Dragon Fruit for Baby – Is it Safe to Give Your Child?
- Should You Give Dragon Fruit to Your Baby?
- When to Introduce Dragon Fruit to a Baby?
- Nutritional Profile of Dragon Fruit
- How Much Dragon Fruit Should You Give to a Baby?
- Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit for Babies
- Side Effects of Dragon Fruit on Babies
- Precautions to Take Before Feeding Dragon Fruit to an Infant
- How to Add Dragon Fruit to Your Baby’s Diet?
- How to Make Dragon Fruit Puree for Babies?
- Healthy Dragon Fruit Recipes For Babies
Once your baby reaches the 6-months mark and is ready to start on solids, as a parent, you will want to introduce new foods to him each week, if not days. While mashed dal and rice and pureed vegetables will be your first choice, as it should be, you might consider adding certain fruits in his diet. Fruits are healthy and nutritious and can be beneficial for his health, but then again, not all fruits will be safe for consumption, especially for babies under 1 year of age. This article will help you understand if you can give dragon fruit to your little one. Dragon fruit is known for its nutritional value and rich taste. Find out if it’s safe for babies.
Should You Give Dragon Fruit to Your Baby?
Dragon fruit is a good source of Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and C, iron and calcium. It is also rich in fibre, which improves bowel movement and smoothens digestion. 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 to it.
When to Introduce Dragon Fruit to a Baby?
If you plan to introduce foods slowly to your baby, you can start anywhere from 8 months to a year. Begin with a small amount and see if your baby enjoys the taste. However, you can also mash dragon fruit and feed it to your baby as early as 6 months.
Nutritional Profile of Dragon Fruit
Following is the nutritional value of dragon fruit in approximately a 150 gram serving:
|100 international units
How Much Dragon Fruit Should You Give to a Baby?
Start feeding your baby just a couple of pieces in mashed form daily. Once he is familiar with the flavour, you can begin feeding him half to a full fruit depending on his preference. Remember, do not force your child to eat, as he has only begun discovering new textures and flavours.
Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit for Babies
Let’s find out how eating dragon fruit can benefit your baby:
1. May Help Strengthen the Immune System
Dragon fruit contains antioxidants, which can help protect the cell membranes from any kind of damage caused by free radicals. The antioxidants present in the dragon fruit may also strengthen your little’s one immune system and thus make him less prone to catching infections.
2. May Protect the Heart
Dragon fruit has nutrients that promote heart health in infants and adults. Including dragon fruit in his diet will be good for his heart health.
3. May Help Strengthen the Bones
Abundant in calcium and phosphorous, dragon fruit can assist in bone development. Phosphorous combined with phenolic and flavonoid compounds can improve bone density, thus making bones strong. It may also help ward off diseases such as rickets in childhood and arthritis later on. Dragon fruit is also a powerhouse of Vitamin C which is essential for many of the bodily processes. It is needed for growth and development of bones, muscles and skin and aid in the development of the circulatory system. It can also boost immunity and prevent deficiency diseases like scurvy.
4. May Help Improve Digestion
Fibre is necessary for the healthy movement of the bowel and to maintain the digestive tract. It also stabilises the sugar content and can help a child feel full and promote a healthy weight gain. The high roughage content in the fruit also avoids constipation.
5. May Improve Eye Health
An essential nutrient, Vitamin A is needed for healthy eyes and good skin. Dragon fruit is a rich source of Vitamin A, and can help in building immunity and sharpen the vision.
6. May Help Prevent Anaemia
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 the healthy growth of hair.
7. May Ensure Proper Functioning of the Nervous System
The phosphorous, sodium and calcium content in dragon fruit can ensure the proper functioning of the nervous system. This means the baby develops good motor and sensory skills.
8. May Promote Healthy Skin
Vitamin C is essential for building and repairing skin. Dragon fruit, which is a rich source of Vitamin C can help in maintaining the texture and tenderness of your baby’s skin.
Side Effects of Dragon Fruit on Babies
Although dragon fruit is generally safe for babies, it may cause side-effects in rare cases. Keep a watch out for the following side-effects after feeding dragon fruit to your baby.
- Some babies may experience symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as hives or swelling. If this happens to your little one, seek medical attention immediately.
- The seeds of the dragon fruit can change the colour of the baby’s stool. Although this is nothing to worry about.
- As dragon fruit is high in fibre, too much intake can cause digestive issues such as discomfort or bloating. This is a sign to reduce the quantity you are feeding your child.
Precautions to Take Before Feeding Dragon Fruit to an Infant
Just like any other food that you introduce to your child, the first and the foremost thing you will have to check is if your child is allergic to it. When feeding dragon fruit to your munchkin, first, feed a tiny portion of the fruit and watch out for allergic reactions such as rashes or swelling in the mouth or 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 to Your 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 and remove 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 its taste, he is more likely to eat it without making a fuss. So start with the 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 yoghurt too and is used in some preparation of chicken dishes.
How to Make Dragon Fruit Puree for Babies?
Dragon fruit puree can provide relief from constipation and ease bowel movement and give all the essential nutrients a baby needs for his growth. Here’s how to prepare dragon fruit for your baby:
What you Need:
To make dragon fruit puree, you need:
- 1 cup chopped dragon fruit
- 1-2 tablespoon sugar
How to Make?
Take the chopped dragon fruit in a blender jar. Add sugar and water to it and blend until smooth. You could filter out the seeds with a sieve if there are any large ones left after blending. Serve immediately.
Healthy Dragon Fruit Recipes For Babies
If your baby likes the taste of dragon fruit and demands it regularly, these recipes are perfect to experiment with and add some more nutrition to your baby’s diet.
1. Dragon Fruit Milkshake
This delicious milkshake is perfect for warm days and easy for babies to consume after 1 year of age.
What You Will Need:
- Milk – 1 cup
- Dragon fruit – 1/2 cup
- Honey – 1 tsp
How to Make:
- Peel the dragon fruit and add to a blender jar.
- Add milk and honey to the fruit.
- Blend together until it is smooth in consistency.
- Pour into a glass and serve to your baby.
2. Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl
A dragon fruit smoothie bowl is easy to put together and serves as the perfect snack for your 1 year old.
What You Will Need:
- Yoghurt – 1 cup
- Dragon fruit – 1/2 cup
- Dry fruit powder – 2 tsp
How to Make:
- Peel and mash the dragon fruit to ensure there are no big pieces.
- Add yoghurt to a bowl.
- Top with the mashed dragon fruit.
- Sprinkle the dry fruit powder on top.
- The dragon fruit smoothie bowl is ready for your child to enjoy.
3. Dragon Fruit Sorbet
If your little one has a sweet tooth, this recipe serves as the perfect dessert for babies above 8 months.
What You Will Need:
- Dragon fruit – 1 cup
- Lemon juice – 2 tsp
- Honey – 1 tsp
How to Make:
- Peel and cut the dragon fruit into small pieces.
- Add the dragon fruit along with the rest of the ingredients into a blender and make a smooth puree.
- Freeze for 2-3 hours.
- Keep at room temperature for a few minutes before serving to your baby.
1. Can Dragon Fruit Cause Constipation In Babies?
Dragon fruit is high in fibre, which is good for healthy functioning of the baby’s digestive system. It is unlikely to cause constipation in babies.
2. Is Dragon Fruit a Choking Hazard For My Baby?
If your child is less than 1 year of age, avoid feeling him large pieces of dragon fruit as it can cause choking. It is always best to monitor your child when feeding fruits at any age, including finger food to avoid any such incident.
Dragon fruit tastes delicious and can be beneficial for your little one’s health. But before including it in your baby’s diet you must make sure he is not allergic to it. Better yet, consult a paediatrician or a nutritionist before you introduce dragon fruit or any other new food in your little one’s diet.
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