Benefits of Spinach for Babies, Healthy Eyes to Strengthen Immune System

Besidesspinach is beneficial for health, spinach is also beneficial for babies. The benefits of spinach for babies are very diverse, ranging from healthy eyes to strengthen baby's immune system. Therefore, if your baby has started eating complementary foods or solid foods, you should consider spinach as one of his diet menus.

When the baby is 6 months old or more, generally he can be given complementary foods and introduced slowly to solid foods. At that time, you need to be selective in choosing the foods your baby will eat.

There are many types of foods that are good for you to give to your baby. One of them is spinach. Apart from being easy to process and cheap in price, spinach has a variety of nutrients that are very useful for helping babies grow and develop.

Nutrients Contained in Spinach

Spinach is known for its abundant fiber content. In a serving of spinach for babies, or the equivalent of about 30-50 grams of spinach, there are about 0.7-1 grams of fiber. This figure is equivalent to 8-9% of the daily fiber needs of infants aged 1 year and under.

However, the benefits of spinach for babies don't just come from its fiber. There are still a number of other important nutrients that are also contained in spinach. The following is the variety of nutrients and the amounts contained in every 50 grams of spinach:
  • Protein: 1–1.2 grams
  • Carbs: 1.5–2 grams
  • Folate: 65–90 mcg (micrograms)
  • Vitamin A: 200–250 mcg
  • Vitamin K: 200–230 mcg
  • Vitamin C: 8.5–10 mg (milligrams)
  • Calcium: 30 mg
  • Iron: 0.8–0.9 mg
  • Potassium: 170–200 mg
  • Sodium: 30-35 mg
  • Magnesium: 30–35 mg
  • Phosphorus: 15–20 mg

Apart from the nutrients above, spinach also contains zinc, selenium, vitamin E, and antioxidants, such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Because of these various nutrients, the benefits of spinach for babies do not need to be doubted.

Some of the Benefits of Spinach for Babies

If consumed according to the right portion, there are many benefits of spinach for babies that can be obtained, here are some of them

1. Healthy eyes

Thanks to the abundant content of lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin A, spinach can maintain baby's eye health and prevent eye damage due to sun exposure.

Not only that, a number of studies have even found that the content of vitamin A, lutein, and zeaxanthin is also good for sharpening vision in babies.

2. Counteract the effects of free radicals

Free radicals can come from a variety of sources, ranging from metabolic waste substances to exposure to pollution, for example from vehicle or cigarette smoke.

If exposed to large amounts of free radicals, babies can experience various health problems, such as respiratory problems, developmental disorders, and allergies.

To prevent the bad effects of free radicals, you can provide your baby with foods rich in antioxidants. Luckily, spinach contains a lot of antioxidants such as vitamin C, lutein, and beta carotene. This content makes spinach good for consumption to maintain the health of the baby.

3. Increase the baby's immune

Vitamin C in spinach can not only counteract the effects of free radicals, but also strengthen the baby's immune system.

In the baby's body, vitamin C is responsible for increasing the production and effectiveness of white blood cells that play a role in fighting germs, viruses and parasites that cause infection or other harmful substances. Thus, babies are not susceptible to disease.

Moreover, a number of studies have found that vitamin C can also speed up wound healing and make children recover faster when they have coughs and colds.

4. Prevent anemia

If your baby has hair loss, it could be due to iron and folate deficiency. Lack of both nutritional intake can cause anemia. This can make the baby look limp and the hair will fall out more.

The body needs folate and iron to produce red blood cells. In addition, folate also plays a role in stimulating hair formation. When the number of red blood cells decreases, the amount of oxygen carried to the hair cells is reduced. This can cause the baby's hair to fall out.

Spinach is a type of plant-based food with a high iron and folate content. Therefore, by regularly giving it spinach, you can prevent your baby from anemia and hair loss.

5. Accelerate wound healing

Babies are especially vulnerable to injury, for example from crawling on rough floors or from falling. This is common in babies and is very difficult to completely prevent.

Routine giving spinach will help babies when they have wounds. The reason is, the abundant content of vitamin K in spinach plays a role in the blood clotting process, making wounds heal faster.

6. Make bones stronger

Milk is not the only intake that can strengthen bones because of its abundant calcium content. The reason is, calcium can also be obtained in large quantities from spinach. Nearly 40% of a baby's daily calcium needs are met only by consuming about 50-60 grams of spinach.

7. Smooth the performance of the baby's digestive system

In addition to the various benefits above, spinach is also useful for digestion for babies because it contains high enough fiber. With adequate fiber intake, babies will be prevented from constipation. Fiber intake from spinach or other fruits and vegetables is also important to support the health of the baby's digestive system.

Because it contains many nutrients, there are also many benefits of spinach for babies. If your baby refuses to eat spinach when it is first given you, don't be discouraged. Try giving him the spinach again in the next few days or try turning the spinach into another food, such as filtered porridge or puree.

If your baby still doesn't want to eat spinach or it's hard to eat that makes it hard for him to gain weight, you can consult your pediatrician for advice on how to give your child solids and increase his appetite.

Tips for Making Complementary Foods from Spinach

To keep babies safe from eating spinach, make sure to choose fresh and organic ones as much as possible so they don't contain a lot of pesticides.

Here's how to make spinach solids that you can try:
  1. Slice the spinach and wash it thoroughly.
  2. Steam or boil the spinach for about five minutes.
  3. Remove, then let it sit for three minutes to cool down and stop the cooking process. You can also dip the spinach briefly in cold water.
  4. Put the spinach in the blender, add a little water. Adjust the texture and thickness for the baby.
  5. Spinach puree is ready to serve.
Spinach complementary can be combined with other ingredients, such as potatoes, rice, carrots, and chicken which have also been processed so they are softer.

Most importantly, you have to adjust the texture of the complementary foods spinach according to the age of the baby. For the start of complementary foods, it is better to make puree with a soft texture so that the baby does not choke. In addition, it is recommended not to give spinach solids too often. The frequency can be 1-2 times a week.

Make sure the baby is not allergic to spinach. Then, it is advisable to consult a pediatrician or nutritionist before giving spinach to babies.

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