Ladies’ Finger 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.

Ladies' Finger For Babies

Ladies Finger, also known as Okra possesses a good number of health benefits for babies. It contains vitamins, minerals, and other antioxidants which are necessary for the growth and development of babies. Ladies finger for babies contains dietary fiber that reduces the occurrence of constipation. This is a popular vegetable in tropical countries. Ladies’ finger is an excellent source of nutrients, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, calcium, potassium, enzymes, etc.

This popular vegetable is extensively available in warm countries such as Asia, and Africa. Okra is filled with vitamins A, B, C, and K and is also low in calories. These nutrients help the baby’s body by strengthening their bones and joints and also help in smooth digestion processes. It accelerates brain power and boosts immunity.

In This Article

What is Ladies’ Finger(Okra)?

Ladies’ finger, also known as okra, is a type of green vegetable which is nutritious and looks just like that of a long finger. It has a small tip at the tapering end. It also has a head that looks like a bulge and is a lighter shade of green. This part is removed as it is not edible or cannot be cooked.

When this okra is cut from in-between, it shows white-colored round seeds which are spread entirely inside this vegetable. But one thing which makes this vegetable a little messy is the sticky part inside. The lady’s finger can be cut into small round pieces or it can also be sliced into half. The taste of this vegetable depends on the varied methods of cooking, and it is generally liked by babies.

When Can You Introduce Ladies’ Finger to Your Baby?

Introduce Ladies' Finger to Your Baby

While babies are ready for solid foods at 6 months, not all vegetables, fruits and other items can be introduced immediately. Some foods should be introduced at a later stage as they are difficult to digest while others carry the risk of choking.

Ladies’ finger can be introduced at the 8th month for most babies. The small round white seeds can be a choking hazard and some babies may find the slimy texture unpleasant. When planning to introduce, you can offer ladies’ finger in a curry or a fry form. Simply chop the veggies into rounds, and fry them with a bit of oil till well-cooked.

The best way to analyze whether your baby is ready for solid food or not is by noticing the eagerness in your baby toward solid food. If you see that urge and readiness in them to consume solid foods, then without enough thinking you should introduce a lady’s finger to your baby.

Here are some signs through which you can know whether your baby is eager for solids or not:

  • Your baby seem hungry after having a heavy meal.
  • They open up their mouth and want to eat when you’re having your meal.
  • They sit straight and hold up their head.
  • Your baby seems curious to see the food around them, especially when you’re eating.

[Read : Infant Choking]

Nutritional Value of Ladies’ Finger

Nutrients Value Per 100 g
Protein 1.93 g
Carbohydrates 7.45 g
Calcium 82 mg
Magnesium 57 mg
Potassium 299 mg
Zinc 0.58 mg
Iron 0.62 mg
Phosphorous 61 mg
Sodium 7 mg
Vitamin C 23 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.215 mg
Vitamin A 716 IU
Vitamin K 31.3 ug

Amazing Top 5 Health Benefits of Ladies’ Fingers For Babies

Benefits of Ladies' Fingers For Babies

We cannot neglect the fact that a ladies’ finger has potential health benefits for babies. Mentioned below are some benefits of okra for babies.

1. Excellent For Vision Development

For good eye health, all you need to have in your diet is vitamin A and beta carotene which helps in improvement in eye health. If these nutrients are added to your baby’s diet in advance then they would be enriched with the goodness of it at an early age.

Furthermore, the ladies’ finger is a green vegetable and it consists of a good amount of carotenoids which help in maintaining a good vision.

[Read : Baby’s Vision Development]

2. Fights Anaemia

Anemia is a constant condition seen in some babies and it is important that they are given iron-rich foods that fight anemia and improve the blood count. Ladies’ finger is one vegetable that is rich in iron and helps combat anemia in babies.

3. Excellent Source of Vitamins and Minerals

Ladies’ finger is a green vegetable that contains vitamin A, B, C, E and niacin, folate as well as thiamine. It is also a rich source of minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus which helps in the healthy growth and development of your baby.

A regular intake of ladies’ finger assures that your baby gets the much needed nutrient supply that is vital for their growth and development.

4. Boosts Immunity

Good immunity levels are needed by a baby, especially in their growing years. This would come by making them eat green leafy vegetables which contain vitamin C and this helps in building immunity in babies.

5. Aids in Digestion

Babies who have recently started solids constantly suffer from constipation as their digestive system is still immature and not capable of handling solids. The high fiber content present in ladies’ finger helps fight this constipation, ensures proper digestion and regularizes bowel movement.

How Do You Introduce a Lady’s Finger to Your Baby?

You can introduce ladies’ finger to your baby once they reach the 8th or 9th month. Ladies’ finger is slimy and contains a lot of seeds which may be difficult for babies to eat.

When you decide to introduce this vegetable in your baby’s diet, you can introduce this in a paste form. Cook your ladies’ finger curry like you normally would. Mix it with rice and mash well either in a food processor or a hand blender. You can now feed this ladies’ finger rice mash to your baby.

Precautions to Take While Introducing Ladies’ Finger For Babies

There are a few precautions that need to be taken while introducing ladies’ finger to your baby.

  • Always buy fresh, organic produce whenever possible.
  • Avoid buying pre-cut ladies finger if possible as they carry chances of high contamination.
  • Always offer well-cooked okra to your baby.
  • Make sure that your baby can chew well before introducing ladies’ finger.
  • Talk to your doctor if there is a family history of allergies to okra.
  • Start with small quantities and check for allergies. Once your baby has comfortably eaten and digested small quantities, you can increase their intake.

Are There Any Side Effects of a Lady’s Finger For Babies?

If your baby is allergic to ladies’ finger you may find that your baby may develop one or more of the following reactions after eating the vegetable.

  • Skin rashes and redness
  • Itching
  • Irritation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomachache
  • Indigestion
  • Bloating
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Running nose

Top 2 Healthy and Tasty Ladies’ Finger Recipes For Babies

okra Porridge

There are several methods through which you can make your baby consume okra. A couple of recipes are listed below:

1. Wheat Okra Porridge

This is a very simple recipe that can be ready in just 10 minutes. Firstly add ghee, ginger garlic paste, okra, tomatoes, and split red lentils in a pan and saute for about a minute on low flame. Add some water to it and boil. After that add some wheat flour and cook for another 3-4 minutes. The recipe would be ready in a few minutes.

2. Simple Lady’s Finger Fry

Once your baby is eating well, you can prepare a basic ladies’ finger fry (without adding salt if your baby is less than a year old), mix it with rice and mash everything well.

[Read : Is It Safe To Add Salt To Baby Food?]

FAQ’s

1. Does Lady Finger Cause Gas?

Consuming excessive quantities of ladies’ finger can cause gas in babies since this vegetable consists of fructans which is a type of carbohydrate. Fructans can cause cramping in the stomach, gas, bloating, gas, and diarrhea in babies.

2. Is Ladies’ Finger Hard to Digest?

No, ladies’ finger if cooked well is not hard to digest. Although this is good for digestion. Why? Because it consists of high fiber content which prevents constipation.

3. Does Ladies’ Finger Cause Colds in Babies?

No, this is not true. Lady’s finger is a rich source of vitamin C, and antioxidants and hence this helps in boosting your child’s immunity against cold, cough, and other chronic diseases.

4. Is Ladies’ Finger Good For the Brain?

Okra is the best choice to improve the brain’s health and immunity. This is because it contains phosphorus, omega 3, and omega 6 which help in boosting memory.

Read Also: Drumstick 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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