Pomegranate is a tropical fruit that contains loads of edible seeds. Rich in nutrients, pomegranate for babies is a good idea to promote health, right from the growing age. The fruit is rich in Vitamin A, C, K, and E with antioxidant properties that help fight free radicals. It also contains folic acid, potassium, iron, fibre, essential minerals, and Vitamin B complex that is water-soluble.
The high nutritional value makes this fruit a superfood for babies. Make sure to introduce this in the diet of your little one after he or she is 6 months old. Initially, it has to be introduced in the form of juice until your baby is ready to eat solid foods.
How to Give Pomegranate to Toddler?
Since toddlers are able to chew, you can add pomegranate seeds to their diet. When the kids are in the age group of 12 to 18 months, they are just learning to chew. During this period, you should give them pomegranate seeds as they are – that is, without adding the seeds to any other food item. This is because the child would not understand how to chew the seed when mixed in other food items and may accidentally swallow it.
However, when the kids are in the age group of 18 to 24 months, you can add the seeds to custards, salads etc., to give it a crunch. Pomegranate for babies in the form of smoothies or pulp is ideal if they have difficulty chewing.
Pomegranate Juice Benefits for Toddlers and Babies
Pomegranate for babies and toddlers is recommended because of various health benefits that can be derived from the fruit. Your little one can have this fruit in any form – the nutritional intake will be abundant anyway. Given below is a list of health benefits of pomegranate:
1. Reduces inflammation
Ellagatanin, an antioxidant present in pomegranate, has the potential to reduce inflammation by fighting various types of bacterial infections.
2. Protects Babies and Toddlers from Diseases
Vitamin C and E, along with minerals like iron, folate, and potassium, have exceptional properties that protect babies from diseases by boosting immunity.
3. Resolves Digestive Issues
Pomegranate juice is effective in resolving digestive issues like vomiting, diarrhoea, and dysentry. Pomegranate for babies in the form of juice helps in treating digestive issues like dysentery and diarrhoea by fighting the bacteria that cause the issue.
One pomegranate fruit contains about six grams of dietary fibre that is sufficient to treat constipation.
4. Kills Intestinal Worms
Intestinal worms are a common issue in babies. Deworming in babies is done periodically till a certain age. Pomegranate for babies can be one such deworming treatment. Ayurveda says that the anthelmintic properties of the fruit help in killing these parasites that dwell in either the small or large intestine and grow in numbers by feeding on the nutrients.
5. Controls Fever
Pomegranate juice is a good treatment for fevers. It brings down the high temperature in the babies and also replenishes the nutrients lost during the fever. With such promising health benefits, it is ideal to include pomegranate for babies from the age of 6 months.
6. Fights Cold and Cough
Pomegranate for baby cough is a good remedy due to the antioxidant properties of this fruit. For optimum results, prepare pomegranate juice with a dash of pepper and ginger when you want to fight cough and cold.
Pomegranate Puree for Baby
Once you start solid food for your baby, you can introduce pomegranate in the form of puree, preferably after nine months. The seeds of pomegranate are crunchy and most people like to consume them directly. However, for babies, it is recommended to be given in a juice or puree.
Pomegranate can be introduced after six months to the babies in the form of liquid and slowly, when they start feeding on solids, you can introduce the fruit in the form of a puree. Go slow and feed small quantities at the beginning.
Here is how pomegranate puree for baby is made:
- Deseed the pomegranate fruit.
- Use 1 to 8 ounces of water or pomegranate juice.
- Add the fresh seed and water of pomegranate juice to a blender or a food processor.
- Blend it into a fine paste.
- If you are using a blender, you might have to use more liquid.
- Keep adding 1 teaspoon of extra liquid at a time and blend in instalments till all the nibs are broken evenly to make a fine puree.
How to Make Pomegranate Juice for Babies?
Pomegranate juice is the best way to introduce the fruit in the diet of babies after six months. Here is how to make pomegranate juice for babies:
- Deseed the fruit. Collect the seeds and add them to a blender jar.
- Add water and blend in a blender to a fine puree.
- Strain and collect the juice.
Feed the juice in small quantities later in the morning, afternoon, or in the evening. Give some time for your baby to get used to the taste and for the baby’s system to accept the new food. You should check for allergies when you first introduce the fruit to your baby.
Precautions When Giving Pomegranate to Babies
The following precautions should be taken while feeding pomegranate to babies:
- Do not feed seeds to babies. Give them pomegranate only in the juice form till they are ready to feed on solids.
- Avoid the white skin of the fruit while preparing the juice, as it will leave a sour taste.
- Give only 4 to 6 ounces of the juice as overconsumption may cause diarrhoea/nausea.
- Avoid giving the juice before bedtime, as it may create dental issues.
- Do not combine pomegranate with any other food and watch your child’s reaction after introducing either the juice or the pulp in the diet.
Packed with vitamins and minerals, pomegranate for babies is one of the best ways to ensure a healthy diet. Make sure you give it in a form that is age-appropriate and do not overdo it as it may mar the purpose of inclusion in the diet. You can even consult your regular paediatrician before you include the fruit in your baby’s diet.