Homemade Spinach Baby Food Puree: A Nutritious Choice for Infants

When can you give spinach to babies?

At about 6 months of age, your baby’s digestive system will have matured enough to tolerate high fiber vegetables such as spinach. Spinach is a great addition to baby’s food, as it is nutrient-packed and is a great way to provide exposure to new, green foods.

Benefits of Spinach for baby

1. Spinach is a good plant source of iron.

Also around 6 months of age, most healthy, full-term infants will begin to deplete the iron storage they were born with (1). This is an important time to begin to give iron-fortified foods and foods naturally high in iron, such as spinach.

Spinach contains a type of iron called non-heme iron, which is not absorbed as easily as heme iron that comes from animal sources like beef (2). So spinach is best when paired with a vitamin C source to increase the absorption and make the nutrient useful for your baby.

Some great vitamin C foods to puree in combination with spinach are carrots, apples, strawberries, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. All of these foods make perfect baby food purees!

2. Digestive Health (fiber)

Spinach is a leafy green that is packed with fiber. This fiber is not digestible in our GI tracts and acts as a prebiotic (3). This means that spinach will actually feed GOOD bacteria in the gut.

The benefits of prebiotics are continually being studied. The consensus is that prebiotics DO positively affect human health (4). Specific benefits of prebiotics such as improved absorption of calcium (bone health), allergy prevention, constipation relief, immune function, and improvement in skin conditions are still being studied in humans (4).

Nutrition facts for Spinach

Best cooking method

To get the most nutrition, the best cooking method is to steam your spinach. Boiling may leach nutrients into the water. By steaming spinach, you can soften the leaf enough to puree into baby food while keeping all the good stuff inside!

Some tasty spinach baby food combinations

Apple Spinach Baby Food Puree

Since spinach is a low-calorie and low protein food, it’s best to combine with other foods that contain more calories or protein to create a balanced meal.

Some delicious and nutritious combinations include:

Apple spinach

-Banana spinach

-Carrot spinach

-Chicken, apple, spinach

-Pear spinach

-Sweet potato spinach

What equipment do I really need to make baby food?

Do you really need to have that special, baby food cooker and blender? NO! Using equipment that you may already have in your kitchen is the simplest way to make your baby food.

What you DO need:

  1. A steamer. I recommend a 3-tier steamer to cook multiple foods at once. It is a HUGE time saver!
  2. A standard blender or food processor. I used a Ninja blender that I already had at home.
  3. Baby food cups/storage. I used individual containers that were reusable, freezable, and came with labels. I could easily send a frozen container of baby food to daycare to thaw in the refrigerator by lunchtime!

You can also use other storage techniques such as freezing in an ice tray and placing cubes into Ziplock baggies.

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