Popeye was right, spinach is good for you.
Greens are all the rage and with good reason, they are so darn good for you and for your baby. Spinach is a super green that packs a nutritional punch, it is loaded with calcium, vitamin A and iron among other nutrients.
What you should know about homemade spinach baby food
Baby must be at least 9 months old to eat cooked greens, 10 months old for finely chopped raw greens. A young baby (0 -6 months) can not handle the nitrates found in spinach and other leafy greens. Spinach is one of the EWG’s Dirty dozen as well so buy organic!
Selecting and storing spinach for baby food
Buy organic spinach leaves that are loose and not in plastic bags, if at all possible. Leaves should be young and tender with no thick veins, bright green, crisp and not wilted, insect-free, and have no bruises, decaying spots, or slime. Rush home from the market and cook and freeze greens the second you walk in the door. If you must store them first, wrap them in white paper towels and place in organic, bleach-free wax paper-lined plastic bags in a cold part of the refrigerator or vegetable crisper. Use them fast, within a day or two.
Preparing spinach baby food
Examine the spinach leaves and discard leaves with a lot of yellow or decay. Trim any thick stems or small blemishes before cooking. To remove any leftover sand, try placing the leaves in a large bowl filled with luke warm water so any sand falls to the bottom of the bowl. Fish out the leaves and place them in a new bowl that is filled with cold water for one more rinse. Coasely chop cleaned leaves, if desired.
Steam the spinach leaves in a covered container for about 5 minutes for whole leaves, 3 minutes for chopped leaves. Steaming in an uncovered container will reduce the strong flavor of the greens but might also mean the escape of nutrients. Drain the steamed leaves, reserving the cooking liquid to be used for pureeing.
Place steamed greens in a blender or food processor with a bit of the reserved liquid. Place pureed baby food in a stainless steel cube tray and freeze for later use or storage using the Food Cube Method.
Other spinach baby food meal options
Spinach has a strong flavor as do many nutrient-filled greens. Adding spinach to other great foods is a terrific way to make it more palatable for your baby. Mixing pureed, cooked spinach with banana, sweet potato, oatmeal super porridge are just a few ways of masking spinach’s strong flavor. Adding cooked or raw spinach, when baby is old enough, into a smoothie concoction is another great way to serve spinach and its good for Mommy too!
Spinach Fun Facts
In addition to spinach being so nutritious, did you know that spinach can be terrific for your skin? According to this post by Care2.com, eating spinach can leave you with a glowing completion on the outside as well as healthy on the inside. This post lists 8 great benefits from eating spinach!
Have you experimented with spinach baby food? Any tips on preparing, storing, or serving spinach baby food that you would like to share?