Wondering when can you give your baby raisins? Starting solid foods is a huge milestone in every baby’s life. They are finally separated from breast milk or formula and introduced to sweets and bland tastes as well as soft and hard textures.
Feeding a baby solid foods can be tricky at first, as you want to make sure your child is introduced to fruits, vegetables and meats and has started eating them for meals.
When it comes time for your baby to start solid foods, usually between the ages of four and six months, it is also time to think about healthy snacks as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner. One healthy snack that parents often wonder about feeding their children is raisins.
Raisins are dried grapes that may be eaten raw or used in cooking, baking and brewing. There are many raisin varieties that are dependent on what sort of grape is used. Raisins are also made in a variety of sizes and colors, including green, black, blue, purple and yellow. Most of the raisins sold in mass quantities are sun-dried, but there are also those that are water-dipped and even dehydrated, and they can contain seeds or be seedless.
Can I Give My Baby Raisins? Answer: Wait Until They’re a Toddler
Raisins are a great snacking food because they are very high in nutrients. While low in both fat and cholesterol, raisins are high in potassium and iron. They also contain calcium, manganese, zinc and fiber, and like prunes and apricots, raisins are also high in certain antioxidants, including resveratrol, which has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and blood cholesterol lowering activities.
Raisins are also gluten free and have a decent amount of some of the Vitamin B complex vitamins, such as riboflavin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, and thiamin. Eating too many raisins, though, may lead a child to have diarrhea, and pureed raisins may help alleviate constipation.
Not at First
When a baby is just starting solids, raisins should be avoided because they are small and hard and could pose as a choking hazard. Before your baby can have small finger foods like raisins, they 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.
If you want to add raisins to your child’s diet, consider adding raisins to foods your child already enjoys. One of the ways that you can safely add raisins is to make them plump by putting them into a hot liquid. This softens them up and allows you to slice them up and put them in cereals, oatmeal, or baked goods. Raisins can also be cooked in water then pureed to make a delicious spread for bread or other similar treats..
Another reason raisins should be avoided is because they are high in natural sugars, mainly fructose and glucose, and can stick to your baby’s teeth. While the sugars found in raisins is less harmful to your child than the sucrose sugars found in candy and sweets, the sugars in raisins are not entirely harmless.
However, new research by California Raisin Marketing Board and presented by the American Society of Microbiology has shown that raisins contain certain antioxidants that may prevent tooth decay. If your older child does eat raisins, make sure to brush his or her teeth carefully afterwards.
Raisins are best for children over the age of two who have completely mastered chewing. Even at this age, raisins should be cut into small pieces to minimize their choking hazard.
A More Advanced Food
So while raisins are a healthy snack rich with essential vitamins and minerals, they are best to be avoided until your child is in his or her toddler years and has mastered chewing. When deciding on finger foods for your baby, stick with small pieces of fruits or cooked vegetables. Once your baby is older, raisins can be a very handy, easy and vitamin-packed snack when out and about.
If you have any questions about feeding raisins to your child, it is always best to consult your child’s pediatrician. He or she will be able to better discuss your issue and concerns and help you decide when raisins will be best for your child.