Dry Fruits for Babies – When to Introduce and Health Benefits

DRY FRUITS FOR BABIES

New moms are always cautious about the kind of food their baby consumes. Babies have a delicate digestive system, which is slowly developing. Hence, it is warranted for parents to be cautious about any new foods they are given. But once your baby turns 6 months old, you will need to slowly begin introducing him to solid foods to aid his overall growth and development. But are dry fruits for a 6-month-old baby a good choice?

What are Dry Fruits?

Dry fruits are dehydrated fruits. The water content from certain fruits is removed either through natural or other methods like sun drying or using dehydrators. The nutritional content of these fruits remains the same even after dehydration. Dry fruits are popular as they can be stored for much longer than fresh fruits.

Are Dry Fruits Safe for Infants?

Yes. Dry fruits are safe for your baby and have multiple health benefits. However, ensure that you do not give your baby dry fruits coated with sugar as they can give way to cavities and tooth decay. Also, dice the dry fruits into bite-sized pieces and always supervise your baby as he eats them to avoid any choking hazards. You can soak them in water to soften them before giving to your baby. This also helps in the better absorption of nutrients. Peeling the skin of the almonds is recommended to avoid any irritation to your baby’s throat.

When to Give Dry Fruits to Babies?

The best time to start giving dry fruits to your baby is when he is 7 to 9 months old. This is when you will have ideally started him on finger foods, making it the best time to introduce dry fruits as well. Since dry fruits are heavy on the digestive system, it is best to allow your baby some time to get used to solid foods before giving him dry fruits.

You will also need to consider the possibility of allergens that your baby may react to. Some babies have allergic reactions to some nuts. You can introduce one dry fruit at a time and wait for a few days to rule out any allergic reactions.

Health Benefits of Dry Fruits for Your Child

Dry fruits come with a host of benefits that are great for your baby’s health. Some of them include,

1. Prevent Anaemia

They are abundant in iron which is essential to promote haemoglobin levels in the blood. This, in turn, prevents the risk of anaemia in babies.

2. Energy Booster

As a rich source of fibre, protein, zinc, iron, and other minerals, dry fruits can help you baby stack up on energy. This will keep them energetic and healthy.

3. Prevent Constipation

Dry fruits contain a good amount of fibre which will aid bowel movement in babies and help prevent constipation.

4. Promotes Digestive Health

They contain a lot of probiotics or good bacteria which can keep the digestive system healthy in babies. Probiotics will help develop the digestive system and also aid in the digestion of food.

5. Promotes Bone and Eye Health

Dry fruits are rich in Vitamin A and calcium. Vitamin A is essential to maintain a healthy vision and calcium can aid in the development and maintenance of bones.

6. Aids Brain Development

The omega 3 fatty acids present in dry fruits like walnuts are essential during the process of brain development in babies.

7. Prevents Damage to the DNA

As your baby begins eating more and more, free radicals are created in his body which can cause harm to his DNA. These free radicals are also known to cause cancer. The antioxidants in dry fruits can prevent this from happening.

How to Make Dry Fruit Powder for Babies?

You can make dry fruit powder for your little one right at home easily with the following steps.

Ingredients

  • 100 grams of Almonds
  • 100 grams of Pistachios
  • 100 grams of Cashews
  • ½ teaspoon of saffron strands
  • 1 teaspoon of Nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder

How To Prepare

  • Roast the cashews, pistachios, and almonds on a pan without any oil.
  • In a separate pan fry the saffron strands until they turn a little darker in colour.
  • Grate the nutmeg
  • Powder all the ingredients in a mixer. Add the nutmeg and the turmeric powder in the end.
  • The powder you get will not be very dry as the dry fruits have oil content. To prevent a lot of oil seeping into the powder, avoid grinding for too long.
  • You can store this powder in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about a month.

Delicious Dry Fruit Recipes for Your Baby

Here are some simple recipes to incorporate dry fruits into your baby’s diet.

1. Dry Fruit Milkshake

The best way to give dry fruits is to powder them and make a delicious dry fruit milkshake for babies.

DRY FRUIT MILKSHAKE

Ingredients

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pistachios
  • Figs
  • Raisins
  • Dates
  • Saffron strands
  • Honey or Jaggery
  • Cardamom powder
  • Milk

How To Prepare

  • Soak all the dry fruits in some warm water for about 30 minutes. You can also soak some saffron strands in about a teaspoon of milk and keep it aside.
  • Blend the soaked dry fruits and the saffron along with honey and one cup of milk.
  • Once you see a smooth consistency, add another two cups of milk and blend the mix again.
  • Once it is thoroughly blended, you can serve the milkshake.

2. Baby Cereal with Dry Fruit Puree

This simple breakfast recipe can add more flavour to breakfast cereal.

BABY CEREAL WITH DRY FRUIT PUREE

Ingredients

  • Bananas
  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Applesauce
  • Prunes
  • Baby cereal
  • Milk

(Images show coarse nuts and dry fruits. Be sure to blend them properly to prevent your baby from choking on them.)

How To Prepare

  • Blend all the fruits, the dry fruits and the applesauce into a puree.
  • You can make the consistency of the puree thinner by adding some milk into it.
  • Pour this over baby cereal and serve.

Dry fruits are no doubt packed with nutrients that are beneficial for your baby. Introducing them to your little one at the right time and in the right way can allow him to enjoy the flavour and the health benefits of dry fruits thoroughly.