5 Potential Health Benefits of Kale for Toddlers with Tips

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Kale is a type of green leafy vegetable that belongs to the cabbage family such as broccoli, cauliflower, and mustard. Like other siblings, cabbage contains a variety of vitamins and minerals that are good for the body

Able to deliver the benefits of kale for pregnant women, it consists of different types, there are cabbages with curly leaves, cabbage with flat leaves, or even cabbages that are bluish-green and each of them has a different flavor.

It is said to contain nutrients and vitamins that far exceed any vegetable. It is still relatively rare in many countries, but this vegetable has started to be grown locally. 

Kale is also slowly on the number one vegetable list for those of you who need a lot of iron. Aside from Iron, it also consists of :

  • 2.9 g of Protein
  • 4.4 g Carbohydrate
  • 4.1 g Fiber
  • 1.5 g total fat
  • Retinol 
  • Thiamine 
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Folic Acid
  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Zinc

There are many ways to consume it, including making it into a snack, so you can get the benefits of homemade kale chips. It’s also said that kale is also good for toddlers. But, is it actually true>

When to Introduce Kale to Your Toddlers or Kids

Once the baby has been able to eat solid food, in fact, he/she can already eat kale. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises nitrate content in kale has the potential to make babies sick if consumed before the age of 7 months. 

However, moms can start introducing this vegetable to their babies from the age of 6 months in small portions to see if there is an allergic reaction. For toddlers, it’s perfectly safe to consume.

Health Benefits of Kale for Toddlers

  • Reduces Cancer Risk

Cancer is already a haunting disease, especially for kids. One of the benefits of kale is that it reduces the risk of cancer. The reason, kale, and other green leafy vegetables contain chlorophyll that helps the body inhibit the absorption of heterocyclic amines. 

Heterocyclic amines are chemicals produced when you roast animal meat at high temperatures. This chemical compound is often associated with cancer cells. 

On the other hand, the body cannot absorb a lot of chlorophyll. However, these chemicals can bind to these carcinogens and prevent their absorption. That way, kale can indirectly reduce the risk of cancer.

If kale can’t be found nearby, you can always switch to another alternative, like the benefits of tempeh.

  • Provides Better Heart Health

In addition to reducing the risk of cancer, another benefit that kale offers is to maintain heart health. The high content of potassium in kale makes this green leaf beneficial for heart health. 

Put it this way, the American Heart Association recommends increasing potassium intake and reducing additional salt consumption. This can at least reduce the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

Though it’s not a common disease on toddlers, at least you can still be prepared for their future.

  • Reduces Diabetes Risks

Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes can be experienced by children.

Taken from Mayo Clinic, factors that increase a child’s risk of developing type 1 diabetes include a history of type 1 diabetes in family members, genetic factors (heredity), certain races, and certain viral infections.

The main key to preventing diabetes is controlling blood sugar and this can be achieved by consuming kale. This benefit of kale is possible because this green vegetable is rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

Research from the Journal of chiropractic medicine concluded that people who got adequate fiber intake had a lower risk of diabetes. This may be because the fiber in the food can lower blood glucose levels. 

In addition, the antioxidant content in kale can also help fight free radicals due to high blood sugar levels. Antioxidants in kale are in the form of vitamin C and alpha-linolenic acid which is proven to reduce complications of diabetes.

Aside from kale, parents can also have the benefits of beetroot as a good alternative.

  • Great for Bones Development 

Every 100 grams of kale contains about 101 milligrams of calcium. Not many vegetables are rich in calcium like kale. Some people even consider the calcium in kale to be slightly better than milk. 

Milk contains casein protein that is difficult for the body to digest, so its calcium absorption only reaches 30 percent. Meanwhile, calcium absorbed from kale or broccoli can reach 40 to 60 percent. 

It is not surprising that the calcium content in kale offers good properties for bone health. That is why you need to regularly eat vegetables so that the bones are not easily brittle and at risk of osteoporosis.

That’s why it’s safe to assume kale can be used as a substitute for other healthy kinds of milk like the benefits of almond milk for toddlers.

  • Maintains Toddlers’ Healthy Hair and Skin

For parents who want their babies to have healthy hair and skin may be able to try eating kale. Kale is one of the good sources of beta-carotene for the body, especially the growth and maintenance of body tissues.

Tips on Picking and Processing Kale

Select the kale with dark leaf color, do not choose kale that is yellowish or browned. Choose the hard texture but the stems tend to be damp.

Avoid kale whose leaves are perforated or appear dry and soft to the touch. Instead, choose baby kale because it is softer and tastes sweeter than the large kale leaves.

Fresh kale should be processed immediately because it will create a bitter taste if stored too long. When you want to store it in the refrigerator, the storage age limit of kale is 5 days.

Avoid washing kale if it is not processed immediately because it can shorten its life. Process the kale as fresh as possible.

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