Almost any leafy greens are an ideal source of ascorbic acid, necessary for the absorption of iron, a range of vitamins, minerals, and essential oils. However, with some herbs, you need to be careful.
Dill is probably the most famous and popular greens among Ukrainians. Thanks to essential oils, flavonoids, and minerals, dill increases appetite, helps with flatulence. A good source of calcium, potassium, and iron. But be careful – a large amount of dill lowers blood pressure. After a year, you can add a little dill when cooking soup, and from 1.5 years and raw.
From the age of 2, you can add fresh parsley leaves to salads and ready meals. Parsley has diuretic and choleretic properties, thanks to potassium, parsley normalizes intestinal motility, and essential oils not only increase appetite but also have antimicrobial action. The combination of ascorbic acid, iron, and beta-carotene makes parsley leaves a great way to boost immunity. Parsley root should not be offered to children, because its biological activity is higher than in the leaves and the child’s body may not cope. You can add a little greens when making soup from 1.5 years of age.
Light bitterness of arugula is provided by essential oils, among which mustard is an excellent source of essential fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-9. Arugula increases appetite, has antibacterial properties, normalizes water-salt balance, and according to some data protects the stomach wall from irritation. By the way, arugula is highly recommended to eat regularly with diabetes, because it can lower blood sugar. Due to the excellent balance of iron and ascorbic acid, arugula helps maintain normal hemoglobin levels. Arugula in raw form, for example in the form of a salad, is recommended for children not earlier than 1.5-2 years.
The characteristic and very rich aroma of basil leaves provides a large number of essential oils, which not only increase appetite but also have antimicrobial properties. These fragrant leaves are recommended for use only in raw form because during heat treatment they lose most of their useful properties. Despite all its useful qualities, basil is not recommended for children under 5-6 years of age, as it can cause irritation of the mucous membranes and even poisoning.
Spinach is one of the record holders in the content of folic acid, which is vital for the formation of all cells of the growing child’s body, is important for the regulation of the nervous system is involved in the process of hematopoiesis, and is necessary for hair growth. Of the disadvantages of this useful plant – it can cause an allergic reaction. Therefore, when offering your baby spinach soup, watch your baby closely. Opinions of pediatricians about spinach in the children’s menu are ambiguous – some allow you to add to the soup young leaves at 1.5 years, others insist – not earlier than 2 years.
Young onions increase appetite and help fight germs at the stage of chewing. Pediatricians allow little fresh green onions to children after 1.5 years, and when cooking soup can be even earlier – a year.
Recently, microgreens are gaining popularity. These are edible small plants that are grown in a greenhouse, they should be eaten before the real leaves appear. The beauty of microgreens is that each species tastes like its adult relative. The microgreen radishes have a distinct spiciness of adult vegetables, peas taste as sweet as young peas (a favorite delicacy of our childhood), and broccoli tastes indistinguishable from adult cabbage inflorescences.
Is it possible to use microgreens in the diet of baby food? Not only possible but necessary! Microgreens are very useful for schoolchildren during periods of intense mental stress and sports. It gives energy to children to cope with any load, increases immunity. The maximum that children should consume per day is 30 g. Microgreens can also be eaten during pregnancy, in the postpartum period, as well as during lactation. It is a source of protein, vitamins, trace elements, and other nutrients for the health of the young mother. However, be sure to consult a doctor before use!
Worth to know
Young greens are best for children during their natural growth, not grown in greenhouses. Any greens should be thoroughly washed and then soaked in cold water for 10-15 minutes to reduce the number of possible nitrates. In raw form, more nutrients are stored, including vitamin C, but short-term heat treatment makes greens safer. Introduce any greens should be gradual, in small quantities, watching the reaction of the body.