Fruits being extremely packed with powerful antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber, play a non-negotiable role in child’s nutrition. They are extremely handy, appropriate, appetizing and nutrient rich option, especially during the initial phase of successful weaning. It is important to understand that the natural form of fruits (thoroughly cleaned and raw form) can gain maximum health benefits. The fruits, listed below, can be introduced during infancy to inculcate the habit of eating fruits.
- Chickoo: – Generally known as ‘Sapota’. Chickoo is considered as an ideal option for consumption during infancy as it is loaded with antioxidants (which help to build immune response, keeping baby free from any sort of infection) and is also digested efficiently. Chickoo is a sweet treat within itself and is loaded with vitamin A and C.
- Banana: – Banana is usually considered as food genius. It is loaded with vital nutrients like potassium and fiber. Bananas are easy to digest and are natural energy boosters .Bananas are rich source of amino acid called ’Tryptophan’ which induces good sleep in growing infants.
- Sweet potato: – Boiled and mashed sweet potato is a good idea to introduce in infants diet. Sweet potato being rich source of vitamin A, it helps in keeping infant’s skin and eyes healthy. It is also good for digestion.
- Apple: – Boiled apple can be introduced after 7 months of age. Apples are rich in phytonutrients, flavonoids and dietary fiber. They are well tolerated by the infants tiny and still under progress digestive system.
- Avocados: – Avocados are rich in B complex vitamins and healthy fats, which are important for efficient brain function. Cooked and mashed avocados can be introduced in small quantities to infants, a little over 7 months of age.
- Carrots: – Benefits of carrots are not unfamiliar; Carrots are the power house of rich antioxidant, beta carotene and good for bone health. Boiled and mashed carrot or clear soup can be introduced during infancy.
- Peaches: – Pureed Peaches can be introduced after making the infant comfortable with other fruits. Peaches are high on beta carotene, a precursor of Vitamin A and also boosting nerve and muscle function. Fully ripe variants of peaches should be pureed.
The above options are best to be introduced post 6 months of life and in small quantities, with gradual increase in the quantities and the consistency. Feeding varieties of local fruits and vegetables helps a growing infant to develop liking for most of fruits and vegetables. Infancy is perhaps the best phase to introduce local fruits and vegetables, in order to achieve a positive physical and mental wellbeing, for the future healthy adult.