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Fruits are some of the best things to offer babies along with certain vegetables, but not all fruits are suitable for babies, especially if they are for the consumption of a baby lesser than a year old. Dragon fruit is a fruit of several different species of cactus which are cultivated in the tropical and subtropical regions. They are known for their high nutritive content, but are they good for babies? Read more to find out.
Can Babies Eat Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruits are loaded with many essential nutrients such as Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3 and C, Iron and calcium. They is also rich in fibre which improves bowel movement making them a good option to introduce to your baby. Although it is advisable to wait up to a year, some mothers introduce dragon fruit as early as 6 months to their babies and they handle it well unless they are allergic.
Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit for Babies
Here is why dragon fruit is good for your baby:
Dragon fruit is rich in antioxidants. They protect your baby’s cells and helps avoid damage to the body. This also boosts their immunity and they are less prone to diseases.
2. Protects the Heart
Dragon fruit has nutrients that promote heart health in infants and adults. This means your child will grow up healthy and have lesser chances of heart problems at later stages of life.
3. Helps Build Strong Bones
Abundant in calcium and phosphorous, dragon fruit is highly helpful for bone development. Phosphorous combined with phenolic and flavonoid compounds help lay down a good bone density making them strong. It also wards off diseases such as rickets in childhood and arthritis later on.
4. An Abundance of Vitamin C
Dragon fruit has plenty of Vitamin C which is essential for many of the body’s processes. It is needed for growth and development of bones, muscles and skin and aid in the development of the circulatory system. It boosts immunity and prevents deficiency diseases like scurvy.
5. Fibrous Flesh
Fibre is necessary for the healthy movement for your child’s bowel and to maintain the digestive tract. It also stabilizes the sugar content and helps them feel full promoting a healthy weight gain and avoiding obesity.
6. Good for Bowel
Sugary junk foods often cause children to bloat and even lead to constipation. Dragon fruit’s fibre content helps in the smooth movement of their bowel and aids in digestion. The high roughage from fibre content in the fruit also avoids constipation.
7. Vitamin A
An essential nutrient, Vitamin A is needed for healthy eyes and good skin. It also aids in building immunity and sharpens vision.
8. Good Source of Iron
Dragon fruit is wonderful in boosting red blood cell count as it is rich in iron. This prevents anaemia, a deficiency disease which can lead to many developmental disorders in infants. The rich iron content is also essential in promoting healthy growth of hair.
9. Good for Nerves
The Phosphorous, Sodium and Calcium content in dragon fruit ensures proper functioning of the nervous system. This means the baby develops good motor and sensory skills.
10. Healthy Skin
Vitamin C is essential to build and repair skin; therefore, dragon fruit is highly helpful in maintaining the texture and tenderness of your baby’s skin.
11. Good for Kidneys
Dragon fruit’s detoxification effect help rid the body of harmful chemicals. This helps maintain a healthily functioning urinary system.
Precautions to Take before Feeding Dragon Fruit to Infant
Just like any other food that you introduce to your child, the first and the foremost thing to check is if your child is allergic to it. In case of dragon fruit, feed a tiny portion of the fruit and watch for symptoms of rashes or swelling in the mouth of lips. Sometimes foods can irritate the digestive tract and cause symptoms such as diarrhoea and bloating.
The fruit needs to be washed thoroughly as they can contain traces of pollen which can cause allergies. Since dragon fruit has a good amount of vitamin C, they are also a little high on the acidic side. This can irritate the stomach of babies and hence the fruit must only be started with other more neutral foods. When in doubt, consult your child’s paediatrician.
How to Add Dragon Fruit in Baby’s Diet?
Once your baby has started eating solids, dragon fruit is pretty easy to serve; all you need to do is cut it in half and scoop out the inner flesh which is the edible part, just look out for the seeds. A good starting point is the red dragon fruit for baby as they are more delicious than the white ones. If your baby likes the taste of it, they are more likely to eat it without much fuss, therefore try with red dragon fruit first. Dragon fruit can also be served as a puree or with other fruits such as blueberries, apples, cranberries and peaches. It goes well with yogurt too and is used in some preparation of chicken dishes.
How to Make Dragon Fruit Puree for Baby?
Purees of dragon fruit for baby constipation is a great way to ease their bowel movement while giving them all the essential nutrients they need. Here’s how to prepare dragon fruit for baby to get them started on it:
What you Need
To make a dragon fruit puree, you need:
- 1 cup chopped dragon fruit
- 1-2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Cold water or ice cubes as needed
How to Make
Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. You could filter out the seeds with a sieve if there are any large ones left after blending. Serve immediately.
Like with most fruits, dragon fruits are also quite beneficial for the health of your little one.