is perfectly possible since spinach CAN be given to babies.

Spinach can be introduced to babies from 6-7 months of age. However, due to the presence of oxalates and nitrates, some pediatricians consider 8-10 months as the ideal time to introduce spinach. You can choose to wait till the baby completes 8 months to be on the safe side.

While introducing start with a spoon full of spinach puree and then gradually increase the quantity. For babies above 8 months spinach can be given in a chopped form rather than a pureed form. It is not recommended to give babies raw spinach, since it can case an allergy. Because of its high fiber content and oligosaccharides, raw spinach can have a bloating effect on babies with sensitive stomachs. Over feeding of spinach may also result in abdominal pain, low blood pressure, tremors or convulsions, vomiting etc.

While not mandatory, it’s better to follow the 3-day rule to be on the safe side, and start with a small quantity in the beginning. If the baby displays symptoms like itchy rashes, abdominal pain, burning sensation in the mouth, swelling of the face or shortness of breath, he needs to be rushed to the doctor right away.

Tips for Buying and Storing Spinach

The most popular spinach varieties which are suitable for babies are Palak, Baby Spinach, Mulai Keerai (Amarantus Blitum), Arai Keerai (Tricolor Amaranthus), Siru Keerai (Tropical Amaranthus).

Spinach is one of those vegetables that are highly likely to be contaminated with pesticides. It’s ideal to grow your own spinach, but if that’s not possible, try to source it locally or from a trusted organic supplier.

While selecting spinach, make sure the leaves are tender and crisp. Fresh spinach will have a thick and flexible stem. Yellow or brown leaves indicate damage and have to be avoided or removed while washing.

Spinach can be stored in the vegetable crisper or the refrigerator, in a zip lock pouch to avoid moisture. Wash the spinach only before cooking, and wash it well to get rid of any mud and dirt.

Healthy Spinach Recipes for Babies and Kids

Broccoli Spinach Puree for Babies

Spinach Oat Pancakes for Babies

Cream of Spinach Soup for Toddlers

Spinach Fritters

Spinach Phulka


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When Can Babies Eat Spinach? Know When To Introduce It

Know how to make spinach baby food safely and when to introduce it to your little one

By Emily Pidgeon

We all want to see our kids eat more green food. That starts when they start eating solid foods as an infant. If you’re hoping your baby will be “strong to the finish,” just like Popeye by eating spinach regularly, then you may wonder when a suitable time would be to introduce that iron-rich food to your little one. This little green leaf’s ability to pack on the nutrients makes it such a great food for parents to feed their tots.


  • Why you should use caution when feeding baby spinach
  • When can babies eat spinach?
  • How to safely feed your baby spinach

But when are babies able to eat spinach safely? More importantly, how can you make spinach baby food that your child will actually eat? Whether or not they like it makes the difference between a lifelong love of the veggie or a world without it. Let’s break down the when and how to get your nugget to enjoy this mineral-rich superfood.

Why you should use caution when feeding baby spinach

Adding a small amount of spinach to your baby’s regular diet adds 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 overall lung and brain development.

Strictly speaking, spinach is an excellent source of iron for humans, and is used often in baby foods to help enrich their diets. Where the problem occurs is when the spinach is processed, 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 younger 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 younger than 8 months old to be served spinach in any form.

Nitrates aren’t only found in spinach, 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!”

How to safely feed your baby spinach

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 happens from contaminated veggies themselves, the soil, or the 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 months in the case of spinach – is the main thing to focus on.

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 negative side effects in 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 at least 8 months to prep and feed freshly made spinach purees to their infants.

We understand the importance of infants getting the best quality ingredients in their diet. We don’t want to discourage you from wanting to make your own meals at home for your growing baby. We only want you to do so in a safe and healthy manner. If you prepare your infant’s meals at home, 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 as organic and sustainably grown.

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