Blueberries for Babies – Benefits, Risks and Recipes

A baby staring at blueberries

Children have different nutritional requirements as compared to adults. Due to this, their diets need to be different from ours. One aspect to consider when planning a diet for a child is that they can be fickle eaters. Which is why planning a diet for your young one requires taking into consideration the flavour of the ingredients as well as their nutritional value, this is why fruits are considered the best way to work around this issue. One of the best fruits to add to your child’s diet is blueberry.

Are Blueberries Good for Babies?

In moderation, blueberries are a rich source of anti-oxidants, minerals like zinc, potassium and phosphorus as well as vitamins A, E, K, B-complex and healthy sugars called fructose. This will keep your baby energized and active. Blueberries are also known to help regulate blood circulation, controls blood pressure, improves cardiac health, helps bone development and growth and increases the rate of cognitive development. It is important to note that, according to doctors, no berries should be fed to a baby under the age of 1 year, this includes strawberries, raspberries and yes blueberries.

Nutritional Value of Blueberries

Blueberries

Blueberries have a very good nutritional value. Here is a table of the nutritional value per 100gm of blueberries.

Nutrients Value every 100 gm
Carbohydrates 14.5gm
Fiber 2.4gm
Protein 0.74gm
Natural Sugars 9.96gm
Potassium 77mg
Phosphorous 12mg
Calcium 6mg
Magnesium 6mg
Vitamin E 0.55mg
Vitamin C 9.5mg
Vitamin B3 0.42mg
Vitamin K 19.3mg

When Can Babies Eat Blueberries?

Most parents wonder at what age babies can eat blueberries or what age would be safe for them to eat blueberries, the answer, as mentioned above is after they turn a year old and are comfortable and confident in eating solid foods. If you wish to introduce blueberries at an earlier age, it is important to know how to give blueberries to the baby in a safe manner. If they are younger than the age of 6 months, avoid it completely. If you are introducing blueberries to your child between the ages of 6-8 months then do so in the form of a puree but the serving should be as moderate as possible and be careful not to overfeed them these berries as this could lead to malabsorption of other foods.

Amazing Health Benefits of Blueberry for Infants

Blueberries are considered a huge superfood, this is because they have numerous benefits, here are a few of them:

1. Helps Bone Growth

Blueberries are rich in vitamin K, magnesium and calcium. The combination of these three properties is essential in bone development. Vitamin K, in particular, helps bone development by aiding in the synthesis of a property called osteocalcin.

2. Improves Cardiovascular Health

Blueberries are rich in elements that are known as cardioprotective nutrients, these include properties like fibre and polyphenols. These two elements are known to be crucial towards maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.

3. Regulates Blood Circulation

Plaque can develop in arteries, especially in babies who have a circulatory system that is still developing. Blueberries are known to help prevent this.

4. Controls Blood Pressure

Potassium is one of the elements in a diet that can control and regulate blood pressure. Blueberries are rich in this nutrient, as such blueberries play a huge role in controlling and regulating blood pressure.

5. Combats and Prevents Cancer

Blueberries are extremely rich in antioxidants which play a huge part in preventing cancer.

6. Helps Control Free Radicals

Blueberries have a good amount of antioxidants. These antioxidants are known to help prevent the build-up of a type of cells known as radicals. This not only helps prevent any age-related problems.

7. Reduces Eye Fatigue and Improves Eyesight

Blueberries are rich in hydrating minerals that are good for the eyes, this ensures that your baby’s eyes heal, recover and relax. Also, the presence of anthocyanin in blueberries helps improve eyesight.

8. Helps Maintain The Nervous System and Helps Cognitive Development

The unique combination of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants in blueberries help slow the deterioration of the nervous system, this combination also helps repair the nervous system and maintain it.

Can Your Baby Be Allergic to Blueberries?

Most berries can carry allergenic properties, this, however, is not true for blueberries, they are non-allergenic. This does not mean that your baby will not develop an allergy to blueberries. This can happen if your baby is introduced to blueberries at an age earlier than 8 months. The allergy can be identified through the following symptoms:

Doctors also recommend that you avoid blueberries for a while if your baby has skin conditions like eczema or are known to have allergic reactions to new foods introduced to their diet. Blueberries are not allergic to adults.

Can Blueberries Cause Constipation in Babies?

An overconsumption of blueberries can cause either diarrhoea or constipation in most people. In babies, if they have a clinically proven allergy to blueberries, it can cause constipation as well. Another reason blueberries could potentially cause constipation is if they have an extremely sensitive digestive tract. To avoid this, please consult your child’s primary health care physician.

How to Select & Store Blueberries for Baby Food?

One potential hurdle is the ability to choose blueberries and the knowledge of how to store them. It is recommended that you buy fresh, organically grown blueberries. They are the ones with the most nutritional value and are known to have the least chances of any side-effects. To ensure you are buying organic blueberries, look for a organically certified sticker on the packaging. To make sure they are fresh, buy the blueberries that are dark blue in colour and ensure they can roll freely and are firm but are not hard. If these criteria do not match, the blueberries are stale. To store blueberries, simply wash them thoroughly and store them in your refrigerator at a temperature between 0-3 degrees Celsius.

If you are buying frozen blueberries, ensure that they are well within the expiry date. If there is no manufactured and expiry date mentioned on the packaging, do not buy it. Ensure the packaging of the frozen blueberries is sealed tightly. When you open the packaging, re-freeze the berries in an airtight zip-lock bag.

Delicious Blueberry Baby Food Recipes for Your Child

Blueberry yogurt

It is extremely important to know how to prepare blueberries for the baby.This depends on their age as blueberries can be served either as a fruit or can be used in dishes.

1. Blueberry Puree

It is very common to give young children under the age of one blueberry in the form of a puree. Here is how you make blueberry puree for baby.

Ingredients

  • Fresh Blueberries – 1 cup
  • Room-temperature Water – ½ cup

How To Prepare

Simply start by bringing the water to a boil and tossing the blueberries in. Wait for the blueberries to get a bit soft and then mash them thoroughly. Keep it on the pot until the water and blueberry mixture becomes a bit thick. Let it cool for a few minutes and add it to a blender and blend until the mixture is complete. Strain the excess water and serve to your baby.

2. Blueberry Oatmeal

An extremely healthy breakfast for your baby, this is easy to make and will be a huge hit with your baby.

Ingredients

  • Blueberry Puree – ½ cup
  • Unflavored Oatmeal ½ cup

How To Prepare

Start by grinding oatmeal into small chunks. Mix it thoroughly with the Blueberry puree. Find the right consistency for your baby. You can water it down using warm water.

3. Blueberry Apple Puree

Like the blueberry puree, this is easy to make for your baby and is going to tickle their taste buds.

Ingredients

  • Fresh Blueberries – 1 cup
  • Fresh Apple – 1
  • Water – ½ cup

How To Prepare

In a pot, bring the water to a boil. Then on a low flame, add blueberries and chopped apples. Boil on a low flame until they soften. Then mash them in the pot, strain the excess water. Place in a blender and blend until it becomes one complete mixture. Add some honey and serve to your baby.

4. Blueberry Banana Puree

This puree is possibly the tastiest and healthiest dish for your baby.

Ingredients

  • Banana – 1
  • Fresh Blueberries – 1 cup
  • Water – ½ cup

How To Prepare

In a pot, bring a half a cup of water to a boil and turn to a low flame. Add a cup of blueberries and heat till the blueberries soften up. Mash them thoroughly, add the banana and continue to mash and mix in the pot. Let it cool, when at room temperature, strain all the excess water and add to a blender to mix it into one puree. Serve with honey if required.

Blueberries are considered a superfood, but like any superfood it is essential that you moderate your baby’s intake of blueberries to optimize its effectiveness. Be sure to consult your doctor to know the correct quantity of blueberries for your baby’s diet.

Also Read:

Avocado for Babies
Banana for Babies
Watermelon for Babies