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Kiwi is a fleshy green fruit also known as Chinese gooseberry. It is packed with plenty of health benefits and tastes good. This sweet and tangy fruit provides your baby with a host of benefits and nutrients like various vitamins, potassium and dietary fibre. It is rich in disease-fighting antioxidants too. Kiwis are high in nutrients and low in calories.
Is Kiwi Safe for Your Baby?
Kiwi is packed with dietary nutrients, but it can be slightly acidic owing to vitamin C and may give the baby a stomachache or trigger loose bowel movement. They may even spit it up initially, until they get used to its sweet and sour taste.
Kiwi is not a highly allergenic fruit, so typically giving your baby kiwi should not be a matter of concern. Since it is naturally sweet (if fully ripe), babies will look forward to exploring the new flavour.
When is the Right Time to Introduce Kiwi to a Baby
A kiwi should be introduced between the 8th and the 10th month of the baby’s life. If the baby shows sensitivity such as a diaper rash or tummy trouble, try again after few months.
The way you introduce new food to your baby will make a difference in how they respond to it. Introduce kiwi when no other new food has been served at the previous meal. Start with a small amount and see how they react. Once they show signs of liking, add it to their regular meal plan.
Nutritional Value of Kiwi
This super fruit is packed with vital nutrients such as vitamins K, C and E, potassium, folate, dietary fibre, copper, choline, magnesium and phosphorus.
Nutrients Present in 100 grams of Kiwi Fruit
|Vitamin A||0.26 mg|
|Vitamin C||92.7 mg|
|Vitamin E||1.5 mg|
|Vitamin K||40.3 ug|
|Vitamin B6||0.1 mg|
Benefits of Kiwi Fruit for Your Baby
Kiwis offer a host of benefits for babies, children and adults. Introducing them to the baby will help build immunity.
- Being high in fibre, it is helpful in relieving constipation.
- A rich source of disease-fighting antioxidants, it builds immunity.
- High in vitamin C, it helps boost the immune system.
- It increases iron absorption from other foods.
- Rich in phytonutrients; it helps repair DNA and protect against a few cancers.
- Adding kiwi will prevent asthma, high blood pressure, kidney stones, obesity, lower fat in the blood and reduce blood clot risks at later stages in life.
- Promotes healthy skin.
- Induces better sleep.
When to Avoid Kiwi Fruit for Your Baby
Kiwi does not trigger allergies. However, it is acidic in nature. The acidity of the fruit may prompt mouth or diaper rashes. If your baby shows sensitivities like tummy troubles, rashes or spits up when you first introduce it to them, try again after a few months. If your baby has acid reflux, wait a year before adding kiwi to their diet.
Allergy to kiwi is uncommon. However, babies with hay fever (allergic rhinitis) need to stay away from it as it may cause skin irritations around the baby’s mouth. This is common but not harmful.
Indications of allergies towards kiwi include sore mouth, itching of throat or swelling of the tongue, mouth, lips and face. It may induce vomiting. Severe allergies include wheezing or breathing difficulties that might require immediate medical attention. It is important to know which food has triggered the allergic reaction, so introduce one new food at a time and do not mix it with some other new food. Start with feeding little amounts; if the baby is not showing any allergies, go ahead with more quantities.
Allergic reactions to kiwi fruit tend to be linked with birch pollen allergies, cedar allergies or latex allergies; hence, if your baby is allergic to papaya, pineapple, sesame seeds, celery, honey, peach, apple, bananas, avocado, cherry, plum, or pear, then he may be allergic to kiwis as well.
Quick Kiwi Recipes For Babies
Kiwi can be fed in many interesting ways; you can make fruit cocktails, smoothies, salads, dips, desserts, popsicles, stews or simply dice and serve it.
1. Fresh Tropical Fruit Cocktails
1 ripe kiwi, ½ mango, few chunks of pineapple, 2-3 strawberries
Wash the fruits, peel, chop and blend in a food processor.
Small bunch of spinach, 1 ripe kiwi, ½ apple or pear
Blanch the spinach, peel and chop the fruits, and blend it all together in a food processor.
3. Fruity Dips
1 small kiwi, 1/2 ripe peach, 2 tbsp cottage cheese
- Peel and mash the kiwi and peach. Crumble cottage cheese, and mix to a smooth consistency.
- Serve the dip with whole wheat toast, use as a spread on bread or sandwich filling.
4. Fruit Yoghurt
1 ripe kiwi, 1 ripe banana, ½ pear, a handful of crushed cereals, 1 cup thick home-made yoghurt
- Peel and chop the fruits.
- Add crushed cereals and blend with yoghurt for a power packed fruit yoghurt.
- Serve it at room temperature or chilled.
5. Kiwis as Desserts or Popsicle
Simply peel the kiwi and slice it with an egg-slicer. Freeze it to be served with a drizzle of honey as a dessert or turn them into popsicles. They are a great way to beat the summer heat or soothe inflamed gums during teething.
1 large ripe banana, 1 ripe kiwi, 1 cup yoghurt
- Peel and roughly chop the kiwi and banana, blend with yoghurt in food processor. Pour the mix in a freeze-safe container for few hours, take it out and beat well. Pour it in popsicle moulds and freeze until firm.
- Drizzle small amount of honey on top for an extra sweet treat!
1 diced kiwi, 1 cubed apple, a handful of dried cranberries, walnuts, feta cheese
Mix and serve on a bed of spinach with light vinaigrette dressing
4 ripe kiwis, ½ cup apple or grape juice
- Peel and cut kiwis.
- Add with juice in a medium pot and boil till soft. Remove from heat, mash or puree.
- Serve with a spoon or in a feeder.
You can reduce the acidic nature of kiwi by combining it with bananas, avocado, ripe mangoes, applesauce or pears and make interesting baby food; it will help to develop taste in babies.
Here are some commonly asked questions about feeding kiwis to babies
1. How to choose kiwi for your baby?
Choosing organic kiwi is always good. However, kiwis do not get contaminated due to pesticides. For sweet and ripe kiwi, hold it between your thumb and forefinger and check with gentle pressure. Pick firm fruit and wait until it turns soft. Do not pick the ones with bruised skin, or visible indentations, avoid the ones that are shrivelled, squashy, soft, or have damp spots. Unripe kiwi can be placed in a paper bag with banana, apple or pear to ripen the within two days. Kiwis can be stored for three to four weeks when refrigerated or up to a week at room temperature.
2. Should I peel the kiwi before serving it to my baby?
Yes. Kiwi skin is packed with nutrients just like most fruits and vegetables; most vitamins and minerals are just in or under the skin. However, do not serve kiwi with skin to babies, it will be difficult for them to chew the skin or they could choke on it. Once the kid is old enough to chew the skin, remove the hairy surface by scrubbing lightly with a clean towel and serve as preferred.
You can peel the kiwi by slicing off each end of the fruit and remove the skin lengthwise with a sharp knife. Alternately, remove both ends and then insert a thin teaspoon just between the flesh and the skin, twist it all the way around the outer edge of the fruit to effectively remove the skin. Or, you may simply cut the fruit in half and feed the inner part of the fruit to the baby with a spoon.
3. Can I give kiwi seeds to my baby?
You do not have to remove the seeds from kiwi. They are very tiny and do not pose a choking hazard. Do not panic when you see them in baby’s diaper as they are not digested.
When it’s time for your baby to start with solid foods and you are confused about what to begin with, choose from a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Kiwi serves as a good option to be given to your baby as it’s loaded with nutritional benefits and tastes good too.