Apples are one of the most beloved fruits all over the world. Owing to their nutritional value, apples hold a special position in the fruit family, as the saying goes, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’. In the US, apples are the most sold fruits from the shelves. In India, Jammu and Kashmir can be considered to be the apple capital of the country with a contribution rate of 77.71% out of all the states. Jammu produces around 1808.33 tonnes of fruit annually, which just goes on to say a lot about the demand. The health benefits of apples for kids as well as adults are countless. But in this article, let us explore and discuss some of the benefits of boiled apple for babies.
Benefits of Boiled Apple for Babies
Irrespective of how they are consumed, raw or stewed, apples are always healthy. But when you boil the apples for babies, there are some extra benefits that can be reaped.
1. Easy Ingestion
Boiling the apples makes it easy for you to feed recently weaned babies who probably don’t have teeth yet and are just about able to swallow. Boiled apples have amazing benefits when it comes to gut health. When babies have a healthy gut, they can easily absorb the nutrients from the food that they are being fed. They can also digest the food quickly.
2. Improved Gut Flora
The benefits of boiled apple for babies also include repairing and maintaining the health of the intestinal mucosa lining. This takes place due to the fibre pectin that is released during the stewing process. Pectin keeps gut bacteria under control, lowers indigestion, promotes growth of good bacteria in the gut, and helps in the removal of toxins.
3. Fighting Inflammation
When an apple is cooked with the skin on it, it provides quercetin, a polyphenol that has anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Eliminating Constipation
Babies who have recently embarked on the weaning journey can experience constipation in the initial few days or weeks. The digestive system takes time to adapt to the new change. At this time, incorporating more fibre-rich foods into their diet plan will help to bulk up the stools (insoluble fibre) and increase water content (soluble fibre).
How to Boil Apples?
Boiling apples is super easy. You only need 5-6 apples, half a cup of water, some cinnamon powder, and some raisins (optional).
Chop the apples into bite-sized portions with or without the skin. Take a heavy-bottomed pan and put it on medium heat. Add in all the ingredients and cook slowly for around 30 minutes. When the apples are soft and the mixture has attained a gel-like texture, you will know that the boiled apples are ready for consumption.
Stewed apples are the traditional dish that almost all mothers make due to the amazing health benefits of apple for babies. There are a few other recipes that are equally healthy and tasty.
- Apple Colada: For this, you will need homemade apple juice, stewed pineapples, and coconut milk.
- Apple Pear Cinnamon Puree: Once the baby has adjusted to the taste of apple puree, you can take it a notch further and add pears to the mixture.
- Spinach Apple Puree: You can start feeding spinach puree to your baby once he/she has attained the age of 10 months. You can blend spinach leaves and add in the mixture with the apples.
- Apple Oats Porridge: Oats porridge is a common nourishing dish that most babies are fed during their initial weaning period. Make it healthier by adding boiled apples or boiling the apples and porridge together.
- Apple Sooji: Sooji is made from wheat grain and helps in the overall growth and development of the baby due to the presence of B vitamins. Ideally, you can include sooji into your child’s diet after six months (provided you have already introduced weaning to your child). For the dairy aspect of the kheer or porridge, you can use formula, breastmilk, or even cow’s milk. Apple sooji kheer is a simple yet nutritious dish for your baby.
As a fruit, the health benefits of apple for babies or kids are endless. Apples are packed with flavonoids. Feeding apples to the babies can help limit the chances of diarrhoea and constipation – two very common conditions they face. Apples show positive results when it comes to bone health and overall immune system. They also reduce the chances of your baby developing asthma. Feeding apple puree to your baby from time to time will strengthen them from within.