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GORGING ON GRAPES : For Your Toddler

Grapes. What’s the first word that comes to your mind when you hear the word grapes? Yummy?! Absolutely right, grapes is an amazingly rare combination of taste and nutrition. And when is it better to enjoy the fruit at its best than now? This is the season of grapes, and while enjoying its taste, let’s also learn the benefits it has to offer when eaten seasonally.

Right nutrition for our kids is our primary responsibility. We don’t have to splurge on exotic fruits and vegetables to ensure this, instead just look over your shoulders. See what your local vendor has to offer. He sells seasonal fruits and vegetables. Seasonal products are loaded with essential nutrients that work for the well being of the body. Grapes, in this instance helps to fight against colds and provides immunity to our bodies.

SELECTION

Grapes come in different varieties and colours, and can be eaten as it is, used to make raisins or to make wine (primarily).

Selecting good quality grapes is of utmost importance if you don’t want to compromise on the taste. Hold a bunch of grapes and give it a gentle shake, the lesser the grapes that fall out, the fresher is your bunch. Choose grapes that don’t have wrinkles and are plump, making sure each grape is firmly attached to the stem.

Avoid grapes with soft or wrinkled skin. This might be a sign of freezing or drying.

Store freshly bought grapes in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consume within a week. Remove from fridge a few hours before consumption and ensure to wash very well to remove chemical residue.

Seeded or seedless? This is entirely up to you. Although the seeded variety is less infested with synthetic chemicals and tastes better, some prefer the seedless variety due to the ease of consumption. Nevertheless, it is highly recommended to eat the fruit with the skin.

BENEFITS 

  • Grapes help regularise bowel movements, as it’s a good source of fibre. Constipation is a common problem seen among younger children.
  • Grapes is an excellent source of antioxidants, which fights against free radicals, thus boosting our immunity and keeping infections at bay.
  • An fine source of Vitamin C, helps fight against common cold, flu and even asthma.
  • Hydrates the body, as the fruit has a high water content.
  • The active ingredient in grapes, known as resveratrol, is good for heart health.
  • A very convenient fruit – buy, (store), wash, and eat. A fun and easy finger food. However, please read the caution note while feeding younger children.

INCORPORATION

  • This fruit is quite versatile. It can be eaten as it is. Or used to add colour and flavour to mixed fruit salads with or without custard.
  • It can be used to make a very vibrant fruit kabab, or to make fruit smoothies.
  • You can give your regular curd rice a twist with this fruit.
  • The dried version of the fruit, raisins, can be eaten all year round!
  • Another way of preserving this fruit and  enjoying later is by making a homemade fruit juice concentrate – a healthier alternative to store-bought juices. Reduce the amount of sugar added though.

WORD OF CAUTION

Small round grapes have higher chances of choking younger children. Please make sure to cut the fruit in half (and remove seeds while eating the seeded variety) and thaw before feeding your toddler.