Are Lemons Safe for Babies?
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Your baby will be eager to try out new tastes and textures when she starts on solids. You will want to include healthy fruits and veggies in her diet, but not all that’s healthy for an adult may not be healthy for your baby. In this article, we will talk about one particular fruit, i.e., lemon.
Lemons can be introduced to a baby after their first birthday. It can be started even earlier, i.e., when your baby turns 10-months-old to see if she is sensitive to new foods and flavours. Lemons contain citric acid, and this can sometimes can be hard on the baby’s digestive system.
Nutritional Value of Lemon
Lemon is an important fruit in the citrus group as it has so many health benefits.
|Nutritional components found in lemons||Value (per 100 g)||Nutritional components found in lemons||Value (per 100 g)|
|Total lipid||0.30 g||Niacin||0.100 mg|
|Fibre||2.8 g||Sugar||2.50 g|
|Calcium||26 mg||Vitamin E||0.15 mg|
|Water||88.98 g||Iron||0.60 mg|
|Protein||1.10 g||Vitamin A||22 IU|
|Magnesium||8 mg||Sodium||2 mg|
|Vitamin B-6||0.080 mg||Zinc||0.06 mg|
|Folate||11 ug||Phosphorous||16 mg|
|Carbohydrate||9.32 g||Potassium||138 mg|
|Riboflavin||0.020 mg||Vitamin C||53 mg|
|Thiamin||0.040 mg||Energy||29 kcal|
Source: IFCT 2017, Indian Council of Medical Research
What Are the Health Benefits of Lemon for Babies?
Giving lemon to babies (in the juice form) has certain advantages as it:
1. Provides Hydration
Lemon is an excellent choice to include in your baby’s diet during the summer. This is because lemon juice hydrates the body and provides it with essential vitamins and minerals.
2. Prevents Scurvy
This is a form of skin and oral disease caused due to a severe lack of ascorbic acid in the diet. Scurvy can be entirely avoided by taking two tablespoons of lemon juice mixed in a glass of water containing sugar.
3. Cures Digestive Problems
Lemon juice can reduce many issues related to the digestive system because the acidity of the juice has many anthelmintic properties that can kill intestinal worms. You can give this if your child has dyspepsia, constipation, and biliousness.
4. Controls Vomiting
Vomiting usually happens due to chronic indigestion, gastric reflux, and nervous disorders. This can be reduced by taking half a teaspoonful juice mixed with some sugar.
5. Controls Diarrhoea
Diarrhoea can be common in infants, and the first issue that requires your attention if your child has diarrhoea is to restore the body’s water level. You can treat this by feeding the baby a glass of water with a tablespoon of lemon juice with little salt and sugar.
6. Boosts Immunity
The immune system of children is not that developed so they are more susceptible to illness. This can be avoided by taking lemon juice regularly since Vitamin C in lemons strengthens their immune system.
Recipe of Lemon Juice for Babies
Fresh lime juice is great during summers, and it can be given occasionally to babies who are 8 months and older.
This recipe is perfect to be given to babies, toddlers, and kids. But little ones should be given only 100-150 ml of lemonade.
- A small sized lemon
- Water – 1.5 cups
- A teaspoon of sugar
- A pinch of salt (optional)
- Wash the lemon thoroughly and cut it in half.
- Squeeze one half in a glass. Add water, sugar, and salt, and mix well.
- You can adjust the sweetener.
- It is better to bring the lemon to the room temperature so that it is easier to squeeze. If in case your lemon has been sitting in the fridge for too long, microwave it for about 15 to 20 seconds.
- Ask your doctor before giving a new food to your baby.
- You can introduce this juice by providing small amounts to your child, and it is best to dilute the juice with water at the beginning.
- If your baby is less than a year old, this juice should only be given occasionally. Breastmilk should be the main source of nutrition for your child.
What Measures Should Be Taken Before Giving Lemons to Babies?
Here are some measures to take before giving your baby lemons:
1. At What Age Can a Baby Have Lemons?
When the baby is about 10 months old you can start giving her diluted lemon juice. You can add a teaspoon of sugar in the beginning so that it is not very sour. But lemon slices should not be given to the child even if she is older than a year. This is because the enamel of the teeth might get damaged due to ascorbic acid which can increase tooth sensitivity.
2. Citrus Allergies
If your family has a history of citrus allergies, avoid giving lemon to the baby until she is at least 1 year old. Take the baby to the doctor if there are rashes around the lips and mouth or diaper rashes after she has had some lemon juice. Always check the label for citrus ingredients when you buy commercial baby food preparations. Your baby might develop a tolerance for citrus fruits as she gets older. Until then, avoid citrus fruits. In fact, even before feeding the baby lemon juice for the very first time, it’s best to consult her paediatrician.
There is a chance your baby might refuse lemons when offered. Introduce every new food one spoon at a time so that you can easily identify allergies. Offer a small amount of diluted juice when you first introduce lemon for teething babies.
Also Read: Butternut Squash for Babies