Can I Give My Baby Kale?

Can I give my baby kale?Kale is a bona fide superfood and it’s recommended for adults, but do the many health benefits apply to babies as well?

The phytonutrients in leafy greens like kale make them a great addition to your daily meals, and also putting them into your baby’s food on a regular basis. Our research showed no reason not to give your baby greens like kale, but it may be an acquired taste for them, and not something they’ll appreciate the first time you give it to them.

This is a fat-free food that won’t add a lot of calories to your baby’s day, and it has calcium in it, along with plenty of fiber to help keep them regular.

Can I Give My Baby Kale? Answer: At 6 Months

When your baby is ready to start solid foods, you can start adding kale to it. You might want to start off with a veggie like spinach that has many of the same benefits, with an easier taste on the palate. Also, see below about how to add kale to other foods to help with the taste, but still get all of the benefits. Keep in mind that when your baby does start on solid foods you should still be supplementing their diet with breast milk through breastfeeding.

Healthy Benefits
WebMD has many nice things to say about kale. There are so many health benefits to eating kale that it’s hard to keep something like this off your baby’s regular diet menu. It is high in iron, which is nice because many foods for baby are fortified with iron. It also contains Vitamin K, which you don’t hear too much about but is good for warding off cancer. It’s also good for the heart and contains many vitamins.

Adding It To Other Foods
Kale by itself isn’t exactly the tastiest thing to feed your baby, but you can add it to pureed fruits and give them something that has both antioxidants and phytonutrients. For example, if you blend up some blueberries and add some kale to it you’ll be able to give them the best of both worlds. The sweetness of the berries counteracts the bitterness of the kale.

It does have a knack for turning anything it mixes with a dark shade of green, but your baby won’t mind as long as it’s tasting great. It’s also easy enough to add kale to pureed meats, balancing out the protein with fiber to aid with digestion.

Preparation Tips
With kale you want to make sure that it’s pureed very well if your baby is still eating pureed foods. It doesn’t really make a great finger food, but it’s perfect for blending up and adding to other foods, as described above. Buying organic kale is recommended, as conventional kale will have been sprayed repeatedly with chemicals like insecticides and herbicides. Rinsing them with water does not wash off these chemicals, as they are soaked into the food over time.

Keeping a Food Journal
When you start introducing new foods to your baby, we recommend keeping a food journal. This can be a simple spreadsheet kept online, or a notebook you keep offline. All you need to do is list the foods they try, how they seemed to enjoy them as they were eating it, and how they were able to digest it and pass it. You’re also looking for any allergic reactions they may have with foods that are high on the allergen list.

Over time you’ll have an impressive list of foods that your baby loves, and it’s easy enough to start putting them together to introduce new flavor sensations. You’ll also see which foods they don’t like, and you can make a note to try it again later to see if they like it further on in their development, or if they’re better able to handle foods as their digestive system matures.

If you’re thinking of giving your baby kale, check the guidelines above and see if it lines up with their development. Each baby is different, and your might not be ready at the six month mark. That is totally fine. Use your instincts and the signals they are giving you to make your decision.

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