The health benefits of kale for infants and toddlers include supply of essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, iron, calcium and potassium.
Kale is a vegetable which is closely related to the family of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and brussels. Kale is also known by the name borecole. Just like cabbage and Brussels, the leaves of kale plant are eaten. Kale is believed to have originated in central Europe and spread to Mediterranean and Africa during early and middle ages. It was introduced to North America during the 19th century. Kale became popular during World War II because it was easy to grow and it was incorporated into the staple for many during the war time due to heavy rationing. The names kale and borecole are derived from Dutch, Danish, German and Scottish Gaelic names.
Can kale be given to infants or toddlers?
One of the biggest question that most parents ask is whether or not kale be fed to infants or toddlers. The answer, not surprisingly is yes. This is because, as kale belongs to the cabbage, cauliflower group, it can be happily fed to your infants or
toddlers. But, just make sure that they are at least 8-9 months old. As cabbage group can be a little hard for little tummies to digest, apart from flatulence.
Health benefits of kale for infants and toddlers
Here are some of the health benefits of kale for infants and toddlers.
Is high in iron: Iron is one of the most essential minerals for infants and toddlers. As we know that iron is required for quality blood and blood production, it is very much recommended to give iron rich food for your babies. Kale is one such vegetable which supplies good amount of iron for your baby.
High in potassium: Potassium is an electrolyte which is needed very much by the body. But, unfortunately, our cooking processes removes most of the potassium and sodium remains in the diet. This can increase vulnerability to high blood pressure in the future. Instead, we can focus on foods which can supply potassium more than sodium and avert such a development early itself. Potassium is also important in regulating muscle function and kidney function.
Is a good source of vitamin A: Kale is also a very good source of vitamin A. Vitamin A is vital for the development of eyesight and it also is useful in the development of the immune system by acting as a repelling agent against viruses and bacteria.
High in vitamin C: Apart from being a good source of vitamin A, kale is also a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is helps in strengthening the immune system. Apart from this, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which prevents damages caused by free radicals that are usually found in our bodies. Free radicals can have a damaging effect on cells and on DNA as well. Vitamin C reduces this by neutralizing these free radicals.
Good source of calcium: Calcium is an indispensable mineral for bone growth. Your baby needs good amount of calcium supply to make sure that proper bone development takes place. Bone development is essential not just for growing up children, but for infants and toddlers as well.
Risks of eating kale
There are few risks of giving kale as well. As kale is high in potassium, it must be avoided for those whose kidneys are not functioning properly.
Nutrition in Kale or Borecole
According to the National Nutrient Database from the US Department of Agriculture, the nutrition found in kale includes
|Nutrient||Value per 100g||Nutrient||Value per 100g|
|Water||84 g||Energy||48 kcal|
|Protein||4.28 g||Total Lipid||0.93 g|
|Carbohydrates||8.75 g||Fiber||3.6 g|
|Sugars||2.26 g||Calcium||150 mg|
|Iron||1.47 mg||Magnesium||47 mg|
|Phosphorous||92 mg||Potassium||491 mg|
|Sodium||38 mg||Zinc||0.56 mg|
|Vitamin C||120 mg||Thiamin||0.110 mg|
|Riboflavin||0.130 mg||Niacin||1 mg|
|Vitamin B-6||0.27 mg||Folate||141 ug|
|Vitamin A||9990 IU||Vitamin E||1.54 ug|
|Vitamin K||704 ug|