Babies are the most wonderful thing, and their arrival changes the whole scenario in a family. The new parents and especially mothers get advice regarding the baby’s diet and the do’ and don’ts. There is a list of the best foods that should be given to the baby out of which corn is not shown so much o importance. Corn is really tasty and they are really healthy however they do not make it to all the babies list as some think it can choke the kids. So let us discuss if they are good, the right time to give it to the kids, the benefits associated with its consumption, the correct way to select corns, correct method of cooking, precautions required before cooking corns as well as the recipes ideal for giving corn to the baby.
Corns for babies:
In many parts of the world, corn is even referred to as maize. It is a yummy food which is known for its mouth-watering taste, bright yellow colour as well as high protein value. Due to such benefits, one would want it to be given to the child as early as possible but it is advisable to talk to the doctor before introducing corn to the baby as it can lead to severe allergies. It is even of importance to know that corn should only be given to the baby once the teeth begin to show else there are chances of it to get stuck or even result in choking.
Types of corn
There are five types of corns
- Dent Corn: Also known as field corn and the color range from yellow to white. Its starch content is relatively high. It is more often than not used to feed animals. However, it is also used in processed foods and industrial products.
- Sweet Corn: Sweet corn is so named as it has higher natural sugar content than the other types of corn. Sweet corn is picked before it is matured, prior to the sugar gets an opportunity to convert into starch. It can be consumed directly rather than being added to food. Sweet corn should be eaten without delay after being picked. This is because 50% of the sugar in the corn will turn to starch after 24 hours.
- Flint Corns: Flint corns have not as much of soft starch as the dent corn, and therefore are relatively harder corns. It is used for similar purposes as dent corn. It is grown in Central and South America. The color ranges from white to red.
- Flour Corn: Flour corn has a soft, starch-filled, kernel that is easy to grind. It is used in baked food items. It is mostly white in color.
- Popcorn: Pop corn is a type of flint corn, which is soft and starchy on the inside and is enclosed in a very hard exterior shell. When heated, moisture inside the kernel turns to steam and pops up. Other types of corn can also pop to some degree, but not to the same extent as popcorn
Are Corns good for babies?
Corn is great and wonderful food yet not a feasible option to be given in the list of first solid foods. It has a good protein and carbohydrate value and can even be called as the energy giving food, yet lacks few nutrients. There are possibilities of allergies and indigestion issues being reported, which is why it is considered safe only to offer it to the baby once they are about one year old. In case there has been any history in the family of any allergies due to the consumption of corn, it is best to wait until the baby can withstand it. In case of any signs of eczema with the baby, it is best not to offer corn to the baby until the medical practitioner gives a go-ahead.
Let us have a look at the table given below which depicts the goodness of corn for the babies.
Corn is undoubtedly a nourishing grain that has good fiber content that helps with digestion. It even has Vitamin C, Magnesium, Thiamine, folate and phosphorus.
Nutritional Value of Corn
When to introduce Corns to a baby?
It is ideal to wait till around six months or more before introducing corn to the baby. This is because the baby has already started taking solids. In order to prevent any allergies to take place, more beneficial is to wait until the baby becomes a year old as by then the digestive system of the baby starts developing. Consumption of corn no doubt helps with digestion, yet initially, it is difficult to digest the same. It is rather advisable to speak to medical experts before introducing and clear all doubts regarding offering corn to the babies.
Side effects of corn in babies
The natural sugars in corn can transform into starch very fast. Therefore, corns are not considered very healthy for babies. Babies are more prone to side effects of corns which includes;
Corn allergies are apparently due to the protein, Lipid transfer protein (LPD), present in corn kernels. This protein can remain intact even after processing or heating the corn. Both corn and corn-based products can generate allergic reactions like eczema and allergic rhinitis in babies.
The signs of Corn allergy in babies include:
- Developing skin rashes
- Asthmatic signs
- Stomach cramps
- Stuffy or runny nose
Unlike allergies, intolerance happens as a result of digestive issues and will disappear once you stop giving your baby corn or corn products.
The signs of corn intolerance include
- Stomach pain
5 health benefits of Corns for your baby
There are many benefits that a baby gets on consumption of corn but it should be offered in sufficient amount initially to know if the baby likes it and even study its reactions on the baby’s body. Let us study its health benefits as undermentioned:
- Body growth and development-Corn which is enriched with B complex, Thiamine, Niacin and folate helps in the development of nerves and boosts the metabolism, helping with new cell development.
- Protects body cells-Corn helps in the protection of body cells due to the antioxidants that are found in it. The antioxidants help with DNA damage and also protects the tissues.
- Improves Digestion-Due to the rich fiber content, corn is often called a great laxative. Its consumption can help if the baby has signs of constipation. In order to relieve one from constipation, it is advisable to offer corn products like corn seeds or even whole cornflour.
- Good vision and Skin-Loaded with vitamin A, corn is also a source of beta-carotene that offers good eyesight and vision and is even beneficial for the baby’s skin.
- Improves muscles and nerve functions- Corn is a good source of phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, and iron. While phosphorous is vital for the bone health; potassium and magnesium are essential for the function of muscles and nerves. Iron helps to boost the brain development of the baby.
How to select Corns for babies?
If observed that the baby is fine with the consumption of corn, and is not showing any allergic reactions or symptoms, it is a good idea to add it to their list of foods. However, there are few tips one needs to keep in mind before selecting the best corn available in the market and they are:
- Always select fresh corn over the canned ones as they are healthier.
- The corn kernels should be shining, round and fleshy.
- It is best to select corn which has the husk attached to it as the husk protects the corn from the heat of the sun.
- In case allowed, check the quality of the corn by peeling the husk back and touch the tip as well as the kernels to ensure it is healthy and firm.
- The brown threads should be ideally very sticky if the corn is fresh.
- In case fresh corn is not available, one can even buy frozen corn as an option, however, ensure it gets consumed faster.
- In case buying a canned corn, ensure there is no added sugar to it by checking its ingredients.
How to cook Corns for babies?
In order to cook the corn, firstly the husk should be removed and then drop it into the salted water in order to get rid of the germs. After that, the kernels can be removed and pureed or added to the dish as per the child’s preference. Corn, sometimes cannot get pureed completely so it is best to even sieve it once even after pureeing.
The corn can even be grilled, steamed as well as microwaved.
Precautions to take while feeding Corns for babies:
- The corn kernels might lead to choking, so wait until the baby becomes a year old till you offer solid corns.
- The nutritional value of the canned corn is less in compared to the fresh ones so prefer fresh over canned one.
- Consume the corn as soon as it is bought so that it does not spoil. In case not used keep it refrigerated as that can slow down the sugar to the starch conversion process.
- The initial introduction to the corn should be with a creamed corn as it is easy to digest by the baby’s system.
Corns recipes for a baby:
The most useful ingredient that can be served in a multitude of ways is corn. Right from making a soup, to porridge, fritters or puree, or even adding fruits and vegetables to get different delicacies, all are different ways to keep the preparation ready in order to make it edible as well as tasty.
Let us study the recipe of corn Puree.
Corn Puree Recipe
Ingredients: One whole cob of sweet corn, one teaspoon of water, little breast milk or formula milk that the child takes.
- Remove the kernels from the cob using a knife.
- Add them to a pot of hot and boiling water and leave until they become soft.
- Now add water or mother’s milk or even formula to prepare a puree.
- More water can be added to the same to get a thinner consistency.
Thus, it can be seen that corn undeniably has great benefits for ones’ well being yet if not introduced at the right time and in proper quantity to the diet of the baby can lead to unfavourable consequences which could be a worry for all.