Thursday, February 2, 2012

Popeye the Sailor Man

Thus far, my son has eaten everything I've introduced.  Usually with gusto.  While he hasn't refused anything, he's certainly balked, letting me know those foods of which he's not a huge fan.  Those foods happen to be green vegetables at this point.  Yes, he'll eat peas and green beans, but the look on his face says he'd much rather something different.  My theory is that it's a texture issue, and he doesn't like the skins of these veggies.  I will persevere, and eventually we'll find a way for him to learn to love green veggies.  In the meantime, I called my mom, asking for her thoughts on what I should/could offer next.  We've done a lot of fruit, and while I'm glad my son loves them all, I know he needs some veggies - some green veggies - in his life!  Mom suggested lima beans.  I simply can't stand limas.  It's probably the one thing I absolutely refuse to eat.  I won't do it.  So why give them to my son?  If he ever eats a lima bean, it'll be because he gets it somewhere else!  Mom continued to make suggestions.  She mentioned spinach, and all I could think of was the nasty slimy stingy stuff in the cans or frozen in a block. Yuk.

But then I remembered that I had a half bag of baby spinach already in the 'fridge!  What about that?  I asked my mom if there was a reason I couldn't make fresh baby spinach for my little guy, and she told me absolutely not, that it was perfect...and has a different texture than the peas and beans did; maybe it would do the trick!  I did some google research and polled some mama friends on Facebook, and of course I checked Momtastic!  While spinach is a great food for babies, full of calcium, Vitamin A, and iron, there are some things of which to be aware:
"Spinach is truly a wonderful leafy green that packs a lot of nutrients. Spinach is an oxalate food [oxalate binds with calcium and iron and causes an inability for the body to properly use these nutrients and can cause kidney stones in adults] as well as a nitrate [nitrate turns to nitrites, which hinders proper oxygen transportation in the red blood cells, and may cause slow asphixiation] food so for babies under the age of 8 months, eating homemade spinach in moderation, if at all, is a good idea. Studies have shown that if not properly stored, nitrate levels may increase in spinach."
All that said,  nitrate poisoning is quite rare, and most likely caused by well-water contamination, rather than from fruits and veggies.  And foods containing oxalates are totally safe as long as you don't over-eat them everyday.  So, put your fears aside and know that with a well-balanced diet, your baby can certainly enjoy spinach!  Therefore, in order to make it, here's what I did:
Step 1:  Heat a tiny bit of olive oil (maybe a teaspoon or two)
in a skillet over medium-high heat).  Add cleaned and
drained spinach (this is about half a 10-ounce bag)
Step 2:  Saute until shrunk and wilted (see how much
it cooks down?), stirring often.
Step 3:  Puree, adding fresh water (if you steamed, rather
than sauteed, the spinach, do not reuse this cooking
water) as necessary, until desired consistency.
PS My son loved his spinach...particularly when I mixed in a little apple!

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