Known as sitaphal, custard apple is a fruit that is a pleasure to eat! With numerous health benefits, it’s natural to ask: Can I give my Baby Custard Apple?
They say that fruits are nature’s form of dessert, since they satisfy your sweet tooth and give you that pleasure hit. However, there are some fruits that are more dessert-y than others, and one such example is custard apple. Also known as sitaphal, the creamy flesh of this fruit scores over ice cream any day!
Custard apples are aromatic, sweet and slightly tangy fruits with creamy flesh and seeds in it. It is popularly known as bullock’s heart in English speaking countries. Some popular varieties of custard apple are Balanagar, Red Seethaphal, Washington, British Guinea, Island Gem, Pink’s Mammoth, Atemoya and Stone Fruits. They don’t just taste good, these fruits are also packed with Vitamin C, Magnesium, Calcium, Phosphorus and Anti-oxidants.
Custard Apple (Annuna squmos L.) is said to have originated in tropical America, and probably spread to other parts of the world. They are now widely grown in tropical and subtropical parts of the world. Custard apple trees are grown mostly as a dooryard fruit tree. It is found in many parts of India, mainly in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa, and Tamil Nadu. They are either consumed as a whole fruit or in salads, ice creams, milk shakes, yogurt drinks, syrups, squashes, jams and jellies.
Health Benefits of Custard Apple
- Builds immune system
- Delays ageing
- Maintains skin health
- Maintains bone and teeth health
- Maintains eye health
- Prevents asthma
- Aids healthy weight gain
- Controls blood pressure
- Fights infections
- Improves brain functioning
- Prevents heart attacks
- Aids digestion
- Treats anemia
- Fights against bacterial attacks
- Prevents arthritis
- Prevents diabetes
Can I give my Baby Custard Apple?
The natural creaminess of custard apple makes it appear suitable for babies and it’s true – custard apple can be given to babies over 6 months. It is a good energy giving food that’s perfect for active babies. The best way to feed babies custard apple is to scoop out the flesh and discard the seeds. The pulp can be fed to the baby directly. Custard apple is known to have a cooling effect due to which it’s recommended to feed it during the day.
While not mandatory, it’s better to follow the 3-day rule to be on the safe side, and start with a small quantity in the beginning. If your baby has trouble digesting broccoli, then it’s better to wait for a while and then try again. If the baby displays symptoms like watery eyes, canker sores around the mouth, itchy rashes, abdominal pain, burning sensation in the mouth, swelling of the face or shortness of breath, he needs to be rushed to the doctor right away.
Tips for Buying and Storing Custard Apple
When buying custard apples, go for the pale green fruits and avoid the ones that are purple or black. Go for the larger fruits that give in slightly when pressed. Avoid the smaller ones as they may be unripe.
If you do get unripe custard apples, place them in a brown paper bag at room temperature. This will hasten the ripening process. Ripe custard apples stay well in the fridge for up to 3 days, so it’s better to buy a small quantity and consume it fresh.
Custard Apple Recipes for Babies and Toddlers
- Custard Apple Basundi from Whisk Affair
- Custard Apple Kheer from Platter Share
- Custard Apple Payasam from Malabar Tea Room
- Custard Apple Milkshake from Vaya
- Eggless Custard Apple Ice Cream from Yummy Tummy Aarthi
- Custard Apple Cream from Veg Recipes of India