June 27, 2012 | Home >Healthy Kids > In the News >Spinach Pesto Recipe Plus Top 3 Sources of Iron for Kids
Spinach Pesto Recipe Plus Top 3 Sources of Iron for Kids
June 27, 2012 | Home >Healthy Kids > In the News >Spinach Pesto Recipe Plus Top 3 Sources of Iron for Kids

Spinach Pesto Recipe Plus Top 3 Sources of Iron for Kids

Children ages 4-8 years old need 10mg of iron per day.  For kids, our top three favorite sources are:

  • Spinach! With 6.4 mg per 1 cup (cooked)
  • Lentils have 6.6 mg per 1 cup
  • Pumpkin seeds have 5.2 mg per 1/4 cup.

If your kids aren’t hip on adding spinach to smoothies yet, maybe try this Green Pasta instead! Made with spinach and walnuts, this Green Goblin Pesto Pasta,  might just hit the spot.

For the Pesto, we only used four ingredients:

Spinach Pesto Recipe Plus Top 3 Sources of Iron for Kids. Need iron? Our three top sources here!

Spinach Pesto Recipe

Blend together in a food processor. Then add:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Blend again in the food processor.

Spinach Pesto Recipe Plus Top 3 Sources of Iron for Kids. Need iron? Our three top sources here!

Then, it’s easy to top some warm pasta!

Spinach Pesto Recipe Plus Top 3 Sources of Iron for Kids. Need iron? Our three top sources here! Spinach Pesto Recipe Plus Top 3 Sources of Iron for Kids. Need iron? Our three top sources here!

This spinach pesto pasta can be part of a balanced meal, with double the veggies!   Check out our plates here for getting your kids to eat more balanced meals!

Spinach Pesto Recipe Plus Top 3 Sources of Iron for Kids. Need iron? Our three top sources here!
written by
Amy Roskelley

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Comments(47)
Mary says:

I was looking for a good pesto recipe. I will be printing this for future use. Thanks

Dennis Blair says:

I have been battling my daughter to eat some more spinach for years. She loves parmesan cheese, so this just might do the trick!

Alicia says:

Made this for dinner and both of my toddlers loved it!

Amy says:

I love this one too!! Glad your kids ate it!

Kim says:

My son has low iron and the doctor recommended I feed him spinach, not eating spinach myself I went on a search for recipes. I found this recipe on Pinterest and it was a HIT! I ate it, my 2 year old (who is the one low on iron) ate it and even my VERY picky 4 year old devoured it after convincing him to just try it! Thank you for this recipe!

Amy says:

Terrific Kim! I’m so glad he liked it!!

Eileen says:

Any suggestions on what to use instead of walnuts? We have severe nut allergies here?

Torie says:

Just made this for lunch! I substituted a little garlic salt for extra flavor. My daughter and I just loved it- I think I’ll do this with speghetti noodles next time.. At 14 months and 6 teeth the curly noodles didnt soften as much as I would have liked… Despite boiling them forever! Great way to get spinache into her diet!

Jamie Lohman says:

Do you know how long it will last in the fridge?

Jamie Lohman says:

Do you know how long it will last in the fridge?

Amy says:

I would only keep it in the fridge for 3-5 days.

kimberly j says:

Could I use pine nuts instead?

Amy says:

Absolutely! I would too, except they are so expensive here!

Sara says:

Can I use grated parmesan cheese rather than shredded?

Amy says:

Yes you could!

Jenilee says:

Could we leave out the walnuts? We are a nut free household!

Jamie says:

Do you know if it matters whether I use regular spinach or baby spinach?

Deborah says:

I’m also wondering if this would taste alright leaving the nuts out? Daycare is nut-free. thanks!

Amy says:

Either spinach is fine @Jamie-
@jenilee and @deborah- you could leave the nuts out, but then it wouldn’t really be pesto.

Michelle says:

Also could what could you use to substitute the parm cheese? My daughter is allergic to dairy 🙁 She LOVES pesto (before the allergy) and I’m struggling to find an alternative!

Amy says:

Scratch that- someone on facebook just mentioned they use sunflower seeds in place of nuts! HOpe that helps #jenilee and @deborah

Georgia says:

But from what i have read we should avoid diary ( cheese) when we want to have good absorption of iron. So isn’ t the parmesan counterbalancing the iron in spinach?

Amy says:

Georgia, while iron absorption is decreased when consuming spinach with cheese, it is also enhanced by the vitamin C of the spinach. However, healthy kids who eat a varied diet, the amount of iron inhibition is usually not of concern.

Also, many healthy foods contain iron absorption inhibitors.No need to cut these foods out of your child’s diet. Iron absorption in healthy individuals will still happen.

Deborah says:

Thanks!

Eva says:

Can I use pistachio instead of walnuts?

Eunice B says:

Maybe you could use seeds instead?

ceci says:

To” hide” spinach, kale or any green vegetable, use beets, you don’t need to cook it or peel it. Just wash it good and add to your mix. I use a Vitamix which I very powerful. Cut only the size of the tip of your thumb. Your smoothie would turn red. Used spinach liquefied in a potato puré and you will get green mash potato.

Amanda says:

And perhaps Pumpkin seeds as they are high in iron too?
Yummy looking recipe, I’m making this tonight!
🙂

sheia says:

I tried this for a quick lunch to energize my daughter before swim class…..I added grilled chicken breast and chopped up broccoli, and she loved it! THANKS

Shelley says:

Wrong wrong wrong it suppose to be half a plate of vegetables !! The food group is vegetables and fruit. Give more vegetables fruit has sugar in it.
Know more before you post

Melanie says:

Is the leftover pesto freezable?

Cassi says:

Would this pack well for a school lunch or should it be kept chilled?

Heather MacPherson says:

Have you tried freezing the pesto? I love freezer meals!!

Amy says:

We send it to school without an ice pack! My kids haven’t complained! 🙂 @Cassi

Amy says:

I understand you can freeze pesto @heather- but I haven’t tried it. We usually eat it all!

maggie says:

Can I use frozen spinach instead? And how,much of it?

Magaly Gaffney says:

Can i use frozen spinach instead of fresh? And how much would it be?

Amy says:

You can Maggie- It’s up to you how spinachy you want it, but you would need a lot less.

Nirit says:

I used Nutritional Yeast instead of cheese and it was great

Sami says:

How many servings of pasta would I cook for this recipe?

I would use 4 ounces of pasta Sami!

Katie says:

My son is allergic to ealnuts & pecans. Could I use pine nuts instead?

Katie says:

I meant walnuts

Hi Katie- I haven’t tried it with walnuts. If you do, let me know. I imagine it would still be good!

Rebecca says:

Another momma asked but didn’t get an answer, we have a dairy allergy, what would be a good sub for the cheese? 🙂 ty

DrAnam says:

I read somewhere that spinach has less bioavailability when eaten raw…

sats says:

OMG, this was delicious. My son could not get enough of it and kept saying this is the ‘best pesto ever’. Thanks again for this amazing blog. Love love your recipes

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