Mango may be healthy, but is it OK for baby? Choosing healthy foods for your baby, whether for meal time or snack time, is very important. Your child should have a well balanced diet and be introduced to numerous healthy options to help their taste preferences grow.
During their first year of life, your child needs essential nutrients to grow and develop. While your child receives most of his or her vitamins and minerals through breast milk or formula, it is important they eat solid foods that are also healthy. One healthy option is mangos.
Mangos are a fleshy stone fruit that is generally sweet to taste. Mangos are typically eaten fresh, but they can be used in other recipes, such as preserves or chutneys. Mangos are also used to make juices, smoothies, ice cream, fruit bars and chili sauces.
Can I Give My Baby Mango? Answer: At 8-10 Months
The mango’s peel is very high in antioxidants. Mangos contain a higher level of carotenoids than almost any other fruit. These carotenoids are said to reduce the risk of cancer as well as heart disease. Carotenoids are also believed to be successful in fighting off the common cold.
A Healthy Option
Mangos are low in fat and calories, but very high in fiber, which may help keep your baby regular. They also contain a great amount of nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, folate, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, sodium, zinc, iron, manganese and copper.
Mangos should be added to your child’s diet between eight and ten months of age. Like other tropical fruits, mangos may be allergenic. They are not known to cause life-threatening reactions, and typically cause dermatological reactions. If your baby has an allergic reaction, they will typically have a rash that looks like poison ivy.
The allergen in mangos resides in the skin of the mango and not within the actual fruit itself. Eating the fruit of the mango will not cause a rash in the throat or stomach, but touching the skin of the mango may cause an allergic reaction around the mouth. Some experts say that an allergic reaction to mangos may be found in the form of diaper rash.
When purchasing mangos, choose those that are slightly soft and fragrant. Mangos can be green or reddish orange in color, and the skin should show no signs of bruising. You can place unripened mangos in a brown paper bag on your counter. Once ripe, mangos will keep in the refrigerator for about five days.
When feeding mangos to your baby, there is no need to cook them. Mangos can be pureed or cut into small pieces and served as finger food. There are plenty of recipes out there that are safe and friendly for your baby, many of which can be found in cookbooks or on the Internet.
Before your baby can have small finger foods like mangos, (that is, if you choose to cut them into small pieces rather than mash or puree), your child must be ready for them. Your baby needs to be able to chew, or gum, food and be able to sit up properly.
Your baby will also need to have mastered the pincer grasp, which lets him or her pick up small objects between their thumb and forefinger. Children usually do not master this skill until around nine to twelve months of age. Always make sure you are sitting close to your child while her or she eats in case they do start to choke.
Mangos are very juicy. If you are worried about them being a choking hazard to your child, you can purchase a mesh netted feeder. These feeders allow fruits to be placed inside the net, and your child can then suck on the fruit through the net, minimizing their chances of choking. This way, your child still gets to taste the sweetness of a mango.
When looking for a healthy fruit to give your baby, mangos are a great addition to every child’s diet. Remember that they can be allergenic, and if your child does show an allergic reaction after consuming a mango, be sure to consult your child’s physician.
As always, if you have any questions about introducing mangos to your child’s diet, it is recommended to contact your child’s physician to discuss your concerns.