Since we all know that kale is very healthy, you may wonder if your baby can enjoy this nutritious vegetable. Is kale safe, and when can they have it?
Overall, kale is safe for your baby and can provide them with beneficial nutrition. However, there are some considerations to make when preparing it, including removing the tough stem.
This article will cover the safety and benefits of kale. Also, we will discuss if kale can cause an allergic reaction or gas in your baby.
Is Kale Safe for Babies? When?
Kale is safe for babies as long as it is prepared in the appropriate consistency and texture for their age, starting at four to six months old. It is essential to remove the stems of the kale because they can be very woody and tough to chew.
Start with a thin puree for babies around six months old, and then you can gradually increase the thickness of the puree as they get closer to nine months (source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).
When your baby is around ten months old, you can provide very small pieces of kale for them to eat, making sure they are bite-sized to prevent choking.
Also, make sure you thoroughly wash the kale leaves under clean running water (source: United States Food and Drug Administration [FDA]).
Let’s summarize this information in the table below (source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).
|Appropriate Kale Preparation
|Four to six months
|Pureed with stems removed; thin puree; one to two tablespoons per feeding
|Six to nine months
|Pureed with stems removed; thick puree; two to four tablespoons per feeding
|10 to 12 months
|Small bite-sized pieces of cut up kale (thoroughly washed)
Kale is an excellent source of vitamin K (source: Harvard School of Public Health). Vitamin K is an essential vitamin that functions in blood clotting and bone metabolism. Interestingly, babies have very little amounts of vitamin K in their bodies when they are born.
Therefore, most newborns actually receive a dose of vitamin K right after they are born to ensure that they have enough (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]).
Kale also contains vitamin C, which boosts your baby’s immune and nervous systems. It also helps their body form collagen, bones, and teeth (source: Cleveland Clinic).
Can Babies Be Allergic to Kale?
While kale is not one of the top allergens, it is possible for your baby to be allergic to any food, including kale. However, there is no reason to avoid introducing foods to your baby because of the fear of an allergic reaction.
However, introduce new foods one at a time, with each a few days apart. This way, if an allergic reaction occurs, you know which food could have caused it.
Signs of an allergic reaction include hives, swelling, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea, and more. If you notice multiple symptoms in different areas of the body, seek immediate medical attention (source: American Academy of Pediatrics).
Keep in mind that many foods with kale may have ingredients that are common allergens, such as peanuts, tree nuts, or gluten.
Does Kale Cause Gas in Breastfed Babies?
Many breastfeeding mothers worry that high-fiber foods, such as kale, in particular, are more likely to cause gas in their babies. However, any food can cause gas in breastfed babies (source: Texas Children’s Hospital). Therefore, it is important to look for patterns to notice if certain foods in your diet cause more gas in your baby than others.
I hope you found this article helpful in describing the safety and benefits of kale for your baby.