Chikoo (Sapota) for Babies – Health Benefits and Recipes

Sapota for babies

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Chikoo, a delicious pulpy fruit, is widely popular and enjoyed by everyone. It is also known as sapodilla or sapota, but the name “chikoo” is more popular in the Indian subcontinent. The fruit is yellow or brown in colour, soft, sweet, and has a grainy texture. It consists of simple sugars such as fructose and sucrose, and considerable amounts of immunity-boosting nutrients. Chikoo, therefore, is also known as a super fruit.

Although the fruit has been popular since time immemorial, one question bothers many parents, and that is whether their children can eat it, especially if they are infants. If this question has been on your mind, you will find this article pretty useful. Here, we have put together information about the fruit, when it can be fed to a baby, along with its health benefits and side effects. Read on to know more.

Is Chikoo Good for Infants?

Yes, chikoo is safe for infants. It has many health benefits, such as strengthening the immune system and easing the bowel movement. You can include the fruit in your baby’s diet along with other solid foods once he is ready to be weaned on to solids.

When Can You Introduce Chikoo to Your Baby’s Diet?

You can introduce chikoo in your baby’s’ diet once he turns 6-months-old. This fruit is usually recommended for its rich nutritional value, which we shall talk about in the next section, its taste and texture. Start with a soft chikoo mash and slowly proceed to a pulpy mash before your little one is ready to relish the fruit as is.

Nutritional Value of Chikoo

Chikoo is a highly nutritional fruit. Here is the nutritional value per 100 grams of fruit.

NUTRITION CONSTITUENT Nutritional Value
  • Energy
73 Kcal
  • Fat
1.26 g
  • Carbohydrates
13.9 g
  • Dietary Fibre
9.6 g
  • Protein
0.92 g
  • Cholesterol
0 mg
VITAMINS
  • Niacin
0.200 mg
  • Riboflavin
0.03 mg
  • Thiamin
0.01 mg
  • Vitamin A
13.45 MCG
  • Vitamin C
20.96 mg
  • Vitamin B6
0.12
  • Folate
10.83 µg
ELECTROLYTES
  • Sodium
 4.61 mg
  • Potassium
280 mg
MINERALS
  • Calcium
17.87 mg
  • Magnesium
16.19 mg
  • Copper
0.07 mg
  • Zinc
0.18 mg
  • Selenium
0.39 µg
  • Phosphorous
22.26 mg
  • Iron
0.49 mg

Source: The values in the chart above are based on a study conducted by the IFCT, Indian Council of  Medical Research.

Health Benefits of Chikoo Fruit for Babies

Babies love anything that tastes sweet. Chikoo is one of them, but along with its rich taste, there are some amazing health benefits that make it a good choice of food for babies. Read on to find out how chikoo is beneficial for babies:

1. Improved Digestion

Chikoo is highly recommended for babies as it has a rich in fibre content. Eating the fruit helps improve digestion and relieve constipation. Pureed chikoo can be an excellent home remedy for your baby if he is suffering from constipation.

2. Improved Physical and Mental Growth

Chikoo is a rich source of Vitamin A and C. Vitamin C boosts immunity, Vitamin A improves eyesight, while Vitamin B6 helps in the development of the baby’s brain and controls the haemoglobin levels. It even helps in the production of RBCs. Including chikoo in the baby’s diet while he is transitioning to solid foods will ensure he gets the nourishment he requires for his physical and mental growth.

3. Cures Cold and Cough

Chikoo contains expectorant properties which, from a medicinal point of view, makes it a useful fruit to feed your baby if he is suffering from cough and cold. It can provide relief from congestion in the chest too.

4. Provides Energy

Chikoo is a good source of minerals like potassium, iron, calcium, and copper. It is also a great source of folate and niacin. The combination of all these minerals and vitamins help provide enough energy and strength required by your baby.

5. Helps the Body Fight Free Radicals

Chikoo is a good source of antioxidants, which are necessary for infants as they help prevent cell damage. The free radicals that are produced during metabolism are counteracted effectively with the help of antioxidants.

Chikoo on a wooden plate

Now that you know that chikoo can be included in your baby’s diet if he is over 6 months old, you must also be aware of the precautions you need to take before you feed the fruit to your little one. Read on to know more.

Precautions to Take While Feeding Chikoo to Infants

Although chikoo is found to be beneficial for infants, certain precautions should be taken while feeding them this delicious and nutritious fruit.

  • Serve peeled chikoo to your infants and ensure you remove all the seeds.

  • If your baby doesn’t have teeth yet, it is better to puree the fruit and then feed it to him. This will also ensure better digestion.

  • Only feed ripe chikoo to your little one as it will be easy for him to swallow and digest. Eating raw chikoo could also lead to irritation in the throat, choking or breathing problems.

  • Do not feed rotten chikoo to your baby. If the fruit looks smashed or has a foul odour, it is rotten. Choose only the fruits that have a firm outer surface and smell fragrant. The fragrance denotes the fruit is ripe.

  • It is recommended that you store the fruit in a cool and dry place.

  • Ensure you feed chikoo to your baby in limited quantities, as excessive consumption could lead to digestive problems.

Although healthy, chikoo has some side effects, which can be prevented with a little care. Let’s take a look at them too.

Side Effects of Chikoo in Infants

Chikoo is rich in nutrients, but it can also cause side effects in certain cases. Here are some of them:

  • Overeating the fruit can also lead to indigestion, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain.

  • Eating raw chikoo can lead to throat irritation.

When it comes to babies, you’d find yourself thinking and wondering about how to feed them different foods. If you have the same concerns about feeding chikoo to your little one, here are some recipes that can make your life simple.

Easy to Make Chikoo Recipes for Babies

The recipes given below are not only delicious but also very healthy for your baby.

1. Chikoo Milkshake for Babies

This delicious protein drink is highly recommended for babies older than a year who have been introduced to cow’s milk. This recipe is also a great addition to your toddler’s diet. You may choose to add or skip some ingredient if your baby is too young to have them or is allergic to them.

Chikoo shake

Ingredients

  • Milk – 1 ½ cup

  • Chikoo Fruit – 2, fresh and ripe

  • Sugar – 1 tablespoon

  • Soaked Dry Fruit – 3 to 4 tablespoons, finely chopped cashew (optional, can be excluded if your baby is allergic to nuts)

  • Ice cubes – 2 cubes (optional)

How to Prepare

  • Mix all the ingredients, except the ice, and blend them till it forms a smooth paste.

  • Pour in a glass and add the ice cubes.

  • Feed it fresh.

2. Chikoo Puree for Infants

Chikoo puree is extremely easy to prepare and highly recommended if your baby’s teeth have not developed yet.

Ingredients

  • 1 Chikoo

How to Prepare

  • Cut the chikoo into two equal parts.
  • Take out the seeds.
  • Mash the fruit in a bowl with the help of a fork. You can also blend it in a blender to make a smooth paste.

Chikoo is one of the tastiest and nutritious fruits that you can feed your baby. Now that you know almost everything about it, you can either cut slices of the fruit, puree it or prepare a milkshake to suit your baby’s requirement. This magic fruit can be fed without hesitation as long as you ensure it is ripe and edible.

Also Read: Banana Puree for Baby