Raisins Consumption for Babies

How to Give Raisins (Dry Grapes) to Babies & Their Benefits

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Many of us love the good old raisins, which are nothing but dried sweet grapes. These small, wrinkled packets of energy have been around ever since medieval times, and are popular for being a natural source of minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates.

Raisins are one of the most popular types of dried fruits with an annual production rate of 1.2 million metric tons in 2018/2019. The production involves a simple process of handpicking good quality sweet grapes and then naturally sun drying them for two to four weeks. Commercially, they are also dried using fruit dehydrator to produce high-grade raisins.

When it comes to babies, including dry fruits in their diet is a good way to provide the essential nutrients they may not get from other foods. Thus, feeding your baby raisins is highly recommended during his growth years. But, you can’t just feed your baby raisins when you introduce him to solids. There is a right time you must do it and with precautions. We shall discuss all of this and more in the article below.

Video: Raisins for Babies – Benefits, When & How to Introduce

Is Giving Raisins to Babies Safe?

Consumption of raisins/ dry grapes for babies can prove to be very good for the baby’s health. However, since these are small in size, there is always the risk of a baby choking on them. Incorporating raisins into the baby’s diet in other forms can work well. With a little bit of precaution, giving this food item to babies is not only safe but beneficial for their growth.

Let’s take a look at the nutritional value of raisins.

Nutritional Value of Raisins

Raisins are frequently used in cooking, baking, brewing, or just eaten as a regular snack. The health benefits of these tiny raisins are numerous. Often referred to as “nature’s candy”, raisins are high in sugar, and with moderate consumption, can prove to be very beneficial for our health.

  • Raisins have a high fibre content. They help in relieving constipation as they swell up once ingested and also help clear the digestive tract.
  • They have proven to have high levels of calories, glucose and fructose, which help in gaining weight.

Here’s a table with the nutritional value per 100 gram of raisins.

Nutrient Value per 100 g Nutrient Value per 100 g
Water 15.43 g Energy 300-350kcal
Protein 3.07 g Total Lipid 0.46 g
Carbohydrates 79.18 g Dietary Fiber 3.7 g
Sugars 59.19 g Calcium 50 mg
Iron 0.3mg Magnesium 32 mg
Phosphorous 101 mg Potassium 749 mg
Copper 0.4 mg Vitamin B1 and B2 0.2 mg
Sodium 11 mg Zinc 0.22 mg
Vitamin C 2.3 mg Thiamin 0.106 mg
Riboflavin 0.125 mg Niacin 0.766 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.174 mg Folate 5 ug
Fat 0.5 mg Manganese 0.3 mg
Vitamin E 0.12 mg Vitamin K 3.5 mg

 

Now that you know the nutritional value of raisins, let’s also take a look at how they benefit your baby’s health.

Health Benefits of Raisins for Babies

The high levels of energy that raisins provide are essential for the growth of your baby. Now that you are aware of the nutritional value of raisins, let’s take a look at some health benefits.

  • They can be highly valuable for the mental and physical development of your baby as they have minerals like phosphorus, calcium and potassium.
  • Consuming dried grapes has proved to help improve memory because it nourishes the brain.
  • The high fibre content of raisins is an excellent laxative and promotes proper digestion.
  • Raisins also help in maintaining the acid-alkaline balance in the baby’s body.
  • During fever, it is recommended to give dried grape water to babies since it helps fight bacterial and viral infections.

You are probably wondering when and how you could start feeding the delicious yet nutritious food item to your baby. Read on to know more.

When Can You Feed Raisins to Your Baby?

A common query among mothers is – what age can babies eat raisins? Babies can start eating raisins after 8 months of age when they are able to chew food. Also, the baby should be capable of sitting up straight on his own and hold small objects between his thumb and forefinger. For younger babies, raisins can be given in juice, puree or mashed forms. Later, small cut pieces can also be given to them. Also, always ensure that the baby eats raisins under the supervision of an adult. Even for babies who can chew, it is better to hand them or feed them one raisin at a time to avoid any choking hazards.

How Many Raisins Should You Give Your Baby?

Raisins are high in sugars and recommended in small portions per day. Initially, feeding 1-2 tbsp of raisin juice per day is sufficient. This can gradually be increased to 2-3 tbsp of juice per day. Once the baby is over 1 year of age, 2-3 tbsp of mashed or chopped raisins can be given.

How to Include Raisins in Your Baby’s Diet

In order to give your baby all the health benefits offered by raisins, it is important to understand how to give raisins to babies. At first, do not introduce the baby to a whole raisin or even a mashed one. You can begin with raisin water, then slowly start feeding raisin juice, puree or mashed raisins along with other food portions. Raisins add to the flavour when mixed with other foods and also aid digestion.

Though healthy, raisins can have adverse effects on your baby. Here’s what you should know.

Are There Any Adverse Effects of Feeding Raisins to Babies?

The chances of any adverse effects on the baby’s health after eating raisins are rare. However, one must always look out for allergies and the risk of choking on raisins. Raisins have a sticky and chewy texture. Just like candies, they tend to stick to gums and teeth and can lead to bacterial build-up and dental problems. You may feed raisins along with other meals that can be chewed, gummed up or swallowed to prevent them from sticking to your baby’s gums. You must also try to avoid feeding raisins before bedtime, as the baby might go to sleep immediately after, leaving bits of raisins stuck in the teeth.

Let’s also take a look at some drawbacks of this food item.

Drawbacks of Raisins

Raisins are a rich source of energy; however, they also have some drawbacks.

  • Although raisins have high contents of dietary fibre and carbohydrates, they do not have enough protein in them, which is also essential for babies during their growth years to build immunity and gain muscle weight. 100 grams of raisins have just about 3 grams of protein. You may mix raisins in foods high in protein to balance nutrition.
  • Raisins have high glycemic levels due to the fructose and glucose present in them. When it is fed in excess to babies, it might lead to the sugar rush, rise in the blood glucose levels or excessive weight gain. Always limit the quantity of this dried fruit for your baby.

After ruling out allergies, when you decide to feed your little one some raisins, here’s what you should bear in mind to avoid negative after-effects.

Precautions to Take While Feeding Raisins to Your Baby

This power food is highly recommended during your baby’s growth years. But, you need to take some precautionary measures while feeding raisins to your little one. Read on to know more.

  • First, the raisins must be thoroughly rinsed. This will remove any additional chemicals or impurities on them, which may harm the baby.
  • They can either be chopped or mashed and given to the baby. While giving chopped pieces, feed once piece at a time and keep an eye out for any signs of choking. You may mix chopped or mashed raisins in other foods also.
  • Developing the habit of brushing after eating can prevent any bacterial build-up and dental problems.

Tasty, readily available and nutritious, raisins are a perfect snack for babies. However, like any other food introduced to a child, they must be fed, keeping in mind the child’s age and nutritional requirements.

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