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Fruits are healthy, they promote good health and protect from several minor diseases. Including fruits in your child's diet is essential to ensure the child's healthy growth and development. However, unlike adults, not all fruits are safe for children - that is, there are risks of choking, bloating, diarrhoea, reflux etc.
Today, we will help you understand the different types of fruits that are safe for your child's consumption. Take a look.
Healthy Fruits For Children
Fruits can be introduced to children once they are 6-8 months old. You can begin introducing fruits in mashed/pureed form and once they are around 1 year old, when they begin to develop their pincer grip (touching food with their fingertips), solid fruits cut in small pieces can be introduced .
Always start trying out with softer fresh fruits like banana, kiwi etc.
Apples are high in fibre and low in energy density. A good source of fibre and vitamin C, apples are a healthy option for your child. Pectin, the dietary fibre in apples stimulate the production of good bacteria, improving the child's gut health. The fruit also contains boron, a bone-health boosting mineral .
Note: Raw apples are considered a choking hazard till the age of 4, therefore, make sure you puree or shred the fruit before consumption.
Side effects: Eating apples in excess may lead to weight gain and may damage the tooth enamel.
Packed with several nutrients such as magnesium, fibre and potassium, bananas are an excellent snack option for children. Eating bananas can satiate hunger and boosts energy levels. Bananas are a great first food to introduce to babies as they are soft and easy to digest .
Side effects: Avoid giving bananas at night as it may cause coughing and aggravate cold.
The ultimate source of vitamin C, consuming oranges is one of the easiest ways to gain the required amount of vitamin into your body. Oranges are also a rich source of fibre, beta carotene and carotenoids .
Note: Choose firm, evenly coloured oranges for children.
Side effects: Eating too many oranges can affect digestion, causing abdominal cramps, and could also lead to diarrhoea.
Strawberry, cherry, blackberries and blueberries are all safe and healthy options for your children . Naturally, all types of berries contain high levels of antioxidants, especially vitamin C, which is beneficial for your child's cognitive functions, reduced stress on brain function and may help improve memory function.
Side effects: Avoid giving your child too many berries, as it may cause stomach upset.
Pineapple is a tropical fruit loaded with enzymes, antioxidants and vitamins . Pineapple contains a good amount of vitamin C and helps ease digestion and other stomach-related problem.
Note: As pineapple has prickly acidic nature, begin introducing the fruit only after your child is 6 months of age.
Side effects: In some children, the acidity in pineapple can cause diaper rash .
Grapes are a healthy and safe snack for your children. Rich in dietary fibre, vitamin C and potassium, the natural sugar in grapes make it a delicious treat. As the carbohydrates in grapes digest slowly, the energy levels tend to stay on for longer .
Note: For kids aged 12-24+ months, cut each grape in half vertically, then cut in half. For kids aged 24-48 months, cut each grape in half vertically. For kids over age 4, grapes may be served whole but always be sure the kids are sitting down .
A good source of vitamin A and C, peaches are rich in nutrients that help fight off minor diseases and boost immunity levels . Peaches with yellow flesh contain beta carotene which the body will convert to vitamin A.
Note: Babies as young as four to six months can try peaches.
Packed with a healthy amount of vitamin C, fibre and healthy cholesterols, pears can help build stronger bones and better immunity levels . The fibre in pears can help regulate and prevent blood sugar spikes in your child.
Side effects: Some children can be allergic to pear, where the symptoms include swelling on the face, tongue, lips and nausea and vomiting.
Any citrus fruit is a healthy addition to your child's diet . A single lemon (weighing 84 g) has around 90 per cent of the recommended daily intake of 50 mg for infants 7 to 12 months. Lemons also contain soluble dietary fibre (pectin) which are beneficial for your child's cholesterol levels .
Note: Wash your kid's mouth with water after consuming lemons because due to the high acidic levels, there's the risk of damage to tooth enamel.
One of the major health benefits of avocado fruit is the amount of good fat it contains . Loaded with various nutrients, the green fruit helps lower cholesterol levels, regulate blood sugar, protect the eyes, improve cognitive function and enhance digestive health. Avocados are a good source of five essential nutrients for toddlers, that is, fibre, vitamin C, magnesium, folate and vitamin K .
Side effects: Kids who are allergic to milk, oats, rice etc. will most likely be allergic to avocado. It can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
One of the best fruits to be added to your child's diet, mangoes are beneficial for their digestion, memory, vision, skin health and blood production . It is good for babies, toddlers, and kids.
Side effects: Excess consumption of mango can cause diarrhoea and unhealthy weight gain.
Rich in vitamin C, pomegranate can help promote better immunity and thereby build a stronger immune system that can fight off infections and colds . This healthy fruit rich in iron contains biochemical enzymes that help reduce inflammation by destroying bacterial infections.
Note: Pomegranate seeds are safe for your child's consumption.
Including this fruit in your kid's daily diet can help fix vitamin C deficiency, if they have it and also boost immunity and help fight off the infections . Also, kiwi is a great choice for babies because it is lower in natural sugars and contains lots of essential nutrients.
Side effects: In some people, kiwi can cause allergic reactions such as trouble swallowing (dysphagia), vomiting, and hives.
On A Final Note…
While fruits are healthy, they should be consumed in a controlled manner. Overeating any foods, be it healthy and organic, can cause digestion-related issues and increase the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes etc.