Dates are one of the healthiest dietary supplements and hence have been a part of the routine diet for most of us. The added advantage of these tiny nutritious packets is that they are delicious as well, along with being healthy. And hence, dates for babies are being considered as ideal health supplements, acting as instant energy boosters, vitamin supplements, and mineral providers.
Experts have proposed a number of health benefits in babies, which are still unknown to many of us; and hence, the article is intended to provide detailed information about nutritious benefits of dates for babies and certain important notes to consider, while adding them as part of your baby’s daily diet.
Nutritious facts of dates
American heart association has recently certified a list of food to be healthy for heart and dates are one of them. They are acknowledged to be low in cholesterol and other saturated fat. If you analyze the nutritious chart of them, you will be able to understand that they are packed with a lot of vitamins and minerals to help your baby be always active, growing strong and healthy. Dates for babies are thus believed to be the best gift.
Experts have proposed that almost about 100 gms of dates can offer the following nutritional benefits:
- Vitamin B9 (Folate)= 15 ug. It is very important for the proper functioning of your baby’s brain and is required for developing stronger emotional quotient.
- Vitamin B3 ( Niacin)= 1.6 mg. Important for lowering cholesterol, promote healthy bone development and full functional attributes of a baby’s brain.
- Vitamin B2 ( Riboflavin) = 0.06 mg. Helps in maintaining proper energy supply, thus promoting rapid growth and development of important organs of the body.
- Vitamin B6 ( Pyridoxine) = 0.24 mg. Important for proper metabolism, brain and liver functions.
- Vitamin B1 ( Thymine) = 0.05 mg. Plays an important role in muscle functions and strength
- Vitamin A = 7 ug. It is important to promote normal vision, develop stronger immunity and reproductive health.
- Vitamin K = 2.7 ug. It important vitamin in promoting healthy bone density and faster wound healing.
- Iron= 0.90 mg. Responsible for rapid production of blood cells and stronger immunity.
- Magnesium= 54 mg. It is one of the most important minerals in promoting healthy brain function, memory and muscle functions. It is required in more than 300 biochemical reactions performed by human bodies.
- Phosphorus = 62 mg. Acts as an energy booster.
- Zinc= 0.44 mg. It is required for maintaining the body’s defensive mechanism.
Important points to consider
While considering dates for babies, it is also important to know that in certain products of dates and other dry fruits; sulfates are added, in order to increase their shelf life. However, people who are allergic to sulfates or are being suffered from asthma should avoid them to prevent further complications. In this regard, you need to always confirm from your pediatrician about the safety issue in case of dates for babies.
When to introduce dates for babies
It is very important to maintain the right balance with the quantity of diet and the right amount of nutrition is important for your baby’s exponential growth and development. And hence, you should always give your infant nutritious food like dates to fulfill all her essential body requirements.
As per experts’ suggestions, in general babies can be fed with dates and other important nutritional supplements, when they are around 6 months or older; once, the solid food is introduced in their diet.
It is important to make sure that the introduction of dates for babies should never be sudden, but should be started with small portions. Some experts have as well proposed to use steamed dates instead of raw or dehydrated dates; so that your baby can chew and digest them properly.
How to add dates for babies in their diet?
Various creative ways have been suggested to add dates for babies, few of the ideas can be taken herewith:
- Few chopped steamed dates can be sprinkled over oatmeal
- Dates can be baked with muffins
- Plain yogurt can be topped with chopped and smashed dates
- You can even prepare a date pulp and give with milk to enhance its flavor.
You should always make it a point that dates are little sticky and can attach to your little one’s teeth, leading to the cultivation of bacteria, causing odor and tooth decay. You should always make sure that you clean your baby’s teeth after food or else can as well give some water to drink.
Certain precautions to be taken while giving dates for babies
While administering dates for babies, you should note that babies digestive system is weak and fragile; and hence the sudden introduction of food should be avoided. You cannot expect from your newborn that he will chew food, and dates are really hard in texture; thus, difficult to chew. In order to avoid choking hazards, steamed dates mashed properly into small pieces can prevent choking hazards.
Accordingly, following precautions are to be taken into considerations, while feeding your babies with dates.
- Small chunks of dates are to be fed; in order to avoid the risk of choking
- Never add unripened dates to the baby food, as they contain tannin; which can cause stomach upset.
- Don’t introduce dates for babies, immediately they start eating solid food, instead add small portions of the same and increase the size progressively.
- In order to start with, seedless dates can be processed
- Within the first 24 hours, watch out for any allergic reactions, within 24 hours post feeding
- Before the introduction of dates for babies, always consult your pediatrician
What are the health benefits for dates for babies?
1. Improve digestion and fight against intestinal disorders
Dates are identified to be the most useful remedy for stomach disorders and all sorts of intestinal issues, such as protection against parasitic organisms or helping good bacteria to establish better colonies in the intestine, etc.
2. Live protection
As a matter of fact, the liver is easily exposed to viral as well as bacterial infection; and hence, babies are quite vulnerable to liver diseases, such as jaundice. Studies have pinpointed that the liver can be protected easily by including dates in the baby’s diet.
3. Support strong teeth development
Full ripened dates can be given to babies, as soon as they start chewing; in order to support the stronger development of teeth and gums. As some experts have always suggested that the more you chew, the more strong your teeth will be.
4. Visual improvement
Dates are with a high nutritious value of vitamin A, which can support a stronger vision in order to provide good eyesight.
5. Boost energy
They are good energy boosters due to their natural sugar contents, like sucrose, glucose, as well as fructose.