Oranges for Babies: Nutritional Value, Health Benefits & Recipes

Oranges for Babies – Benefits and Recipes

Medically Reviewed By
Megha Mukhija (Paediatric Nutritionist)
View more Paediatric Nutritionist Our Panel of Experts

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.

Video: When Can Babies Eat Orange?

When Can Babies Eat Oranges?

Orange can be given in any form only after the child is one year old. Making orange juice for a 6-month-old is a no-no since his sensitive stomach may not be able to tolerate the acidic content of the fruit. Orange primarily contains citrus acid, which can also result in rashes appearing on babies 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

Orange is a rich source of vitamin C, beta-carotene (which helps convert to vitamin), B vitamins, including folate, and other nutrients, including phenols and carotenoids. These have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antioxidants benefits and promote good health.

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 because 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 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, including calcium and phosphate. Moderate consumption of oranges can help prevent disorders like rickets, which lead to the 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 colds and coughs when 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.

8. 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

100 grams of the orange (raw, navel) consists of:

  • Water – 86.7 g
  • Energy – 52 kcal
  • Sugar – 8.57 g
  • Potassium – 166 mg
  • Phosphorous – 23 mg
  • Magnesium – 10.7 mg
  • Calcium – 43 mg
  • Sodium – 9 mg
  • Iron – 0.33 mg
  • Vitamin C – 59.1 mg
  • Vitamin A – 346 IU
  • Thiamine – 0.068 mg
  • Riboflavin – 0.051 mg
  • Niacin – 0.425 mg
  • Folate – 25 µg

It also contains small quantities of copper, zinc, and manganese.

Source: USDA

Orange during pregnancy

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 taste 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

Frozen Orange Cranberry

What You Will Need

  1. Cranberry juice
  2. Orange juice

How to Prepare

  1. Blend it all together until it has a thick consistency.
  2. Serve it to your baby.

2. Juicy Orange Carrots

Juicy Orange Carrots

What You Will Need

  1. Diced carrots, peeled and steamed
  2. Orange juice
  3. Water (if required)

How to Prepare

  1. In a bowl, take the steamed carrots and mash them well.
  2. Add the orange juice and give it a good mix. You may add some water to adjust the consistency.

3. Orange Yoghurt Pops

What You Will Need

  1. 1 orange (peeled and de-seeded)
  2. 1 cup yoghurt

How to Prepare

  1. Nicely peel and de-seed the orange and puree it.
  2. Blend the orange puree and yoghurt in a mixer.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the ice pop trays and freeze them for at least 6-7 hours.

Please Note: The recipe is suitable for toddlers and not babies.

4. Fruit Salad With Orange Segment

What You Will Need

  • 1 quarter cup diced mango
  • 1 quarter cup diced kiwi
  • 1 quarter cup thinly sliced strawberries
  • 1 quarter cup chopped orange segments

How to Prepare

  1. Put together a medley of chopped and sliced fruits of your baby’s liking, including mango, kiwi, strawberries, oranges, etc.
  2. Plate them for your baby to suck and eat.
  3. Keep a close watch on them while they eat to ensure they do not choke on fruits.

5. Apple Orange Julius

What You Will Need

  1. 1 quarter cup orange juice
  2. 1 quarter cup apple juice
  3. 1/2 cup breast milk or baby formula

How to Prepare

  1. Blend 1/4th cup apple juice, 1/4th cup orange juice, and 1/2 cup breast milk or baby formula nicely.
  2. Once mixed, serve.

6. Orange Carrot Mash

What You Will Need

  1. 1 tablespoon orange juice
  2. 1/2 cup chopped carrot

How to Prepare

  1. Pressure cook the chopped carrots until soft.
  2. Once carrots are in the mashable consistency, add orange juice.
  3. Blend them well until they look like a mash.

FAQs

1. Can oranges be a choking hazard for babies?

Yes, oranges can be a choking hazard for babies because of their slippery nature when peeled and cut. The fibrous nature of the orange membranes and the seeds easily pose a choking threat. To minimise the risk, you should cut the orange into large pieces, put the peel on, and remove the seeds before giving them to your little one to suck and chew.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Can I give orange squash to babies?

Orange squash 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.

5. 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 chance of causing any allergic reactions.

6. 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.

References/Resources:

1. Oranges, raw, navels; USDA; https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/746771/nutrients

2. Czech. A, Zarycka. E, Yanovych. D, et al.; Mineral Content of the Pulp and Peel of Various Citrus Fruit Cultivars; Biol Trace Elem Res.; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6944645/; February 2020

3. Rangel-Huerta. O. D, et al.; A serum metabolomics-driven approach predicts orange juice consumption and its impact on oxidative stress and inflammation in subjects from the BIONAOS study; Wiley Online Library; https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mnfr.201600120; September 2016

4. Health Benefits of Oranges; CTCULS; https://ctclusi.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/health-benifits-of-oranges.pdf

Also Read:

Mango for Infants
Banana for Babies
Introducing Avocado to Babies

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