Amla or the Indian Gooseberry is packed with nutrients and is used in Ayurvedic medicines. It’s no wonder that Moms ask: Can I give my Baby Gooseberries?
As soon as we see winter coming, out come the bottles and jars of the ultimate Indian immune-booster – Chyawanprash! A single spoon of this healthy herbal jam has many immunity and brain boosting benefits. The story goes that more than a thousand years ago, a sage named Chyavan formulated a recipe with revitalizing ingredients and called it Chyawanprash. And the main ingredient of Chyawanprash is the Indian Gooseberry, also known as Amla.
The amla tree is considered sacred by Hindus, as they believe that the Lord Vishnu dwells here. There is a popular Hindu myth which says that Amla originated from the drops of Amrit (the elixir of immortality) which spilled on earth accidentally. Because of their huge nutritional content, amla is also used in the preparation of Ayurvedic medicines.
Health Benefits of Gooseberries
Amla’s health benefits are so well known that the fruit has become available in several forms like powder, jam, pickle, juice, oil etc. These juicy green fruits are packed with calcium, iron, phosphorus, Carotene, Vitamin B Complex and loads of Vitamin C – about 20 times that of an orange! Amla also has a detoxifying effect on the body and is low in calories. Here are some more health benefits of this wonder fruit:
- Strengthens the immune system
- Prevents anemia
- Increases appetite in kids
- Treats constipation
- Controls diabetes
- Cleanses the body by purifying blood
- Revitalizes the skin
- Helps in hair care – prevents lice, grey hair and increase hair growth
- Fights against heart disease
- Slows down aging
- Reduces blood sugar
- Prevents gall bladder stone formation
- Improves eye sight
- Strengthens bones
- Reduces body heat
- Prevents jaundice
It’s no wonder then that all Moms wonder whether this elixir on earth can be fed to their babies!
Can I give my Baby Gooseberries?
As Indian gooseberries are highly in acidic nature, it is recommended to introduce amla to babies after one year. When offering your baby amla for the first time, give a few cooked pieces and gradually increase the quantity. It’s very important to follow the 3-day rule to check for allergies.
Amla may cause allergies in some babies. If you notice any allergic reaction like diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramps, nausea, vomiting, redness, itching and swelling around mouth and face, hives on the skin and face, difficulty in breathing, headache, dizziness or light headedness, rush to your doctor.
If your child has any family history of hyperacidity or sensitivity to vitamin C foods, then it’s recommended to introduce amla only after taking your doctor’s advice. Amla is a naturally cooling food, so it’s best avoided during a cold, cough or related conditions.
Gooseberries are available during autumn and winter, but they can be dried and used throughout the year. Choose fresh gooseberries with a deep green color and without blemishes. They can be stored on the kitchen counter as well as in the fridge.
Amla Recipes for Kids
Amla Rasam from Better Butter
Amla Candy from Padhu’s Kitchen
Gooseberry Juice from 7aum Suvai
Carrot Amla Pomegranate Juice from Archana’s Kitchen
Gooseberry Jam from G K Food Diary
Amla Murabba from Yummy Tummy Aarthi
Amla Rice from The Chef and Her Kitchen
Amla Subji from Tarla Dalal
Gooseberry Raitha from Nee’s Kitchen
Amla Mint Chutney from The Veggie Indian
Gooseberry Halwa from Flavors and Tastes