Think Summer and one is almost immediately transported to the sweet taste, smell and the luscious golden yellow colour of mangoes. Mangoes are universally the most loved fruit and it’s difficult to find someone who doesn’t love mangoes. Once children develop a taste for mangoes, their love for the fruit continues well into adulthood.
The right age to introduce babies to mangoes is after 6 months only after they have been introduced to semi-solid food. While mangoes might make a tasty food for babies, it is not recommended that they are your baby’s first food.
Apart from being tasty, mangoes have some wonderful health benefits for babies too:
Babies brains develop rapidly after birth till the age of about 3 years with millions of neuron connections forming in the baby’s brain. Mangoes contain high amounts of Vitamin B6 which is linked to brain development. This is the vitamin which encourages connections to form between neurons in the brain. Mangoes also contain glutamine which improves memory and concentration.
Also Read: 10 Foods to Boost Baby’s Brain Power
Babies are not born with perfect vision. Their eyesight improves in the subsequent months after birth. Ripe mangoes are rich in Vitamin A and therefore these are the perfect fruit for a baby’s eyesight development.
Mangoes are rich in Vitamin C and beta carotene. These strengthen the baby’s immune system. Since babies have fragile immune systems, mangoes can provide their immune system the much needed boost.
Mangoes improve the epithelial function (a human body is lined with epithelial cells which are found in all organs) in a baby’s body. Eating mangoes will hence reduce the impact of microbial attack reducing the incidence of common cold and seasonal flus.
Mangoes have enzymes which helps in breaking proteins making them easier to digest. Also, the high fibre content of mangoes aids the digestive process by easing bowel movement.
A baby’s weight is always on the mother’s mind and they are constantly seeking healthy options to help a baby maintain ideal weight. Mango is a fruit which provides good calories which are both nutritious and easily absorbed by a baby’s body making it an ideal fruit for weight gain in babies.
Also Read: 21 Weight Gain Foods for Babies
Growing children are at the risk of developing anaemia. Including mangoes in a child’s diet will help keep anaemia at bay as the high iron content of mangoes boosts the RBCs (red blood cells).
In some parts of India summers are especially severe with temperatures soaring above 40 degrees Celsius accompanied by hot winds. Boiled, pureed unripe green mangoes mixed with sugar and water (aam panna) make a delicious and beneficial drink in summers. It fights sunstroke, prevents dehydration and will keep your toddler energetic all day long. Remember to give cooked unripe mangoes to toddlers only.
The high Vitamin A content in mangoes is not just good for baby’s eyesight, but is equally good for his skin too. It hydrates the skin making it soft and supple. The Vitamin C in mangoes is essential for skin repair too.
Remember mangoes like other tropical fruits could cause allergic reactions in babies. Such allergic reactions tend to be dermatological in nature and not usually severe. When giving you baby mangoes for the very first time, give them a small spoon of the mango puree and watch for any reaction for the next 3 days. In the rare case of an allergic reaction consult your paediatrician.
Also Read: How to identify allergies in children
Mango is a delight in the summers and certainly the most awaited fruit. If your baby is old enough, it might be time to give him his first taste of the king of fruits for a lifetime of good health.
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