Most of us are familiar with dried figs over the fresh ones, owing mainly to the fact that they’re easily available throughout the year! The nutritive value of figs is well known, but when it comes to feeding kids, most Moms wonder, ‘Can I give my baby figs?’
Figs grow on a ficus tree and are cultivated in several states across India, like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. While dried figs are a permanent fixture on supermarket shelves, fresh figs are available only twice a year in India; one season being between May to June and the second being from December to January. The fruit you get during the summer season tend to be more acidic than the ones available during winter.
Figs are also known by other names in India, such as:
- Anjeer in Hindi, Gujarathi, Marathi, Urdu, Punjabi
- Athi Pazham in Tamil and Malayam
- Atti Pallu in Telegu
- Anjoora in Kanada
- Dumoor in Bengali
- Dimiri in Oriya
Nutritional Benefits of Figs for Babies
- Figs are rich in fiber and hence help in easy digestion
- Figs are a good source of calcium for babies
- Ripe figs act as a natural laxative and prevent constipation
- Figs act as an antimicrobial agent and help in developing a baby’s immature immune system
- Figs are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals that are crucial for effective growth and development of children
How to Choose Figs for Babies
When choosing fresh figs , choose plump fruits that are free of blemishes and bruises. Fresh figs may be greenish purple, dark or royal purple depending on the variety.
While choosing dry figs for babies, choose a reputable brand with good packaging. Avoid the loose, unpacked variety, as they tend to collect dust during storage. You can buy quality branded figs here.
How to Store Figs
Fresh Figs are highly perishable and can last only upto 4 to 5 days. However, they can last up to a week in the refrigerator. Place them outside the fridge for at least 1 to 2 hours before feeding baby. Dried figs can either be stored in a cool dry place or can be refrigerated.
When Can I give my Baby Figs?
According to the new recommendation of the WHO, figs can be introduced to babies as early as 6 months, but I would suggest introducing figs only after the baby is familiar with all other first foods. Please follow the 3 day rule when introducing any new food.
How to Feed your Baby Figs
The following are recipes using fresh figs.
Fresh Fig Puree for Babies
2 fresh figs
1. Chop the figs into small pieces.
2. Blend them in a blender or mixie till smooth. This puree can also be added to any porridge.
Baked Figs for Babies
- 3 Figs
- Olive Oil
1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
2. Place the figs on a tray and coat them with olive oil.
3. Cook till the skin looks puckered and becomes soft. Mash the cooked figs with a fork and feed baby.
Fresh Fig Milkshake for Toddlers
- 5 to 6 Fresh Figs
- 2 Tbsp Honey
- 300 ml Milk
1. Chop figs into small pieces.
2. Blend all ingredients together.
The following recipes use Dried Figs.
Fig Water for Babies
(This recipe is great for constipation)
Option 1: Soak a couple of figs in water overnight and strain the liquid and feed the baby.
Option 2: Boil the dried figs in water, and feed the water to the baby.
Dried Fig Puree for Babies
1. Soak 2 to 3 figs in warm water for half an hour.
2. Blend to a smooth puree, strain and serve. You can add breast milk or formula to thin it out.
There, you have several ways to feed your baby figs!! Don’t forget to try out our other recipes featuring dry fruits, listed below: