7 Amazing Health Benefits Of Watermelon For Babies

Watching your baby have his first bites of solid food is amazing, isn’t it? But shouldn’t you be choosy in what you are giving him to eat? You may want to throw in some fruits and vegetables into the diet list, but have a good long thought before you decide to do so.




 
 
Make a list of the fruits that can go as first foods. Watermelon is definitely one on them. Watermelon is a tropical fruit containing 93% water and numerous health benefits (1).

But, if you ask is watermelon good for babies, then read our post at MomJunction. We tell you the health benefits of watermelon for babies, how to select one, and the precautions you should take before feeding watermelon to your baby.
 

Health Benefits Of Watermelon For Babies

Why should you choose watermelon for babies? It is because it is soft and easy to pick. Of course, it is not just about being easy to eat; the fruit has a houseful of nutritional benefits too.

Maintains water balance: The fruit helps in maintaining hydration levels as it has 93% water and 7% flesh. It prevents dehydration and is extremely good during summers. It contains electrolytes, which help in reducing the chances of getting a heat stroke.

Good for heart: The lycopene content increases as the fruit ripens. It is an antioxidant that is good for the heart and reduces the rate of asthma attacks. Watermelons are rich in carotenoids like neurosporene, lutein, phytofluene, phytoene, and beta-carotene. Carotenoids help in keeping the vision intact and maintaining cardiovascular health.

Boosts immune system: It is essential to include vitamin C to your baby’s diet as it aids in fighting infections, makes immune system strong, and helps in increasing red blood cells and hemoglobin through iron absorption.

Improves eyesight: Vitamin A is highly recommended for your little one’s eyesight. Other benefits include healthy glowing skin, soft tissue and mucus membrane, and strong teeth.

Bone development: Watermelon also contains calcium and manganese which help in the development of bones. Calcium is essential for hormone secretion. Magnesium helps in building muscle and nerve function in babies.

Vitamin B complex: Vitamin B complex includes a variety of vitamins which provide various benefits. They assist in red blood cells production, development of the nervous system, immune system strengthening, brain function and protein improvement, and carbohydrate metabolism regulation.

Aids in digestion: Watermelon is rich in dietary fiber. This helps in keeping the digestive tract healthy, cures constipation and irregular bowel movements.
 

When Can Babies Eat Watermelon?

Introduce watermelons to babies between 8 and 10 months of age. A six-month baby may not be able to handle the texture of the fruit.

A few sensitive babies may get rashes if they eat any type of melon due to the acidic nature of these fruits. The signs to watch out baby allergic to watermelon are rashes, diarrhea, runny nose, and vomiting. At times, watermelon may even produce acidity as the fructose present in the fruit may not be entirely absorbed by the baby’s GI system.

However, generalities may not apply to your baby. Consult a pediatrician before introducing any new food to him.

[ Read: How To Remove Watermelon Seeds in Just 2 Minutes (Video) ]

How To Select Watermelon?

Watermelon is the least contaminated fruit with pesticides. Melons do not fall in the list of the ‘dirty dozen foods’, as per the EWG. You can choose organic watermelon if you want to. But keep these things in mind while selecting a watermelon:

• A fully grown watermelon is heavier. It should look smooth and little dull on the top.

• You can know if it is ripe by giving a good thump with your finger. A ripe watermelon should sound hollow when tapped.

• Check for cuts, bruises, sagging depressions and spots, which indicate rotten or over ripened fruit.

• In a fully ripened watermelon, the ground spot or underbelly turns yellow or creamy. Fresh farm watermelons are extra crunchy, juicy, and healthy.

• Do not buy frozen or canned watermelon. Avoid buying pre-cut watermelons for babies as they have a high risk of contamination.
 

How To Store And Feed Watermelon To Babies?

• Wash the fruit under running water. Store it in a clean, dry place if not cut. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the lycopene and beta-carotene levels in watermelons rise when they are stored uncut at room temperature.

• Cut the fruit into small pieces, remove the seeds, and then feed it to your little one.

• Store the cut watermelon in a refrigerator in an air-tight container or wrap it with a food grade plastic over the side that has been cut. Refrigerate the cut melon for not more than 24 hours, if using for your baby.

• Bring the refrigerated melon to room temperature before serving it to your baby, to prevent a cold.

Watermelon pieces are better than juice as any fruit juice increases the risk of dental cavities in babies. They also make babies lose interest in solid foods later on. If your baby is unable to eat the tiny solid watermelon pieces, try mashing them up a little.

Foods that can be mixed with melons are bananas, carrots, avocado, peaches, blueberries, chicken, yogurt, etc.

Caution: Watermelon is full of seeds that increase the choking risk. Remove all the seeds before giving the fruit to your baby. Feed the baby only when he sits in an upright position.
 

Watermelon Recipes For Babies

Here are more ways to offer watermelon to your baby. Try these simple watermelon recipes to provide refreshing fruit treats to your little one.
 

1. Watermelon Puree

7 Amazing Health Benefits Of Watermelon For Babies

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

• 1 watermelon (cut, de-seeded)

How to:

Step 1: Place the slices in a blender and make a watermelon puree for baby.
Step 2: If you would like, add any other food or cereal to thicken it up.
Step 3: By adding in other fruits to the watermelon puree, you may expose your baby to different flavors. Other fruit purees that go well with the watermelon puree include avocado, banana, or mango.

Note: Do not freeze melon puree. The frozen watermelon puree gives a thawed product that could be tasteless and gritty.
 

2. Watermelon Salad

7 Amazing Health Benefits Of Watermelon For Babies

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

• 1 small banana (sliced)
• 1 small peach (diced)
• 1/2 cup watermelon (cubes)

How to:

Step 1: Mix all the fruits in a bowl and mash a little to serve as finger food.
Note: If you would like, mix in yogurt to the fruit salad.
 

3. Watermelon Soup

7 Amazing Health Benefits Of Watermelon For Babies

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

• 1/4 cup apple juice (unsweetened)
• 1 tbsp natural yogurt
• 1/4 cup vegetable stock
• 1/2 cup watermelon

How to:

Step 1: Combine all the ingredients in a blender and sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon if desired.
 

4. Watermelon Juice

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

• 1 cup sweet watermelon (cut and de-seeded)

How to:




 
 
Step 1: Puree the watermelon slices in a blender.
Step 2: Strain the juice and squeeze the flesh
Step 3: Feed the extracted juice to your baby.
 

5. Watermelon As Finger Food

7 Amazing Health Benefits Of Watermelon For Babies

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

• 1 1 cup watermelon cubes (deseeded)

How to:

Step 1: Cut the watermelon cubes into thin slices for finger food.
Step 2: Serve it with a nutritious dip like another fruit puree or yogurt.
 

6. Berry Melon Punch

7 Amazing Health Benefits Of Watermelon For Babies

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

• 1 cup watermelon (diced, de-seeded)
• 1 tsp lemon juice
• 2 strawberries (chopped)
• 1 tbsp sugar syrup

How to:

Step 1: Mix all the ingredients in a food processor by adding enough water.
 

7. Watermelon Smoothie

7 Amazing Health Benefits Of Watermelon For Babies

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

• 1 cup chilled, chopped watermelon
• 1/2 cup banana slices
• 2 tbsp coconut milk
• 1 tbsp vanilla ice cream

How to:

Step 1: Add all the ingredients to a juicer and mix to make a soft smoothie.
Step 2: Serve watermelon when your baby is ready for it (between 8 and 10 months).

The refreshing fruit aids in the overall health of your darling! Be careful about the choking hazard and allergies associated with the melon fruit. Do not be alarmed if you see red color baby poop as it is common after a watermelon feed!

Have some watermelon baby food recipes to share with us. Do put them in the comment section below.

Source: www.momjunction.com

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