“Can I give an orange to my baby? ” “When can I give orange juice to my baby? ” – common questions that new parents ask. Orange is a rich citrus fruit and citrus fruits are great for a dozen of reasons! They are loaded with essential nutrients, vitamins & minerals; are great for nutrient absorption; help reduce the risk of heart conditions/stroke/kidney stones; decrease the span of cold; keep the body hydrated and skin glowing; among few popular benefits. Citrus fruits are surprisingly also believed to strengthen your bones. Further below, you will find 9 amazing benefits of oranges for children’s health.
When Can I Give My Baby Orange Juice (or Orange)?
6 months or 1 year or later? Let us understand better:
The stomach of an infant is really sensitive and the citric acid present in oranges might harm the inner lining of the stomach. You can introduce oranges to your baby once she/he turns 6 months old – provided she/he is ready for it. To evaluate the same, start off with a food patch test. If your baby does not show any signs of allergy due to the food patch testing, you can gradually increase the dosage of oranges (or orange juice).
Some babies might be ready for a tiny introduction of oranges once they are 6 months. However, in general practice, it is recommended to wait until they turn 1 year so that their digestive system is developed fully. Babies must be ready to chew the fiber (or else your baby might choke on the fruit) and also handle the citrus content of the fruit. You can give oranges to your 6-month-old baby but if you want to be ultra-sure, you can wait until she/he turns 1 year old.
Precautions While Giving (Orange) Orange Juice for 6-Month-Old Baby
1. If the baby has any family history of orange-allergies, food allergies, acidic allergies, etc., do not feed it. Consider consulting a dietitian/doctor for personal help and suggestions.
2. Remove thick fibers from the orange to ensure you don’t hurt your baby’s jaw or choke the throat.
3. Always start with a food patch test. Give a very small piece (half a teaspoon) of orange to your baby and wait for a day or two, to look for any possible allergic reactions.
4. Allergic reactions could include redness around the mouth, diaper rash, vomiting, nausea, unexplained hives, swelling, wheezing, etc.
5. In case you notice any of the above, rush for medical help immediately.
A little rash or redness around the mouth/lips does not always mean that the baby is allergic to oranges. It could just be a side effect of the high acidic content of the fruit – since your baby is exposed to acidity for the first time. And this indicates that your baby is not too ready for oranges yet. Wait for a few more days/months before giving him/her an orange again.
Amazing Benefits of Oranges for Children
Raw fruits and vegetables are any day better than juice. In the process of juicing, few of the nutrients present in the orange might get lost thus for the full supply of vitamins and minerals, feed your baby the fruit directly instead of juice.
Note – However, do not overdo it. Since raw oranges are a concentrated form of citric acid, it might bombard your baby’s digestive system. You could alter between a few pieces of raw fruit and juice during servings.
Vitamin C is crucial for boosting immunity; acts as a defense against cold, cough, flu, helps collagen synthesis, aids healthy skin and promotes quick recovery of tissues after an injury.
The high antioxidant content in oranges helps in limiting the damage caused by free radicals.
Oranges contain important minerals like Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous, and Potassium. Among all, Potassium is great for heart health.
Oranges contain a whopping 50 variety of flavonoids! Flavonoids lower bad cholesterol, lower triglycerides, steady blood glucose, tame inflammation, and is also believed to protect against cancer.
Loaded of fiber, oranges prevent and treat digestive problems among babies. Example: bloating, diarrhea, constipation, etc. The fiber helps in feeling full for longer. Another benefit of soluble fiber is that it helps to reduce cholesterol.
7. Prevents Cold, Cough, Flu:
They reduce the chances of catching flu, cold, cough. However, note: do not give orange while your baby has already had a respiratory infection. The acidic content might worsen the situation.
8. They don’t spike blood sugar:
Cakes, pastries, chocolates, donuts, ice creams, etc., all tend to increase the sugar levels in the body. Unlike these, oranges are sweet but do not spike up the blood sugar.
Plain water may not be your child’s favorite. Oranges and other citrus fruits are usually made of 80-90% of water – thus a great way of keeping your little one hydrated and naturally glowing!
So now you know the answer to ” can babies eat oranges”. Go ahead and take some sweet pictures of your baby-making funny faces while eating an orange 🙂