Your new baby is beginning to develop his or her taste buds. And you can tell it. Your kitchen is now a ‘taste testing’ lab.
And you are having as much fun as well by their expressions of like, love, or otherwise. Both parties involved are having a blast as baby discovers the ‘mechanics of munch!’
Sooner or later you will have an ‘inventory’ day. A day in which your baby will sample the entire inventory of the home’s food supply. Not huge plates of food, just tiny little samples to check the box ‘yes’ or ‘no.’
Peanut butter, yes. Strawberry jam, yes. Maple syrup, of course. Dill pickles, the jury still out. Then we turn to the ‘fresh’ items around the kitchen.
It’s a pretty safe bet we all agree on ‘fresh fruit’ being very nutritional. The baby just agrees on the taste. And the different textures as well. Yes, little baby loves his fruit. And you love the fact he loves the fruit. Fresh fruit, yes. Another item for your growing list!
Fruit, yes. But what about some dried fruit? Let’s just start another chapter on a different page concerning the question, can I give my baby dried fruit? Now, pass me those banana chips and read on!
Are the Dried Fruit Products Okay From a Safety Standpoint?
A simple answer to the question is, yes. It’s perfectly safe and appropriate to give your baby dried fruits.
Around the age of six months, about the time you start to introduce new foods, is ideal for dry fruit. The child hasn’t got the proper ‘munching’ equipment (teeth) yet, but you can prepare these fruits.
You can boil them, then mash them for a more palatable texture. If you want the child to begin learning these are healthy snacks cut them into tiny ‘bites.’
Dried fruit does have the possibility of being a choking hazard so always supervise. And just to be on the safe side, let the child’s doctor know you are trying them on the dry fruits. He in-turn can give you his opinion on whether or not the child’s gag-reflex is developed enough for the fruit. At six months it should be.
Are Dried Fruits Just as Healthy?
Just like fresh fruit, dried fruit is rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. In fact, the vast nutritional value of dried fruit is considered to be very healthy.
Often in the processing of dried fruit, additional vitamins and supplements are added to make them even more beneficial. Just remember for a child under one year of age to properly prepare the fruit, or cut into pieces.
Dried Fruit Tips
Here are some ideas to consider when giving your baby dried fruit:
- Buy the fruit in sealed packaging only
- Buy organic dried fruit from a store you trust
- Go with ‘shade-dried’ if the choice is available
- If the store has both ‘dry’ and ‘semi-moist’ select the ‘semi-moist’ the ‘dry’ fruits may be too hard
- Dried fruit is high in sugar. Approach accordingly
- Make sure your baby has no fruit allergies before trying dried fruit
By using these suggestions your baby should be able to enjoy eating dried fruit safely. And you should be proud of yourself for being a proactive parent.
Dried Fruit Precautions
There are some issues with consuming dried fruit. You might want to remember these precautions if you are going to be using dried fruit as apart of the child’s diet.
The child’s weight issue: The dried fruits are extremely rich in natural sugars such as fructose and glucose. And since these fruits tend to be in small pieces there is always a risk of the child overeating them. These are the natural sugars that can lead to childhood obesity problems.
Stomach problems: The amount of natural fiber in dried fruit can cause stomach related issues such as cramps, gas, and diarrhea. These problems occur when the child overeats the dried fruit. Too much of anything can be bad for you.
Candies: Some dried fruits are processed even further by soaking them in a sugar solution. The process of ‘candying’ fruits makes them almost out of the question for consumption by children. However, one or two servings per week are considered to be okay. Proceed with caution!
Dried Fruit Benefits
Just as there are precautions concerning dried fruits, there are benefits too. While you should be teaching the child to consume the fruit in moderation also know the health benefits as well. Some of those benefits include:
Digestive health: Dried fruits are rich in fiber as we have mentioned. These types of fruits along with juices such as prune juice can aid in the prevention of constipation.
Rich in nutritional value: Dried fruits are packed with vitamins and minerals. Some good dried fruits to start your baby on would include dates and figs. These not only are very nutritious they help promote a healthy immune system too.
Intestinal microbiota Just as with the dates and figs also add raisins to the list. These fruits support the healthy development of proper intestinal microflora. This microflora also act as prebiotics which will aid the child in the proper food to bacteria ratio. These are very healthy items.
Nutrient supply: Regular consumption of the dried fruits will allow the child’s body to maintain a good balance. A balance of vitamins A, E, Potassium,, and B3. Also the minerals Magnesium, Iron, and Folate.
A proper balance of consuming dried fruits is like owning your own health food store. They are truly amazing and good for your baby.
About the only drawback to your baby eating dried fruit is the possibility of consuming to much natural sugar. And dried fruits especially the ‘candied’ ones are loaded with excess sugars. Just be aware. And be an awesome parent!
Give them lots of love and affection as well!