Raisins Consumption for Babies

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Many of us love the good old raisins which are nothing but dried sweet grapes. These small, wrinkled packets of energy have been around ever since medieval times, and are a very good and natural source of minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates. Raisins are one of the most popular types of dried fruits with an annual production rate of 1.2 million metric tons in 2016. The production of raisins involves a simple process of hand picking good quality sweet grapes and then naturally sun drying them for two to four weeks. Commercially, they are also dried using fruit dehydrates to produce high-grade raisins.

Is Giving Raisins to Babies Safe?

Consumption of dry grapes for babies can prove to be very good for the baby’s health. However, since these are small in size, there is always a risk of a baby choking on them. Incorporating them into the baby’s diet in other forms can work well. With a little bit of precaution, giving these dried grapes to babies is not only safe but highly beneficial to their growth.

Nutritional Value of Raisins

Raisins are frequently used in cooking, baking, brewing, or just eaten as regular snacks. The health benefits of these tiny raisins are numerous. Often referred to as “nature’s candy”, raisins are high in sugar, and with moderate consumption, prove to be very beneficial for our health.

  • Due to high fibre content, they help in relieving constipation as they swell up once ingested and also help clear our digestive tract.
  • Raisins are an excellent source of iron which is needed by the body to make red blood cells.
  • They have proven to be a healthy source of gaining weight because of high glucose and fructose content.
  • Besides being a source of all these vital vitamins and minerals, they have also shown to help with controlling hypertension, diabetes, anaemia and even cancer.
Nutrient Value per 100 g Nutrient Value per 100 g
Water 15.43 g Energy 299 kcal
Protein 3.07 g Total Lipid 0.46 g
Carbohydrates 79.18 g Dietary Fiber 3.7 g
Sugars 59.19 g Calcium 50 mg
Iron 1.88 mg Magnesium 32 mg
Phosphorous 101 mg Potassium 749 mg
Copper 0.4 mg Vitamin B1 and B2 0.2 mg
Sodium 11 mg Zinc 0.22 mg
Vitamin C 2.3 mg Thiamin 0.106 mg
Riboflavin 0.125 mg Niacin 0.766 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.174 mg Folate 5 ug
Fat 0.5 mg Manganese 0.3 mg
Vitamin E 0.12 mg Vitamin K 3.5 ug

Health Benefits of Raisins for Babies

Raisins have plenty of health benefits for babies. Some of them are:

  • They can be highly valuable for a good mental and physical development.
  • High in minerals like phosphorous, calcium and potassium, raisins are excellent for the healthy growth of a baby.
  • Consuming dried grapes has proved to help improve memory.
  • The high fibre content of raisins is an excellent laxative and will promote proper digestion.
  • Raisins also help in maintaining the acid-alkaline balance in the baby’s body.
  • During fever, it is recommended to give dried grape water to babies since it helps fight bacterial and viral infections.

When to Offer Raisins to Your Baby

A common query among mothers is – what age can babies eat raisins? Babies can start raisins between 6-8 months of age when they are able to chew food. Also, the baby should be capable of sitting up straight on his own and also be able to hold small objects between his thumb and forefinger. Raisins can be given to them in juice, puree or mashed forms at first till they become comfortable with solid food items. Later, small cut pieces can also be given to them. Always ensure that the baby is fed solid food items under the supervision of an adult.

How Many Dry Grapes Should You Give Your Baby

Raisins are high in sugars and recommended in small portions per day. For babies, including 1-2 tbsp of dried grape juice per day initially is sufficient. This can gradually be increased to 2-3 tbsp of juice per day. Once the baby is over 1 year of age, 2-3 tbsp of mashed or chopped raisins can be given.

How to Include Raisins in a Baby’s Diet

In order to give your baby all the health benefits offered by raisins, it is important to understand how to give raisins to babies. At first, do not introduce the baby to a whole raisin or even a mashed one. One can begin with dry grapes water for babies. Slowly start feeding juice, puree or mashed raisins which can also be mixed along with other food portions. It would add to the flavours and aid better digestion.

Is There any Adverse Effect of Giving Dry Grapes to Babies?

Chances of any adverse effects on the baby’s health are rare. However, one must always look out for allergies and the risk of the baby choking on raisins. Besides that, the same precautions that are taken while giving babies candy must be kept in mind while giving them raisins as well due to their sticky and chewy texture. Avoid giving raisins before bedtime as they tend to stick to gums and teeth and can lead to dental problems. Consuming raisins along with other meals can help avoid them sticking to gums and also aid better digestion.

Precautions to Take While Giving Raisins to Your Baby

First, the raisins must be thoroughly rinsed. This will remove any additional chemicals or impurities on them which may harm the baby. After properly washing them they can either be chopped or mashed and given to the baby. While giving chopped pieces, keep an eye out for any signs of choking. Developing the habit of brushing after their consumption can prevent any bacterial problems in the mouth.

Tasty, readily available and nutritious, raisins are a perfect snack for babies. However, like any other food introduced to a child, they must be offered keeping in mind the child’s age and nutritional requirements.

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