Strawberries are tasty and attractive, and babies are drawn to it quickly because of its juicy and sweet taste. When babies are old enough for strawberry, then baby led weaning strawberries should be on your baby’s meal menu. Strawberries are rich in nutrient and a good source of Vitamin C, fiber, Anthocyanins, Quercetin, etc.
Baby led weaning is a self-feeding idea where parents allow their babies to feed themselves from a sliced/smashed strawberry or even strawberry puree placed before them. Strawberry is low in sugar and fat and added to a wide range of dishes. Give your kids strawberry for a meal or snack, rather than buying them some biscuits or any other processed food in the supermarket. It’s the best choice you can make to prevent obesity and other health problems.
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Baby Led Weaning Strawberries
Baby led weaning strawberries are one of baby’s first foods recipes ideas. When parents decide to proceed with baby led weaning strawberries, they should be mindful of three aspects: size, eating comfort, and texture.
Texture: baby led weaning strawberries should be soft enough to smash even with gentle pressure. Therefore, steam strawberries first to soften them before given to your baby.
Size: baby led weaning strawberries size also matters, both for safety (to avoid chocking) and easy picking of the food. If your baby is unable to pick up the food, what is the point then? Since a whole lot of 7 or 8 month-olds can’t pick food correctly, but holding foods with their entire palm. Cut foods in a rectangular form about the span and size of a grownup pinky finger to make it much easier to grab.
Ease and eating comfort: making it easy for babies to able to pick strawberries to feed themselves is essential. For certain foods, the use of a crinkle cutter can also be beneficial.
Nutrients in Strawberry
Strawberries are abundant in the following nutrients and are very beneficiary to your baby’s health:
- Ellagic acid
- Vitamin C
This fortified micro nutrient with anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties. In addition, they work as antioxidants that fights free radicals. An anthocyanin-fortified substance has long been used in herbal medicine to treat various disorders (as well as HBP, UTIs and colds). Recent work indicates that anthocyanins can also help prevent significant health problems, including heart disease and cancer.
2. Ellagic acid
Ellagic acids are micronutrient found in fruits and vegetables. Ellagic acid is known for its antioxidant properties that removes toxins from your body and protects against harmful molecules known as free radicals. In addition to its antioxidant benefits, ellagic acid has shown its ability to fight cancer, inflammation, obesity, and other diseases.
Fruits, vegetables, and grains have quercetin a natural pigment present in them. It has antioxidants and plays a vital role in helping your body combat free radicals, which they linked to chronic diseases. Besides its antioxidant properties, they help to reduce inflammation, allergy symptoms, and blood pressure.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C contains antioxidants that can strengthen your body’s natural defenses. An antioxidant can boost the immune system. They do so by protecting cells from harmful molecules called free radicals. These free radicals are known to link to many chronic diseases.
Studies show that blood levels of antioxidants increases by 30% when more vitamin C when consumed. Vitamin C helps the body’s natural defenses fight inflammation. In persons living with or without high blood pressure, Vitamin C can lower blood pressure.
There are fibers found in fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts. Fiber can help you live longer. By increasing fiber in your diet, it will considerably improve or prevent health conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and various digestion problems, like constipation, colon cancer, and diverticulitis, etc.
Strawberry’s Health Benefits
We always want the best for our babies as good parent, particularly when they are very young. Strawberries come with many benefits and one of the best choices for your children.
1. Care for the Eyes
The Vitamin C found in strawberry help to improve and take care of children’s eyes. Vitamin C protects children’s eyes from free radicals, which are the only significant cause of eye-related issues. Additionally, it the job of vitamin C to help strengthen the cornea and retina
2. Fights Scurvy
Strawberry is great source of Vitamin C; they provide excellent protection for your baby against a childhood disease known as scurvy. When kids lack vitamin C in their diet, it leads to the problem of the teeth, so adding strawberry in your children’s diet can help avert this problem.
3. Improve Immunity
Quercetin and Vitamin C in strawberries serve as an immunity booster, improving your children’s immunity system against diseases. Strawberries have been found to protect children from health difficulties like influenza, bronchitis or anemia and other terrible diseases triggered due to a weak immune system. One cup of strawberries has about 150% of vitamin C required by children’s daily needs; include strawberries in your child’s daily meal should not be neglected.
4. Anti-cancer properties.
Strawberry is a rich source of micro nutrients like quercetin, anthocyanins, etc., which are known for destroying cancer-cell and also preventing their growth. Ellagic acids found in strawberry have anti-cancer properties that reduce cancer cell growth. They join forces to form good protection against the growth of cancer and tumors cells
5. Improve Digestive system
Fibers found in strawberry can better or improve digestion in babies. This fiber can reduce high cholesterol, diabetes in the body. A fiber deficiency in kids can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea or tummy pain.
6. Reduces High Cholesterol
Strawberry is very rich in phytonutrients, like flavonoids and Ellagic acids, which help to prevent any kind of heart disease in kids, as well as reducing the risk of having high cholesterol.
7. Promotes Brain Health
Strawberry improves children’s brain health. Every parent wants their kids to be intelligent, smart. To improve and better your kid’s brain functionality gives your children strawberries. Researchers have found out that it is far benefiting to feeds children strawberries than any other food supplement.
8. Good Source of Calcium and Phosphorus
Calcium is vital for bone development in a child. It also helps in the functioning of the heart, muscles, and nerves. Phosphorous can improve digestion, help repair cells, break down protein, and is responsible for regulating the chemical reactions that transpire in children’s bodies.
How to prepare Baby Led Weaning Strawberries
1: Select & Buying
When buying strawberries from the farmer market or supermarket, it is better to select and buy those that are ripe. An even red color without any green or white marks, is how a ripe strawberries should appear.
Look for fruits that are free from scratches, bruises, and other blemishes when you buy fresh strawberries. As strawberry are one such foods with higher residue of pesticides, but purchasing organic strawberries is the best.
2: Strawberries Should be Wash & Slice
Strawberries for baby led weaning should be washed properly with water three times and finally with white vinegar to kill bacteria.
Dry immediately after Rinsing with cool running water. Remove the stem and cut each strawberry in half, and remove the stems where there are any.
3: Steam the Strawberries
Gather the sliced strawberries and place the fruit in a steamer and cook for 4 – 5 minutes. Drain strawberries and rinse with cold water for three minutes in a colander to stop the cooking process. Empty strawberries into a strainer then rinse with cold water for about three minutes to halt the cooking process.
4: Chop the Strawberries
Slice strawberries further into small sizes or width of an adult pinky finger, depending on the desirable size safe for your baby. Mash the strawberries with a potato masher for chunkier strawberry puree, which is perfect for babies at eight months or more.
5: Serve Strawberry
In Baby led weaning strawberries, the sliced or mashed strawberries placed in smaller plates or bowl suitable for babies. To make meal fun and colorful, strawberries can be served along with sliced apple, avocado, pear, and other fruits.
Can Strawberries be given to Children?
You may be wondering if it is safe to give your baby strawberries. Before you introduce any new foods to your baby, it’s essential to check with a pediatrician.
Embarking on Baby led Strawberries is good and healthy for your baby, as long as the strawberries are cut into small, manageable pieces (one that baby can easily hold on to) and won’t cause choking.
The best time to start solid foods is around 6 – 7 months, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). By that age, most babies can now sit up by themselves and hold onto objects.
They have also developed the ability to spite out foreign substances out of their mouths (tongue-thrust reflex). Their intestines have developed the necessary digestive enzymes to break-down solid food.
No matter how healthy and tastier strawberries are, parents should be careful when adding strawberries to baby led weaning menu.
Strawberries have been discovered to caused allergic reaction to some babies. For safety, parents should give strawberries to babies that are a year old and above. History of allergies in the family also should be taken into consideration.
It’s essential to contact a pediatric experienced in children’s diet before you do Baby Led Weaning strawberries with your baby. Most importantly, keep this in mind:
- Make sure your baby is ready, and not too early to start.
- Is your baby old enough to sit down?
- Avoid placing food in baby’s mouth with your fingers.
- Present meals to your baby in a clean and calm environment.
- Check the texture of food between your tongue and top of your mouth before presenting them to your baby.
- Make sure you continuously keep an eye on your baby when eating.
Parents need to consult a pediatrician for guidance and safety tips before embarking on baby led weaning strawberries. Strawberries could be allergic to some babies; knowing your family history with strawberries is essential.
Other than that, strawberries are healthy foods for babies, and they protect against disease and other health problems.