For some, baby gem leaves are a necessity to keep babies alive.
But for others, the leafy greens are simply the perfect source of vitamin C, vitamin B6 and vitamin E. And for many, they are simply a convenient and nutritious way to incorporate fresh vegetables into the home.
But how do you prepare baby gem greens for your baby?
Here are the top tips to help you make sure you have the most nutritious baby food you can find.
For more articles from Al Jazeera, check out our baby food series, Baby Food and Diet: How to Make It Healthy, Delicious and Healthy for Your Baby.
Make sure the baby has all the nutrients needed for the baby’s growth.
“Baby gem lettuce should be cooked and mashed or shredded for best results,” said Dr. Margo Miller, a certified personal care nutritionist in the US.
“If the baby is a healthy weight and is not overweight, you can leave it in the oven for 15 minutes to thicken it up.”
Add vitamin C and vitamin B12.
“Vitamin C is used in the manufacture of baby food and can be found in baby foods from brands like Trader Joe’s,” Miller said.
Vitamin B12, on the other hand, can be obtained by consuming fresh fruit or vegetables, and is found in fresh produce from green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, cucumbers, and cauliflower.
“Dried baby spinach is also a good source of Vitamin B6,” she added.
Add Vitamin E. “A healthy diet should include at least three servings of vegetables a day, which can include baby gem leafy lettuce, baby spinach, and baby kale,” Miller explained.
“To maximize vitamin E’s effect on the baby, add fresh spinach and kale as well.”
Add omega-3s and fish oils.
“These foods contain essential fatty acids and can help lower cholesterol levels in the baby,” Miller added.
“Plus, omega-6s, the essential fatty acid found in fish oils, can also help to prevent and treat a number of conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, and even diabetes.”
Limit the amount of salt in your baby’s diet.
“Adding salt to the diet of your baby is important,” Miller noted.
“Add as little as 1 teaspoon salt per tablespoon of baby’s food and you’ll ensure that they get the nutrients they need for optimal growth and growth well.”
Add healthy oils and oils rich in antioxidants.
“Some babies prefer vegetable oils rich with omega-8, such like avocado, hemp and sunflower oil,” Miller pointed out.
“You can add some of these to baby’s foods and see if they benefit the baby in the most positive way.”
“Your baby needs healthy gut bacteria, so adding probiotics to the baby food can provide nutrients in the gut,” Miller continued.
“Most probiotic supplements are fortified with the Bifidobacteria bacteria, which help to boost the baby bacteria’s growth.”
“The best way to reduce sodium in the diet is to reduce the amount in baby’s daily intake of salt and/or to limit sodium-rich foods like rice and bread,” Miller advised.
“Gluten is a common food ingredient and a major source of gluten in the United States,” Miller cautioned.
“So when in doubt, look for foods that are made with gluten-free ingredients and limit them to a minimum.”
Add a few healthy fats and oils to the formula.
“Fatty oils such as coconut and sun-dried tomatoes can help boost baby’s immune system and help to protect against certain types of disease,” Miller concluded.
“For healthy fats such as avocado and olive oil, add some olive oil to baby foods, or add a small amount of nuts to baby meals to get the most benefits,” she said.
Limit salt in baby food.
“When in doubt about whether to include salt in the formula, ask your doctor,” Miller suggested.
“Ask your child’s doctor about what salt you can safely use, as well as what type of salt is appropriate for your child.”
Make a plan to meet your baby.
“We always recommend having a plan and starting with a solid, solid, and solid baby food,” Miller told Al Jazeera.
“With the right plan, this is how you can ensure that you get the best nutrition for your little one.”
You can also find a list of baby foods that contain baby gems and baby greens on the Al Jazeera website.