Papaya, with its sweet taste and soft texture, is a perfect food for babies. Read on to know why papaya is a good food option for babies
Whether you offer it raw or make a puree of it, papaya is a fruit that can be adapted to any form of dish you want to make for your little one.
What's more, this fruit has numerous health benefits and is one of the top picks by mothers to introduce as a first food to their babies.
There are several benefits to eating this fruit. Here are some of them:
Because papaya boasts of a high quantity of Vitamin C, it helps in building the baby's immune system. Babies are often prone to colds and coughs and foods rich in vitamin C, like papaya, help prevent them from falling sick often and make them stronger as well.
Vitamin A is also known to be good for the eyes. Papaya helps in preventing eye illnesses and boosts good eyesight. The fruit is also known to improve skin and hair health because it contains Vitamin A.
Papaya is rich in iron, which helps in increasing the red blood cell count. In the early years, it's crucial to give a child iron-rich foods to build her hemoglobin count and prevent health conditions like anemia.
Papaya pulp is known to have medicinal properties that help soothe skin sores, rashes, and burns. This is because of the presence of Vitamin A. When papaya pulp is applied to minor rashes, it reduces the burning sensation.
One of the advantages of giving papaya to your baby is it helps in digestion. This is because of the presence of the enzyme papain which assists in the digestion of food. If the fruit suits your baby, try to give it to him in small quantities regularly.
Kids often suffer from constipation because, at a young age, their bowel movements are not regular. Papaya helps treat constipation as it is high in fiber which ensures regular bowel movements. This also reduces bloating in children and helps build their appetite.
Papaya can be introduced to a baby early on, but only after he is able to digest semi-solid foods like mashed bananas. You can introduce papaya to your baby when he is around 7 or 8 months old. Start by giving him small quantities to see if he has an allergic reaction to it. If not, you can add the fruit to his diet in measured quantities regularly.
The papaya leaf juice has been known to have medicinal properties. It is especially effective in increasing the platelet count which is affected when an individual contracts dengue fever. According to a study by BK Srikanth et al, published by Pediatric Health, Medicine and Therapeutics (2019) Carica papaya leaf extract was shown to 'significantly increase the mean platelet count in thrombocytopenia associated with dengue fever in pediatric subjects'. The syrup was also well tolerated by them.
Papayas are the ideal food to give to babies whose teeth are yet to emerge because they are sweet and easy to mash into a smooth puree.
How to make papaya puree
There are many benefits of papayas for babies. Here are some interesting ways you can introduce the fruit to your little one.
For 7 to 8-month-olds
For 9 to 11-month-olds
While papaya has many health benefits, it can cause certain allergic reactions as well. The following are some of the side effects of eating papaya.
It's important to introduce new and healthy foods to your little one. And, healthy and tasty fruits like papaya are always a great choice. However, children can sometimes develop allergies to certain food items. So, it's always a good idea to observe your child for 24 hours, once you have introduced any new food.
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