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As your baby starts growing up, his food requirements change. And, when it is time to give him different foods to taste, you’ll be in for a whole new journey with your little one. Fruits might seem one the best options when introducing solids to your baby since they are natural and healthy. But, it isn’t necessarily like that since fruits may contain acids and oils that may or may not be digested by the baby or cause adverse reactions at times.
We will be talking about one such fruit in this article – Orange. Read on to know when and how you can introduce oranges to your munchkin.
When Can Babies Eat Oranges?
Orange can be given in any form only after the child is a year old. Making orange juice for a 6-month-old is a no-no since his sensitive stomach may not necessarily be able to tolerate the acidic content of the fruit. Orange primarily contains citrus acid, which can also result in rashes appearing on babies that are too young. Therefore, it is best to give oranges when your baby is closer to completing a year.
Amazing Health Benefits of Oranges for Babies
Here are some benefits of feeding oranges to babies.
1. Great Nutritional Constitution
Oranges are filled with a lot of nutrients, including various minerals and vitamins. For infants and children, these are extremely necessary and vital in their initial years of development. If certain babies have issues in their physical development, feeding them orange juice can supplement their nutrition.
2. Counter Indigestion
Nearly all infants and kids face indigestion more often than not. This is primarily due to the fact that their digestive system is beginning to gain strength gradually. The constituents of orange are helpful in that manner since they stimulate the digestion process.
3. Reduce Constipation
Your baby’s diet lacks the fibre in the early stages of development. Fibre is necessary for a good bowel movement. Feeding fruits to your little one can help in that respect. Giving orange juice for baby constipation is a great idea since orange contains quite a decent amount of fibre.
4. Strong Bones
Given the rich amount of minerals and salts in oranges, they are great supplements for elements such as calcium and phosphate. With regular consumption, they can help prevent disorders like rickets, which leads to weakening of bones and softening of joints.
5. Lower Chances of Cough and Cold
Cold and cough are the usual guilty ones whenever your infant falls sick. Oranges can provide enough nutrients to battle cold and cough when the mercury levels drop.
6. Remedy for Mumps
Though observed more in children than infants, mumps, or parotitis as it is also known, is a viral disease that is highly contagious. A popular way of treating mumps is to consume orange juice, supplemented by many other fruit juices.
7. Best Liquid Diet Alternative
If your child isn’t chewing food properly while eating, the stomach will fail to digest it well, leading to indigestion. In such a case, your child can consume raw fruit juices like orange juice for a couple of days. As the bowel movement restores, the child can continue on a fruit-based diet and then gradually get back to the usual diet.
9. Assist In Typhoid Recovery
Typhoid fever is known to destroy a person’s digestive strength along with causing intense abdominal pain, cough, headache, fever and so on. Since the stomach can only digest juices and liquid, orange juice can help with both and is one of the best options to give your child suffering from typhoid.
These health benefits are possible because of the nutrients oranges contain. Let’s take a look at them.
Nutritional Value of Orange
A medium-sized orange consists of:
- Potassium – 232 mg
- Phosphorous – 32 mg
- Magnesium – 15 mg
- Calcium – 50 mg
- Sodium – 2 mg
- Iron – 0.18 mg
- Vitamin A – 346 IU
- Vitamin C – 82 mg
- Thiamine – 0.09 mg
- Riboflavin – 0.07 mg
- Niacin – 0.59 mg
- Folate – 0.48 mg
It also contains small quantities of copper, zinc, and manganese
Let’s now take a look at how you can introduce or feed oranges to your little one.
How to Serve Oranges to Babies
Deseed the pieces and peel off the membranes before giving it to your child. Cut the pieces down into small bite-sized ones, lest your baby ends up choking on one.
Try and give him sweet oranges at first, since he may not necessarily like the strong sour taste of a usual orange. Give the fruit a good look to ensure there aren’t any soft spots or weird colours.
Do not give orange juices or pulps that are available in the market in bottles. Those contain multiple preservatives and sugar to maintain a taste. Buy clean and fresh oranges from the market and make your own juice at home.
Foods You Can Mix With Oranges
In order to experiment around with the taste of oranges, you can further mix it with a bunch of food items. Some of them are:
- Avocado – This is a great fruit to pair with the sour taste of the orange.
- Blueberries and Cranberries – The difference in the tastes of each of these fruits when fed with oranges can be a welcome change for your little one.
- Sweet Potato – You can try your hand at making a soufflé using sweet potato and orange juice.
- Chicken – As your child starts eating meat, you can use orange as a glaze on the meat.
Precaution to Take When Giving Oranges to Your Baby
Keep the following precautions in mind before giving oranges to your little one.
1. No Peels, No Fibres, No Seeds
All these items have a weird taste by themselves. If your baby ends up disliking them, he might push the entire fruit away. Go for orange you can easily remove seeds, peels, and fibres of.
2. Trouble Chewing? Mash It!
If your baby has trouble eating small pieces of the orange even after removing the peels, fibres, and seeds, you can go ahead and mash the fruit until you get a puree. This would be extremely easy for your baby to eat and taste, too.
3. No Sour Oranges for Now
Go the extra mile and try to get only the sweetest oranges. Your baby’s tastebuds may not be prepared to handle the sourness that comes with the fruit. By keeping the sweetness quotient high, they will like the fruit better.
4. Fresh Fruits Always
Your baby should always consume fresh, ripe fruits. The mark of a good orange is that it is firm in every direction. If you press it and it ends up being soft, avoid it and go for another one.
Easy Orange Recipes for Infants
If you’re wondering how to make orange juice for babies, here are some exciting recipes that go way beyond simple juices.
1. Frozen Orange Cranberry
What You Will Need
- Cranberry juice
- Orange juice
How to Prepare
- Blend it all together until it has a thick consistency.
- Serve it to your baby.
2. Juicy Orange Carrots
What You Will Need
- Diced carrots, peeled and steamed
- Orange juice
- Water (if required)
How to Prepare
- In a bowl, take the steamed carrots and mash them well.
- Add the orange juice and give it a good mix. You may add some water to adjust the consistency.
1. Can I give orange juice to babies?
Once your baby is consuming solids and is nearly a year old, you may give him orange juice. Ensure your little one is not allergic to acidic fruits.
2. Is mandarin orange safe for babies?
They are absolutely safe for consumption by babies who are at least a year old. It’s best to keep track of whether they show any reactions to it as well.
3. Can I give orange squash to babies?
Orange squashed contains a good amount of added sugar for sweetening. It has very less nutrition and can harm your baby’s teeth. Hence, it’s best to avoid it.
4. What are the best alternatives for citrus fruits?
In order to maintain a good level of Vitamin C, the alternatives can be found in melons, papayas, potatoes and spinach, none of which have sour tastes. They also have low chances of causing any allergic reactions.
5. Can I use citrus acid for homemade baby food preservation?
Citrus fruits for babies are fine for consumption after eight months of age. So, a couple of drops of lemon juice should be fine as a preservative, since they will be distributed in the final preparation.
Fruits, like oranges, provide a great ton of nutrition and can be used for making a wonderful variety of food preparations, too. Ensure that your baby is of the right age to consume this fruit, and reap its maximum benefits.
Also Read: Banana for Babies