Our grandparents have always insisted on having seasonal fruits but for good reason. Sapota or sapodilla, more commonly known to us as chikoo or
chiku, is one such fruit available in this season, that proves them right. The high nutritional value and the tremendous health benefits that it offers made chikoo one of the superfoods during winter.
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. The latex content of raw Sapota is 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 Chiku be given to babies and kids?
Yes, Sapota can be introduced as a weaning food around 6 – 7 months. It contains natural sugar like fructose and sucrose that make it sweet. The slightly grainy yet soft texture make sapota a perfect choice when introducing solid to your baby. 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.
8 Health Benefits of Sapota for your baby :
Feeding sapota daily can have tremendous healthy effect on your child. Let us discover how :
1. Good for digestion:
Chikoo is easily digestible and is not known to cause any food allergies. It 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
2. Rich in Antioxidants:
3. Improves eyesight:
The high Vitamin A content of chikoo helps improve skin quality and texture of your baby and promotes better vision.
4. Keeps cough and cold at bay:
The high Vitamin C content found in Sapodilla helps in fighting against common colds. Another reason why your kid should be eating it during the winter.
5. Natural Laxative:
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.
6. Good for dental health:
The high latex content of Chikoo helps in protecting against tooth cavities.
7. Helps to stop bleeding:
Chikoo also has excellent haemostatic properties which help in decreasing blood loss during injuries.
8. Gives your baby an energy boost:
Chikoo contains plenty of minerals like calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, zinc etc that play various roles in our body besides providing required energy and strength.
Ideas to include Chiku in your baby’s diet :
The fruit is best eaten as it is, although it can be incorporated into recipes like
- mixed fruit salad with custard
- ice cream and kulfi
Take Home Message
It’s best to buy fruits and vegetables that are seasonal to enjoy its nutritional benefits, to save up on money and to reduce the chances of contamination and food handling during transportation. Seasonal products also taste better and support your body’s natural nutritional needs.
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