Chikoo, also known as Sapodilla or Sapota descended from Mexico and found its way to India in the nineteenth century. This fruit has a fleshy skin and a grainy sweet pulp with a strong aroma. Chikoo is a seasonal fruit found from October all the way to February.
While buying the fruit make sure it feels hard, and the skin is intact with no breaks or cracks. Upon ripening, Chikoo will soften and become mushy and will yield to gentle pressure. When eaten raw, the latex content is still high which explains the sticky feeling in your teeth. Make sure to eat the fruit when it is just ripe, do not allow it to over ripen.
Can Chikoo be given to babies and kids?
Yes, Chikoo can be introduced as a weaning food around 6 – 7 months. Make sure to mash the fruit while feeding smaller infants. Feed only when the fruit is ripe as the latex content is significantly lesser. It’s better to introduce without the skin in the beginning although the fruit can be consumed with skin. Its best when eaten as it is, during snack times. A word of caution to be mentioned is to remove the black seeds while feeding your child to avoid choking.
7 Health Benefits of Chikoo
- Chikoo is easily digestible and is not known to cause any food allergies. Chikoo is also very sweet to taste, making it palatable to children.It is an ideal choice for snacking, as its high sugar (fructose) content supplies instant energy.
- This fruit is high in antioxidants (vitamins A, C, and E) and helps in improving your child’s immunity and strengthens the body’s ability to fight infections and cancerous cells.
- The high Vitamin A content helps improve skin quality and texture and promotes better vision.
- The high Vitamin C content found in Chikoo helps in fighting against common colds. Another reason why your kid should be eating it during the winter.
- Chikoo is also high in dietary fibre making it a good laxative and is known to fight against constipation – a common problem faced by children.
- The high latex content of Chikoo helps in protecting against tooth cavities.
- Chikoo also has excellent haemostatic properties which help in decreasing blood loss during injuries.
Take Home Message
It’s best to buy fruits and vegetables that are seasonal to enjoy its nutritional benefits, save up on money and reduce the chances of contamination and food handling during transportation. Seasonal products also taste better and support your body’s natural nutritional needs.
The fruit is best eaten as it is, although it can be incorporated into recipes like milkshakes, smoothies, mixed fruit salad with custard, ice cream and kulfi.