Medically reviewed and cowritten by Jamie Johnson, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).
Sage for Baby
A member of the mint family and related to rosemary, sage has long been known for its culinary and medicinal purposes. Sage is a natural antiseptic and preservative and has bacteria-killing abilities in meat. It’s also great for relieving muscle aches and pain from arthritis and can help enhance mental clarity. Sage is even used in a drink called “thinkers tea,” given to some Alzheimer’s patients to help improve memory! This herb is rich in Vitamin K, fiber, and Vitamin A, which all help support your baby’s vision, red blood cells, and heart. Not only does sage serve many medicinal purposes, it’s also delicious and fragrant. Sage’s minty, earthy flavor will enhance the flavor of many purees (especially turkey!), while expanding your baby’s palate.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF SAGE
Since people don’t typically consume a large amount of sage in a sitting, you won’t be getting a significant amount of nutrients, except for vitamin K, but it does have some health benefits.
- One teaspoon of sage provides 10% of the daily value of vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting and bone health
- It has a variety of antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of certain cancers
- Sage has different acids in it that can help with brain function and memory
Highlighted Nutritional Importance of Sage
Vitamin A – vital for baby’s vision and promotes healthy bone growth
Vitamin K – this vitamin is needed for the blood clotting process and for bone health
Vitamin C – this antioxidant helps build a healthy immune system and helps to keep baby’s gums healthy
Folate – a B vitamin that helps support the brain and nervous system
Calcium – needed for building strong bones and teeth and helps convert food into energy
Magnesium – essential for a steady heart rhythm and for maintaining strong bones
Potassium – an electrolyte mineral that helps control water balance and a healthy blood pressure
Iron – needed to make hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen through our blood
Sage Decreases Milk Supply in Breastfeeding Moms
We’re focusing on sage for your baby, but breastfeeding moms should be aware that eating too much may reduce milk supply. Sage is a helpful herb when mom is in the weaning process, but if you are actively breastfeeding, it’s important to be aware of how much you are consuming.
How to Select and Store Sage for Baby Food
If possible, choose fresh sage over dried since it is much more aromatic and flavorful. The leaves of fresh sage should be a vibrant green-gray color and free from dark spots or yellowing.
To store fresh sage leaves, wrap them in a damp paper towel and place inside a closed plastic baggy. You can store it in the refrigerator, where it will be kept fresh for several days. Dried sage should be kept in a cool, dark place in a tightly sealed glass container, lasting about 6 months.
The flavor of sage is very delicate, so it’s important to add this herb near the end of cooking to retain the most flavor. Sage is great when paired with poultry, and it’s an herb many of us recognize around Thanksgiving time since it is used to flavor stuffing. Chicken or turkey pureed with sweet potato and a hint of sage would be a delicious savory combination your kiddos and baby will love.
Recipes with Sage