The chilly winter season is here! Winter is the season of warm and rich foods, and if you have a baby who is eating solid foods, you will be curious to know about fruits for babies in winters. We know fruits are crucial to your child’s development and boost their immunity, but we feel lost on what to give our kids during the crisp and cold winter months. For my daughter, I decided to talk to a couple of people and do a little research to come up with a must-eat list of fruits for babies in winters. Hope your child likes them!
Fruits for children in winters
If you live in India, you would know that the Indian weather is largely made up of 3 seasons – summers, monsoons and winters. Though nowadays you get most of fruits and vegetables all the year round, thanks to the techniques of frozen food, there is no denying the fact that ultimate nutrition is packed only in seasonal fruits and vegetables that are locally produced. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables offer much more nutrients than the ones that are either frozen or harvested off-season.
Winters are the season of citrusy, juicy fruits, and these are not to be missed if you want your child to stay active and energetic. `During winters, children often fall sick due to cold and cough and sometimes even get dehydrated. For this reason, it is important to supplement your child’s diet with winter fruits – delightful in taste and nutritionally rich.
Top winter fruits for children during winters
1. Citrus fruits
Season’s favourite include oranges, kinnows, grapefruits and tangerines. Packed with flavour that is sweet yet tangy, it appeals to most kids and adults alike and is a welcome treat especially when sitting under the sun. However, you may need to be careful with the seeds, so unless your child is big enough not to eat them, you may need to either go for the seedless variety and manually take the seeds out.
Citrus fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C- the main vitamin for boosting immunity. They also offer vitamins A and E, niacin, potassium and copper. Grapefruit also seems to have laxative properties and keeps bowels regular, apart from offering many other health benefits.
We love kiwis! Both me and my daughter love to have these fleshy fruits punches of flavour in every mouthful. We simply peel it, and cut it into cubes. Since the seeds are edible, my toddler can eat it on her own with a small fork. If your motivation is boosting the immunity, and you would be glad to know that kiwis are a richer source of vitamin C than even oranges, so definitely a must have during the winter months.
This tasty fruit offers vitamins C, E, K, folate, fiber, potassium and copper. Although it not allergic, it can be quite acidic. It should not be given to babies and toddlers if they have rashes or have any food related allergies. Hold the fruit off until your child is atleast an year old.
Guava is another winter favourite fruit with kids. It can be sweet when ripe, and slightly tangy and sour when unripe. Over ripe guavas can literally be a sweet treat. Indians often like their guavas with a pinch of rock salt.
Packed with vitamin A, guavas are essential in your diet to have and maintain good eyesight. The fruit helps in maintaining healthy, clear cornea and protects the cells in your eyes boosting eye health. Guavas are also rich in antioxidants, provide relief from winter infections such as colds and chest congestion and help in maintaining good digestive health.
Grapes are tangy, flavoursome and make an excellent snack for children. Though grapes can also be a choking hazard, so they are usually not recommended for toddlers under the age of two. My daughter has been having grapes since she was about 15 months old – and I used to always opt for the seedless variety and cut them for her to eat. By the time she hit her second birthday, she could eat them up by herself, albeit seedless ones. Grapes can also be made into smoothies, if you like. She enjoys grapes in all their forms.
Loaded with antioxidants, potassium and vitamin C and calcium, grapes also have some impressive laxative properties. If your child is constipated, give him or her a few grapes and he should have a bowel movement soon. Grapes also boost brain health, skin health and are good for the nervous system.
Again, the seedless variety makes for a tasty, sweet snack for children. Can also be a choking hazard, so make sure that the seeds are slightly mashed or made into a juice if your child is still young. My daughter somehow is able to chew on the seeds and when done she would spit the seeds out. The young ones are practically with soft seeds and they don’t pose a threat.
Pomegranates offer a host of nutritional health benefits for kids – from killing intestinal worms to curing dental issues and boosting haemoglobin levels. They are also excellent for brain health and powering up the immunity.
Who does not like apples? All kids apparently do, and what a good fruit it is! Slices or cubes of apple, without the seeds ofcourse makes for a healthy, fulfilling snack any time of the day. Toddlers get a boost of energy as soon as they have an apple.
Apples are loaded with vitamins A, and skin friendly B1 and B2. Apples also contain vitamin C, and this boost immunity. They also contain minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, proteins, iron and phosphorous. They are essential for a child’s growing body and are excellent for oral health. They also boost the functioning of the brain cells and contain dietary fiber. Apples are the fruit to go to if your child is having diarrhea.
Another winter favourite, dates are known as the quintessential winter fruit since that keep the body warm. They can be mashed slightly or chopped in bite sized pieces for your toddler to eat easily. It may be noted here that babies who have asthma or sulphate allergy should not be fed dates – do consult your doctor on this please.
Dates are quite rich nutritionally. They aid in bone and brain development, help in making teeth stronger and boost digestive health. High iron in dates make them a good choice for babies who are anemic.
We have saved this one for the last! An all season, fulfilling yummy fruit hit with almost all kids cannot be missed during winters, can it? Well, unless your child is down with a cold and fever, there is no reason to give this energy boosting fruit a miss. Banana is oily and is a mucus forming food and that is why is not recommended when someone has cold. When you have a cold and congestion, the aim is to loosen the mucus and clear the congestion, so bananas are best avoided only during cold and congestion, not otherwise.
Bananas are loaded with potassium, though they do lack vitamin C. They also provide instant energy as they are rich in carbohydrates and sugars. They are also very good for the digestive health and prevent gastric troubles in children. Feed it to your baby in winters without any fear!
Winters may bring about the infections of cold, cough and fever, but if your supplement your child’s diet with seasonal fruits and up them with seasonal vegetables, your child should stay healthy during the season. An occasional bout of cold and fever is not something to worry about, so this winter, get eating these fruits while enjoying the chill.