4 Health Benefits of Green Shakes for the Whole Family – Including BabiesTom Levin
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Contrary to common perception, children are perfectly capable of liking a variety of foods – if they’re brought up to do so. They are not naturally inclined to prefer a classic children’s menu of nuggets, French fries and hot dogs – that’s all social construct. Kids want to eat what we eat, which is why at our house there’s no meal distinction, and even our baby Ella eats what everyone else eats.
Now that Ella is 8 months old, we’ve started introducing solid foods into her nutrition. After careful consideration, we decided to listen to our gut instincts and create a menu that nutritionally resembles breast milk, the perfect nutritional compound. We began feeding Ella ground organic vegetables, and she loved every bite – but nothing compared to her reaction after first tasting a green shake. She was insatiable, wanting more and more! Therefore, we decided to upgrade the shake into a rich, tasty and filling baby meal.
Green Shake Baby Food Recipe
- A handful of leaves: kale, chard or spinach
- 1 apple
- 1 carrot
- 1 pear
- 1 peach
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp almond spread
Blend ingredients together in a blender with a bit of water or your milk supplement of choice, and serve.
To ensure Ella’s meal is dense enough, at this point we separate her portion and then add more water or milk supplement (coconut milk, almond milk, flax seed milk, etc) to get a more liquid texture.
This shake is the motherlode, health-wise. A green powerhouse composed of superfoods, which babies should also benefit from at the onset of their solids phase (usually 6 months and older). If you’d like, you can incorporate dates, tahini or bananas in the shake to make it thicker and sweeter. Oh, and babies happen to love those add-ins, too.
We promised to outline 4 health benefits of green shakes for all members of the family, so here they are.
Green shakes strengthen the intestinal flora
90% of our bodies are microbes – organisms such as bacteria – that live in the intestine. These organisms have multiple critical roles including vitamin synthesis, nutrient absorption and food digestion.
Guess which foods help these organisms perform at their best? Vegetables in all colors and shapes, and legumes. The microbes thrive thanks to incorporating cabbage, broccoli, cucumbers and lentils into our nutrition. Preserved vegetables, cooked vegetables and raw vegetables all contribute to the intestinal bacterial balance. These bacteria are directly influenced by the food we consume, since they reside in the depths of the digestive system.
Green shakes strengthen the muscular and skeletal systems
- Calcium, which is found in abundance in leafy greens such as kale (which contains more calcium than milk), is essential for kids with growing bones, and for adults to preserve their bone density.
- Essential ALA fatty acids found in chia seeds and hemp seeds are considered anti-inflammatory and conducive to muscle healing.
- High levels of protein found in almonds, seeds and leafy greens aid in muscle building.
Green shakes contain strengthen the immune system
- Contains vitamins such as A, C, D and E, commonly found in leafy greens and fruits.
- Vegetables contain folic acid, and kale contains high levels of iron.
- Chia seeds, hemp seeds and walnuts contain omega 3.
Green shakes contribute to the healthy development of organs and bodily systems
- Kale benefits your eye-sight.
- Seeds improve brain function since they contain fat and fatty acids, which compose 65% of our brain.
- Green shakes contain two types of fiber: Soluble and non-soluble. Both types are essential to the digestive system and to heart health, since they bind with cholesterol and remove it from the body, and help balance blood sugar levels.