6 Jul 2022 | 4 min Read
Author | 505 Articles
Every mum looks forward to the time when her baby is ready for solid food. With this excitement comes a lot of anticipation about what to feed them. As babies have a delicate digestive system that’s still developing, it is important to feed them nutritious food and to make sure the food they are given is safe for them.
Dry fruits are one such healthy option, as they are packed with a lot of nutrients like fibre, vitamins, and minerals. However, before including them in your baby’s diet, certain things should be kept in mind.
Read on to know when you can introduce dry fruits to your little one’s diet.
Dry fruits are fresh fruits that are dried and dehydrated. This means that their water content is removed either by the conventional sun-drying method or by using dehydrators.
Even after dehydration, the nutritional content of these fruits remains the same and they can be stored for much longer than fresh fruits.
Introducing new foods to your little one’s diet should be a slow and careful process. Dry fruits are not an ideal first food for your little one who has just started eating solid food, especially if the little one has a history of eczema or food allergies.
The ideal time is between nine months of age to a year after you have already introduced finger foods and other soft foods to the little one.
Since dry fruits are heavy on the digestive system, you should give your baby some time to get used to other light solid foods before introducing dry fruits.
It is recommended to start with a very small amount. For instance, kids below two years can be given two to three dried fruits per day.
Dr Pooja Marathe, Community Expert – Lactation & Nutrition says, “Introducing kids to the right kind of dry fruits begins after the age of one. This is due to some know food allergies which make digestion a little difficult for the child before 12 months of age. You can start using them in a powdered form especially mixed nuts, which work well for providing essential nutrients and micronutrients. This in turn can help to increase the immunity of the child naturally.“
Dried fruits are a powerhouse of fibre, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and other bioactive compounds. Therefore, these are healthy choices for your little one. Some of its health benefits are:
The micronutrients help in proper growth and development, especially in the first few years of life.
Dried fruits like figs, nuts, and dates can boost your baby’s nutrient intake.
Probiotics also aid in developing the digestive system of your baby.
This is all the more common if you have recently introduced your little one to solid food as solid food can put a strain on your baby’s developing digestive tract.
Dry fruits are loaded with fibre, aid bowel movement in babies, and help prevent constipation.
Vitamin A strengthens and helps maintain a healthy vision in your toddler, and calcium helps in the development and maintenance of the bones.
Packed with nutrients, dry fruits are beneficial for your toddler. Parents must introduce dry fruits to their little ones at the right time and in the right way. They can also consult a doctor before introducing these to the baby’s diet.