Ash Gourd For Babies – When to Introduce, Benefits and Precautions

6 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.

Ash Gourd For Babies

Do you wish to know what the benefits of eating Ash gourd for babies are? If so, this article covers all of it, plus, it elaborates on the precautions that you need to take while feeding it to your little one. Ash gourd is a watery fruit which is full of healthy vitamins and minerals. Parents who wish to serve it to their baby before 10 months of age can do it – but they’ll have to pay a visit to a pediatrician first.

Ash gourd or winter melon offers phenomenal boons to the brain. It boosts memory and concentration. Thus, your baby will be able to learn things better. That means while you do activities like reading aloud to your baby, they will be able to focus better. Further, too much feeding of ash gourd is not good for a baby’s body. It may give rise to some side effects.

In This Article

Is Ash Gourd Safe For Babies?

Ash gourd will nourish your baby with plenty of nutrients. The goodness of dietary fiber protects infants from annoying problems such as constipation. Ash gourd carries many vitamins in it – C, E, K, B1, B2 and B6. Aside from that, folate and healthy minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper, iron and zinc are going to lend a helping hand in your darling’s sound growth and development.

There is no doubt that ash gourd for babies is super beneficial. However, because of its taste, your baby may make a mean face at this fruit. Thus, you will have to make delicious Ash gourd recipes for your little one. Moreover, wait for your baby to get a bit bigger – a 10-month-old baby can start eating Ash gourd.

When Can You Introduce Ash Gourd to Your Baby?

You can introduce ash gourd to your baby once they have gotten comfortable with eating and digesting other easy-to-digest solids such as poha, banana, mashed dal, etc. This way you will know that your baby’s digestive system is mature enough to handle solids. You can introduce ash gourd to your little one at around the 8th to 9th month mark after taking the advice of your pediatrician.

Nutritional Value of Ash Gourd

Ash gourd is 96% water, and the nutrient portion is less but offers great variety and benefits. Following is the nutritional value of a 3.5-ounce (100 grams) piece of Ash gourd.

Nutrients Value
Calories 13
Fibre 3 grams
Carbs 3 grams
Protein below 1 gram
Fat below 1 gram
Vitamin C 14% of the DV(daily value)
Zinc 6% of the DV
Riboflavin 8% of the DV

Furthermore, vitamin E, K, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, copper, calcium, zinc and iron are also present in smaller quantities.

Amazing Top 5 Health Benefits of Ash Gourd For Babies

Health Benefits of Ash Gourd For Babies

Ash gourd for babies is a well-known fruit that offers tremendous benefits. Here is the list of 5 amazing benefits that your baby is going to reap after you start giving them Ash gourd.

1. Maintains Eye Health

Do you know that the insufficient intake of riboflavin or vitamin B2 can lead to eye disorders? Therefore, feeding ash gourd is a great way to take care of your baby’s vitamin B2 requirements. By simply serving ash gourd in the form of various recipes, you can meet a significant portion of the daily intake of this vital vitamin. Moreover, the potent antioxidants in this fruit ensure that your infant’s eyes are completely healthy.

2. Strengthens Immunity

The presence of vitamin C in food is beneficial for the immune system. This vitamin is extremely important for helping the body to create white blood cells. It also plays a major role in producing collagen – required for repairing bones, muscles, tissues, blood vessels and cells. And the fruit has a substantial portion of zinc which is also needed for a robust immune system.

3. Enhances Brain Function

The mineral iron helps your baby’s body to get a healthy supply of blood from head to toe. Moreover, iron has a remarkable role in the creation of red blood cells. Thus, your infant’s brain receives a healthy supply of fresh and oxygenated blood. This contributes to the natural development of the brain and in turn, increases your baby’s memory and concentration. It will help their learning process!

4. Prevents Constipation

Dietary fiber makes the stool soft so that babies don’t have a bad poop time. It eases bowel movements which prevents the occurrence of stomach issues and constipation. In traditional medicine, ash gourd has been harnessed as a diuretic. It cleanses all the harmful toxins and detoxifies the body. The unnecessary fats, toxins, water and salts slip away while your baby urinates or poops. Other than that, the liver and kidney begin to function at their peak.

5. Improves Energy Levels and Heart Health

Vitamin B2 adds strength to your infant’s metabolism. This vitamin ensures that your baby’s body gets nourishment and energy from the foods that you’re feeding them. In addition, it balances the hormones and helps your baby to stay energetic.

Other nutrients like potassium and Vitamin C keep a check on their cardiovascular well-being. The tension in the blood vessels gets reduced and the heart stays very healthy.

Precautions to Take While Introducing Ash Gourd to Babies

Precautions giving ash gourd

Before you start giving ash gourd to your baby, keep these simple things in mind.

  1. Always start with pureed ash gourd when introducing it to your baby for the first time.
  2. While purchasing an ash gourd, make sure its surface is smooth and has no blemishes.
  3. .A fresh and ripened one is easy to cook.  Never buy an old Ash gourd – it can result in indigestion
  4.  You should check if the ash gourd has dark green spots on it. That’s a good sign of freshness. And if the skin color of the Ash gourd is a bit whitish, it’s a good sign – it has properly ripened.
  5. Store this ash gourd in your refrigerator if you want to feed it to your baby later. However, wait for the ash gourd to come to room temperature before you cut it open and make recipes out of it.
  6. If you want to store a slice of ash gourd in the fridge, wrap something over it to ensure there’s no loss of nutrients.
  7. Peel off the hard skin and remove the seeds.
  8. Steam the ash gourd only because the benefits will get reduced if it’s cooked.
  9. Give two tablespoons of ash gourd puree or mash to your infant and wait for a few days – visit a pediatrician if some side effects or problems show up. Three days of waiting should be enough for the second feeding.

Are There Any Side Effects of Ash Gourd For Babies?

Like every food, ash gourd intake for babies must be limited to ensure no harmful effects due to oveating. Here are a few side effects ash gourd for babies

1. Stomach-Related Issues

Since your baby is getting exposed to new foods for the first time in their life, they may some foods difficult to digest leading to problems such as gas, stomach ache, colic etc. The same applies to ash gourd. It is important to start low and slow, observe your baby’s affinity for the vegetable and slowly increase the quantity. Some babies, in rare cases, may develop nausea and diarrhea.

2. Allergies

While allergic reaction to ash gourd is rare, you must watch out for any symptoms such as rashes, itching, hives, sneezing, running nose. etc when giving ashgourd to your baby.

Top 3 Healthy and Tasty Ash Gourd Recipes For Babies

Poosanikai Kootu

There are a couple of yummy ash gourd recipes that your little one will love.

1. Ash Gourd Puree

Steam the ash gourd properly and blend it in a mixture to prepare ash gourd puree.

2. Poosanikai Kootu

Blend ash gourd with coconut paste together with pressure-cooked mung dal. Make a puree or mash from this mixture.

3. Ash Gourd Apple Puree

Puree the steamed ash gourd with apple and let your baby enjoy the delicious mixture.

If you’ve ever tasted a cucumber, you’ll instantly know after eating the ash gourd that the two taste a bit alike. Therefore, it’s very easy to mix ash gourd with other foods – ash gourd doesn’t have much of its own taste. Lastly, remember that ash gourd for babies should be served in a limited amount, otherwise it may harm them.

FAQ’s

1. Is Ash gourd Good For Babies?

Yes. Due to its high fiber content, easily digestible nature, and ability to prevent constipation, ash gourd is among the excellent foods for babies.

2. Can a 6 Month Old Baby Eat Ash Gourd?

It’s generally not advisable. You can start it at around the 10th month mark. However, if your pediatrician has checked your baby and has given a thumbs up to this vegetable, then, you can serve them.

3. How Do I Introduce Ash Gourd to My Baby?

Always steam ash gourd before you give it to your infant. This is because boiling or cooking it will drastically reduce the nutritional value.

Read Also: Cauliflower For Babies – When to Introduce, Benefits, and Precautions

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Aparna Hari,MBA in Marketing,P.G. Diploma in Human Resource Management from IGNOU Bachelor of Sciences (Home Science) from Nagarjuna University

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.

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