Exposing Children To Dried Fruits
Dried fruits are fantastic, nutrient-dense fruits that adults like us love to consume. From blueberries to goji berries, dried fruits are a convenient snack that can boost heart health, lower the risk of diseases such as cancer and even boost cognitive function. However, you might be wondering if these same benefits apply to your growing child. Perhaps, you’re wondering if it’s even safe to introduce your child to dried fruits? This article will show you why and how you can go about introducing dried fruits to your young ones in the safest way possible.
Benefits of Dried Fruits For The Little Ones
#1 An Exciting New Experience
As children grow, they are constantly curious and trying to learn more about the world around them. As you begin to expose your toddler to new sensory experiences, it can be an exciting experience for both you and your young one. Adding dried fruits to their diet is an interesting way to add more variety, fun and sensory stimulation to the eating experience. Expose your child to the various colours, textures and smells of dried fruits. It’s a sure-win way to add some spice to meal times!
#2 Nutrient-dense Foods
When fruits are dried, the water content is removed, leaving the nutrients in the fruit behind. Dried fruits are wonderfully packaged nutrient bombs. Most dried fruits contain high amounts of fibre which is important in promoting healthy bowel movement. Different dried fruits also contain varying amounts of beneficial nutrients, which you can find out more about below!
#3 Boost Brain Health
Raisins and dried blueberries are both fruits that can boost your child’s cognitive function. Blueberries and raisins are rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients. Antioxidants slow brain ageing and fight against oxidative stress, which leads up to neurodegenerative diseases. Blueberries have also been known to improve memory!
#4 Strengthening immunity
Strengthening the immune system is vital for infants. Being so young, their immune systems are not as well-developed, putting them at risk of infections that adults easily fend off. Dried fruits are rich in nutrients that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. Apricots and cranberries are foods rich in Vitamin C, the magical nutrient that boosts immune systems.
#5 Strengthening bones
Dried fruits such as figs have shown positive effects on maintaining bone health. Figs are not only an interesting shape and texture but also contain many essential nutrients. Half a cup of dried figs has 121 milligrams of calcium, a nutrient commonly associated with milk. Eating figs could be a good replacement for those lactose intolerant babies!
A Word Of Caution
#1 Choking hazard
As with all foods, dried fruits can be a potential choking hazard for babies and toddlers. Ensure that your dried fruits are cut up into little pieces, or you can even try adding the powdered versions of dried fruits to your child’s meals. What’s best is that this is extremely simple too!
How to make dried fruit powder
- Ensure your fruits are almost fully dehydrated. Find out more about how to fully dehydrate your fruits here! Freeze the dehydrated fruit overnight. We really love the vibrant colour of cranberries and apricots.
- Blend the frozen fruit until it turns into powder. If you are using a weaker blender, this step will take more time.
- Optional: Sift the powdered dried fruit if you desire a finer texture.
It is always better to err on the side of caution. Before incorporating dried fruits into your child’s diet, make sure to introduce them to small pieces of the fruits before giving them more. If your child does not experience any allergic reaction to the fruits, you know that you can start to give them dried fruits with more peace of mind. Happy and healthy babies are the best!
Add Dried Fruits To Your Child’s Diet Today!
This article has covered the key benefits and things to look out for when beginning to incorporate dried fruits into your baby’s diet. We hope you agree with us when we say that the benefits are immense. Try out our dried fruits here today!