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As parents start introducing their baby to solid foods, they want to move ahead and begin introducing tons of other items to their baby as well. However, not all solids are easily digestible by the baby’s yet growing digestive system and can spell trouble as well. One of the main areas of such confusion is dry fruits. Even amongst them, there are different opinions when it comes to introducing walnuts in your baby’s diet.
Can Your Baby Eat Walnuts?
You might be wondering about the right age to give walnuts to your baby. Since they have to be chewed, certain people might tell you to make walnut powder for babies and feed that. However, most doctors recommend abstaining from feeding any kind of nuts until your baby is at least a year old. Some doctors like to err on the safer side and would recommend introducing your baby to dry fruits and other nuts, only after they are at least 2 years old or so. It is always better to introduce walnuts after a few other nuts have been eaten by your child and there hasn’t been any inadvertent reaction as such.
Nutritional Facts of Walnut
The components and their proportions in 100g of walnut are as follows:
|Water||4 g||Energy||654 kcal|
|Protein||15.2 g||Total Lipid||65.2 g|
|Carbohydrate||13.7 g||Fiber||6.7 g|
|Sugar||2.6 g||Calcium||98 mg|
|Iron||2.9 mg||Magnesium||158 mg|
|Phosphorous||346 mg||Potassium||441 mg|
|Sodium||2 mg||Zinc||3 mg|
|Vitamin C||1.3 mg||Thiamin||0.34 mg|
|Niacin||1.12 mg||Folate||98 ug|
|Vitamin A||20 IU||Vitamin E||0.7 mg|
|Vitamin K||2.7 ug|
Health Benefits of Giving Walnuts to Infants
Walnuts have a variety of nutritious constituents. Even black walnuts are known to have a lot of nutritional properties in them. Here is why you should consider giving walnuts to babies. The benefits of black walnut for babies are similar.
- Have a high energy content in them: Infants require a lot of energy since their activities are increasing and the body uses up quite some energy in its growth as well. Walnuts contain enough energy that can last for long duration and is extremely beneficial.
- Great source of minerals required for growth: Many minerals that are found in walnuts are required for optimal growth of the baby. The bone growth is bettered by calcium and magnesium. Production of haemoglobin receives a boost due to iron. Electrolyte balance is maintained appropriately with potassium and sodium. Digestion, repairing of cells, and protein generation is all accelerated by phosphorous.
- Contain a lot of vitamins that are crucial for development: All the vitamins in walnutS including A, C, E, K, directly affect the baby’s growth. Right from building the strength of the immunity system, to assisting in the conversion of glucose to glycogen, as well as stimulating metabolic activities, these vitamins do it all.
- Assist in the rapid development of the infant’s brain: Walnuts contain folate as well as omega 3. Both these constituents primarily help develop the baby’s brain. A myth exists that the walnut resembles two halves of the brain, which is why it is important for the brain development. The truth in it might be debatable, but what’s known for sure, is that it does support rapid brain development.
- Help attain a deep and healthy sleep: Apart from all nutrition, melatonin is also present in walnuts. This hormone is the crux in inducing sleep and regulating the body functions during sleep. Sleep is just as necessary for infants since most of the growth happens when they enter deep sleep.
- Maintain optimal weight in the baby: Kids are known to be obese these days due to the lifestyle choices of the kids as well as the parents themselves. Walnuts help reduce weight gain and maintain it to an optimal level. This helps keep your infant healthy and prevent any other issues.
Precautions to Take while Giving Walnuts to Your Baby
- Age of the baby: It is wise to wait until the baby is at least a year old or even 2 years old. Allergies relating to walnuts and different nuts are prominent in many people. There might be a possibility that your child has one. For them to have a reaction at a young age might be detrimental to the cause. Most of them might be present only while they are small, but some may be present throughout their life. It’s best to take that precaution before making your baby taste a walnut.
- Family’s allergy history: Allergies can trickle down from one generation to the next. If either of the parent or both have a food allergy, there is a good chance the baby has the same allergy, or even towards a different food item. The genes causing the allergy might descend from the parent to the baby. In this case, it is always safe to err on the side of caution and introduce nuts only when the child is a little older.
- Paediatric opinion: In certain cases, a paediatrician might conduct certain tests using your child’s blood and conclude if he has any allergies or not. If you are eager to experiment with solids on your baby, you could conduct the test and then introduce nuts and other items safely.
Walnut Recipes for Babies
Parents wonder how to make walnut powder for babies so that they may be able to feed them. But, there are tons of other recipes that can be made using walnuts and are extremely tasty as well.
1. Walnut Butter
- Some walnuts
- Coconut oil, if required
How to make
- Put the walnuts in a food processor and crush them together for about ten to twelve minutes.
- Adding some oil can bring a slight consistency to the mixture.
- Store it in a refrigerator if you prefer your butter cold.
2. Banana Walnut Milkshake
- Peeled and chopped banana
- Chopped walnuts
- Ice cubes
- Some honey
How to make
- Put all the ingredients, except the honey, into a blender. Run the blender for a minute until it gets a thick consistency.
- Pour the mixture into a glass. Top it off with some nice honey. Serve it right away.
Introducing your baby to walnuts is not only a good way to make them aware of various food items but it is quite nutritious as well. With moderation being the key, keep things gradual and take the right precautions to ensure, that it benefits the right way.