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Raising a child can be a challenge and feeding them the right food is of paramount importance to ensure that they grow and develop in the right manner. One food that has a lot of health benefits is tomato and they’re very versatile. You can feed your babies tomatoes in different forms but you also need to be informed about whether it is safe to do the same.
Once you’re aware of the health benefits of tomatoes and how they can be cooked for your child, you may begin feeding them.
When Can you Start Giving Tomatoes to your Baby?
Babies can be fed tomatoes as they have plenty of health benefits. The right age that you can introduce tomatoes to your child is around 8 to 10 months. Tomatoes generally do not cause any allergies but keep an eye out, just in case, for rashes on your baby’s skin after they’ve consumed tomatoes.
Nutritional values of Tomatoes
Tomatoes have plenty of nutrition in them. Here’s how much nutrition is stored per 100 grams of tomatoes:
|Nutrient||Amount in 100 grams|
Health Benefits of Tomatoes for Infants
There are plenty of health benefits linked with tomatoes for infants:
1. Vitamin A
Tomatoes are a rich source of Vitamin A and the red and orange colour that is associated with them are due to the presence of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. Vitamin A is very important for the development of the eyes in a baby’s body.
2. Antioxidant Source
Tomatoes are also an excellent source of antioxidants which are very essential for a baby’s diet. The rate of metabolism in a baby is much higher than an adult’s and this increases the number of free radicals. If the number of free radicals increases, the chances of cellular and DNA damage increase as well. Antioxidants counteract this and help in neutralizing the same.
3. Build Stronger Bones
Vitamin K is found in abundance in tomatoes and they’re important to help build the bones in an infant over time.
4. Stronger Immune Systems
There are a lot of biochemical entities found in tomatoes which helps in strengthening the immune system which is very crucial for the development of the baby
5. Treats Acidosis
Though it is thought that tomatoes have a lot of acid in them, they actually help counteract the same in the baby’s body. By doing so, you can increase the amount of alkanet and treat acidosis.
6. Reduces Lead Toxicity
Lead toxicity is another remedy that can be counteracted with tomatoes. A large amount of vitamin C is present in tomatoes which helps in reducing the harmful effects brought on by lead.
Precautions to Take while Giving Tomatoes for Infants
While tomatoes are great for infants, it is important that you follow a few precautions before you give them out:
1. Colour and Texture
Ensure that the colour and the texture of the tomatoes before you feed them. The best colours are mainly red and orange in colour and they need to be firm with no soft spots or cracks
2. Organic Over Artificial
See if you can purchase tomatoes from an organic resource as they’ve been grown in the traditional method. They tend to have more of the nutrients intact
3. Check for Allergic Reactions
Some babies may have allergic reactions to tomatoes, so it is important that you check for the same
4. Proper Form
Since some babies do not have fully developed teeth yet, make sure that you feed them the tomatoes in a liquid to semi-liquid form or they might have it stuck in their throat
How to Purchase and Store Tomatoes
When purchasing tomatoes, it is important that you do not store them in refrigerators. You can store them at room temperature away from sunlight. It is also advised that they are consumed within a few days after purchasing. Even if you purchase unripe tomatoes, they begin getting ripe at room temperature over a period of days.
How to Make Tomato Soup for Babies?
Here’s a good tomato soup recipe for babies that’s easy to make and healthy as well:
- Tomatoes (4 in number)
- Salt (A pinch)
- Butter (1/2 tsp)
- Water (1/2 cup)
- Wash and clean the tomatoes. Ensure that they’re not cut before washing as they tend to lose nutritional value otherwise
- Deseed the tomatoes and chop them into large pieces
- Throw in the tomato pieces with the water and cover it with a lid. Boil the same for a few minutes till they’re soft and tender
- Peel the tomato skin off
- Puree the tomato with a bit of water and add a little butter to the pan
- Add the tomato puree to the pan and let it simmer for around a minute or so
- Add some salt to taste. Most butters generally contain salt, so you won’t need to add extra
Tomatoes are a great source of nutrition for babies and they are excellent if fed regularly. While they could cause minor rashes or allergic reactions to some infants, they are otherwise great for the overall development of the baby from both a physical and mental standpoint. Babies must however be fed tomatoes that are fresh and in a semi-liquid to liquid form as they have teeth that are not fully developed.
Tomatoes should be stored at room temperature so that they do not go rotten or pale. Tomatoes can be a necessary addition to any diet and are perfect for children who are otherwise fussy eaters.
Also Read: Sweet Potato for Babies