Parents are thrilled to see a baby eating well and all their efforts are in the direction to make him eat, especially fruits and vegetables. It is a treat to see the baby their bites, but as parents, one needs to be choosy and decide what should be given to the babies. There are many kinds of fruits that are available in the market, but it always a good choice to be wise and see which fruits are healthy and good for babies. Out of the list that one makes, watermelon should certainly be one of them. It is the only fruit which has 93% water content and a plethora of health benefits as well.
Let us know the benefits of watermelon, the process of selection it, the process of storing and feeding, watermelon recipes, etc.
Benefits Of Watermelon For Babies
Watermelon is no doubt a good choice due to its high-water content. Apart from the rich color and the taste, its soft texture, an easy to eat fruit, there are several other reasons as well for it making to the list of a must be given fruit to the babies. This fruit is a powerhouse of nutrition and some of its health benefits are listed as below:
- It Regulates The Water Levels: This fruit has 93% water and helps in prevention of dehydration and an ideal choice for the summers as it comprises of electrolytes that can help in the reduction and prevention of heat strokes.
- Ideal For The Health Of Heart: This fruit comprises of antioxidants that can help in the reduction of asthmatic attacks and helps to keep the heart health.
- Boosts Immunity: This fruit has a high vitamin C content and it is good for the babies as it helps to build stronger immunity, increases the production of red blood cells as well as hemoglobin by absorbing iron.
- It Helps To Improve Vision: This fruit has a good quantity of Vitamin A that is excellent for improving the eyesight of the babies. Apart from this it even gives strong teeth, soft tissues, healthy skin, etc.
- Bone Growth: The watermelon also has a good amount of manganese and calcium that result in stronger teeth and good bone development.
- It Is Dense With Vitamin D: This fruit has a variety of vitamins that results in many advantages. These help in the production of the red blood cells and helps to develop the nervous system, make the immunity stronger, improves the protein level and controls the metabolism and carbohydrate.
- Assists With Digestion: This has some percent of fiber as well that is good for a healthy digestive system, as it a good remedy for constipation and keeps bowel movement in control.
100 grams of watermelon carries 30 calories. It has zero fat and no sodium as well. It is rich in vitamin C. Actually it provides 14% of daily needed vitamin C. It is also rich in vitamin A and can provide 11% of DV of Vitamin A. It also provides 1% DV of both calcium and iron. Other nutrients include in 10 grams of watermelon are:
- Carbohydrate: 7.6 grams
- Dietary Fiber: 0.4 grams
- Sugar: 6.2 grams
When Can Babies Eat Watermelon?
Watermelons should be given to the babies when they are eight to ten months in age. Even though food is introduced to babies when they are six months old but watermelon at this age is not a very good idea as the child cannot eat it well as its too fleshy and there are chances they might not like it. It is slightly grainy with lots of juice in it, making it difficult for the child to eat himself.
Babies who are sensitive can even get body irritation and rashes in case they consume these as it is acidic in nature. If the baby experiences a runny nose, diarrhea, and vomiting after its consumption, it indicates that the baby is allergic to watermelons. Due to being acidic in nature, the baby’s gastrointestinal system at times cannot absorb the fructose the fruit has. It is thus best to consult a pediatrician before starting any new foods for the baby.
How To Select Watermelon?
This is one of the fruits that is subjected to the least contamination, yet one should keep certain points in mind while buying the watermelon. There are certain things one needs to be careful about while selecting the watermelon, and some of them are:
- The watermelon which is heavier and is smooth is a full-grown one.
- A watermelon that is ripe gives a hollow sound when one taps.
- If watermelon has cuts, spots or black marks, it is an indication it is a rotten one.
- If the watermelon is a fully ripe one, the base should be creamy or yellow in color.
- The fresh watermelons are very juicy, healthy as well as crunchy.
- It is not a good idea to buy frozen, pre-cut or canned watermelons as there are more chances of it being contaminated.
How To Store And Feed Watermelon To Babies?
Babies are very sensitive and so as parents need to be cautious and know the right steps to store and even the correct way to feed the babies. Following these steps will ensure that babies get properly stored watermelons and feeding them the right way will also keep them healthy.
Given below are some of the points that can be followed, and they are:
- The fruit should be cut in small portions, without seeds and then given to the little one.
- The watermelon should be cut and kept in air-tight boxes in a refrigerator, but the babies should be given only fruits at room temperature so that they do not catch a cold.
- The pieces of watermelon are much better than any juice as juices are detrimental for dental hygiene.
- Babies can be given mashed watermelons or mixed with other foods like carrots, chicken blueberries, yogurt, avocados, etc.
- Watermelon is loaded with many seeds which if consumed by mistake can lead to choking. It is thus important to always deseed the fruit and then give it the babies.
- Always feed the baby when he is sitting upright.
Watermelon Recipes For Babies
Watermelon is a juicy fruit and generally loved by all. Here are some easy and simple watermelon recipes for babies:
1. Watermelon Puree
- Cut watermelon into slices after de-seeding them.
- Any other food can be added with the watermelon, by doing this baby gets to taste of different flavors as well. Other foods can be mango, banana, or avocado.
- All the watermelon slices can be blended in a puree form.
- This puree cannot be frozen as thawed puree can taste bad.
2. Watermelon Salad
- Mix 1 sliced banana, 1 diced peach, and ½ cup cube watermelon in a deep bowl.
- Mash all of these to be able to make them as finger foods.
- A little yogurt can be added to the mix as well.
3. Watermelon Soup
- Combine unsweetened ¼ cup apple juice, ¼ cup vegetable stock, and 1 tbsp natural yogurt.
- Shake over a pinch of cinnamon if needed
4. Watermelon Juice
- Puree 1 cup cut and de-seeded watermelon.
- Stain and squeeze the juice from the flesh of the watermelon.
- Feed this juice to the baby.
5. Berry Melon Punch
- Mix 1 cup de-seeded, diced watermelon with 1 tsp lemon juice, 2 chopped strawberries, and 1 tbsp sugar syrup.
- Put all of these in the blender and mix well by adding little water.
6. Watermelon Smoothie
- Add 1 cup chopped and chilled watermelon, ½ cup banana slices, 1 tbsp vanilla ice cream, and 2 tbsp coconut milk.
- Add all these to the Blender/juicer and make a smoothie.
Thus, it is important to serve watermelon to the babies once they are more than 8 months or when they are ready to but with a lot of attention as the seeds can be a cause of choking hazard as well as the allergies that are related to it. Watermelon is indeed a healthy food and a great choice to be given to the babies, but it is always recommended to seek the guidance of a doctor.