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Raising a child is a huge responsibility, 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 it’s super versatile. You can feed your babies tomatoes in different forms, but you also need to be sure about the way you include it in your child’s diet, and how it affects them.
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 when 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 Value of Tomatoes
Tomatoes have plenty of nutrition in them. Here’s how much nutrition is present in 100 grams of tomatoes:
|Nutrient||Amount in 100 grams|
Health Benefits of Tomatoes for Infants
There are plenty of health benefits linked with tomatoes, especially for infants:
1. Vitamin A
Tomatoes are a rich source of Vitamin A, and the red and orange colour that is associated with them is due to the presence of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. Vitamin A is vital for the development of the baby’s eyes.
2. Source of Antioxidants
Tomatoes are also an excellent source of antioxidants, which are essential for a baby’s diet. A baby’s rate of metabolism is much higher than an adult’s, and this increases the number of free radicals in their body. If the number of free radicals increases, the chances of cellular and DNA damage rise as well. Antioxidants counteract this and help in neutralising the same.
3. Build Stronger Bones
Vitamin K is found in abundance in tomatoes, and they’re essential to help build the bones in an infant over time.
4. Stronger Immune System
There are a lot of biochemical entities found in tomatoes that help 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 a baby’s body. By including tomatoes in your child’s diet, you can increase the amount of alkanet and treat acidosis.
6. Reduces Lead Toxicity
Lead toxicity is another problem 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 to 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
Make sure you check the colour and texture of the tomatoes before you feed them to your baby. The best colours are mainly red and orange, 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 using the traditional method. They tend to have most of the nutrients intact and don’t have harmful pesticides or insecticides.
3. Check for Allergic Reactions
Some babies may have allergic reactions to tomatoes, so it is essential that you look out for any allergies. When introducing your baby to tomatoes, feed them without adding anything else to the tomatoes.
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 get stuck in the baby’s 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 them. Even if you are buying unripe tomatoes, they begin to get ripe at room temperature over a period of a few 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
- Salt- 1 pinch (don’t add salt if your baby is under 1 year old)
- Butter- 1/2 tsp (opt for homemade butter without salt)
- Water- 1/2 cup
- Wash and clean the tomatoes. Ensure that they’re not cut before washing as they will lose their nutritional value otherwise.
- Deseed the tomatoes and chop them into large pieces.
- Throw the tomato pieces with the water in a pan, and cover it with a lid. Boil them for a few minutes or until they’re soft and tender.
- Peel off the tomatoes’ skin.
- Puree the tomatoes with a little 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. If you’re using salted butter, then don’t add any more salt to the soup.
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 or liquid form, as their teeth that are not fully developed.
Tomatoes should be stored at room temperature so that they do not rot. They are a necessary addition to any diet and are perfect for children who are otherwise fussy eaters.
Also Read: Sweet Potato for Babies