Guava is a fruit that’s an integral part of our childhoods. Rich in Vitamin C & easily available, it’s natural for Moms to wonder: can I give my baby guava?
Along with mangoes, another fruit that brings back fond childhood memories is the guava. Biting into those juicy slices smeared with salt and chilli powder – just thinking of it will have you smacking your lips!
Packed with Vitamin C and other nutrients, guava was one of the healthiest snacks we had back then. Even though guavas are found everywhere in India and in many Asian countries, it is said to have originated from Central America where it is alternatively known as “sand plum”.
Guavas are round or oval with tiny hard seeds at the center, which are edible. The skin colors are usually green when unripe and yellow or pale green when ripe. The pulp inside may be white, yellow or pink.
There are approximately 100 varieties of guava in the world. The most common varieties of guava are apple guava, yellow-fruited cherry guava, strawberry guava and red apple guava. Ripe and unripe guavas are mostly eaten raw or made into juice, jams, jellies and also used as a flavoring agent.
Guavas are not just known for its flavor and fragrance but also for its high nutritional value. They contain lots of vitamin C, fiber, potassium and antioxidants. The leaves of the guava plant are also known to have medicinal benefits and are used to treat cough and cold as well as a dietary supplement. Here are some of the health benefits of guava.
Nutritional Benefits of Guava
- Boosts Heart Health
- Aids Digestion
- Controls Diabetes
- Strengthens Immune System
- Maintains Thyroid Health
- Fights Scurvy
- Fights Cancer
- Maintains Gut Health
- Relieves Constipation
- Improves Brain Health
- Fights Aging
- Improves Skin Health
- Reduces Oxidative Stress
- Soothes Cold and Cough
- Improves Eye Sight
- Improves Dental Health
- Treats Obesity
With so many health benefits, it’s only natural for Moms to wonder if they can feed their baby this wonder fruit. Let’s see if it’s possible.
Can I give my Baby Guava?
In general, fruits are considered the best first food for babies as they are loaded with essential nutrients needed for baby’s health, growth and development. Since guava is among the fruits that are least likely to be chemically treated, they are safe enough for babies over 6 months of age.
Since the flesh and seeds of guavas can be hard, it has to be prepared appropriately for babies. The fruit needs to be peeled, chopped and de-seeded first. Then the flesh needs to be boiled or steamed till soft. Start out by giving the baby just a little mashed guava and increase the quantity gradually if the baby seems fine with it.
Guava is a fruit with acidic nature, so it’s recommended to be given in moderation to avoid diaper rash. Some babies may get allergic reactions while eating the fruit or even by touching guava leaves or the tree.
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 the baby displays symptoms like 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 to buy and store Guavas
The guavas you buy for your baby should smell fresh and sweet. On pressing, the fruit has to be soft, with a yellow or yellowish-green exterior. Guavas with a bit of pink taste best. You can also buy green guavas and ripen them at home.
Guavas can be kept in paper bags and refrigerated. It’s important to use or eat the guava within 3-4 days of refrigeration.
Guava Recipes for Babies and Kids
Guava Puree for Babies from Yummy Tummy Aarathi
Guava Pear Strawberry Puree from Beech Nut
Strawberry Guava Smoothie from NDTV
Guava Chutney from Achala Food
Guava Chaat from Gayathris Cookspot
Guava Curry from Whisk Affair
Cinnamon Guava Oatmeal from My Fitness Pal
Guava Halwa from Times of India
Guava Pudding from Martha Stewart