We have all heard than an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but how about raw apple? Apples are a great fruit for your baby to consume. They are easy to digest and considered one of the least allergenic foods. Apples are also very easy to prepare and are available all year round in most parts of the world. Plus, your baby is sure to love their sweet flavor.
Since apples have a thicker texture and are harder to chew, they should always be given to your baby in the form of applesauce or added to other recipes. Your baby will not be ready to tackle raw apple until after his or her first birthday.
Before your baby can have small finger foods like raw apple, 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.
Can I Give My Baby Raw Apple? Answer: After One Year
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.
Apples are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. They are also a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C. They have a sweet, tart flavor that varies depending on the type of apple. Their edible skin can range in color from bright red to light green (almost yellowish).
Many Healthy Benefits
Apples also offer a wide variety of health benefits. They are known to help protect the body against certain cancers, prevent heart disease, help control cholesterol levels, reduce asthma symptoms and reduce the risk of diabetes. Note that these benefits refer to apples and not apple juice, which contains sugars and other ingredients. While some apple juice brands are not full of sugar, apple juice should never replace an actual apple in your child’s diet.
Keeping Baby Regular
Apples are also considered a natural laxative and are great to use to help relieve your baby from constipation. Constipation occurs when too little water or poor muscle movement is present to help food digest. Normally, water and nutrients are absorbed, leaving the waste material to become stools.
Enough water must remain to help soften the stool, and the lower intestinal and rectal muscles must contract and relax to move the stool along. When there is too little water or a disruption in the muscles, constipation occurs.
There are plenty of great recipes for apples. While most of the nutritional benefit of apples is found in the peel, including antioxidants, it is best to prepare apples without removing the peel when possible. Apples are also known to contain a good deal of pesticides, so it is best to purchase organic apples.
With your doctor’s consent, cooked apples may be given to your baby as one of their first solid foods. Apple puree can be made by baking, steaming or simmering the apple, and then mashing it with a blender or food processor.
Raw apple is also great paired with other foods, including pears, bananas, plums and blueberries. Remember that all new foods should be introduced to babies at least three days apart. If you plan on introducing apples to your baby paired with another food, make sure you pair it with one your child has already consumed.
This way, if your child does have an allergic reaction, you will know that the apples were the culprit. Signs of an allergic reaction may include diarrhea, vomiting, a swollen face, wheezing or a rash. If any of these symptoms occur after your child eats, call 911 immediately.
When choosing healthy fruits for your baby, raw apple is a great choice. Just remember to puree or mash the apple until after your child’s first birthday, as they will not be ready to chew the harder texture of the apple until then. Apples are nutritious, delicious and can be made a variety of ways and added to a variety of recipes.
If you have any questions about feeding apples to your child, be sure to consult your child’s physician. He or she will be able to discuss your concerns more thoroughly.