Babies eating lemons are a fun sight! However, despite the many health benefits of this fruit, we need to find out – Can I give my Baby Lemon?
If you ask me, nothing can beat the immense refreshment of a tall glass of lemon juice or nimbu paani on a hot summer’s day. The aroma of lemons alone is enough to awaken your senses and make you feel refreshed inside out!
The origin of the lemon is not clear; they are said to have first grown in Assam in India, northern Burma or China. They’re considered to be a genetic hybrid of the bitter orange (sour orange) and citron. The most commonly seen lemon varieties in India are Lisbon lemons, Assam lemon, Italian lemon, Pant lemon, Galgal, Meyer, Eureka lemon, Sevilla and Malta lemon. Unlike other citrus fruits, lemons aren’t eaten whole, and are used mostly as a flavoring agent in food and drink.
Lemons are often confused with limes. Limes are small, round and green whereas lemons are usually larger, oval-shaped, and bright yellow in color. The acidic sourness is the same in both the fruits, although lemons are usually sweeter than limes. The nutritional benefits of lemons and limes are nearly equal, but lemons have a higher vitamin C content. The nutrients in 1/2 cup (100 grams) of raw, peeled lemons are listed below:
- Calories: 29
- Water: 89%
- Protein: 1.1 grams
- Carbs: 9.3 grams
- Sugar: 2.5 grams
- Fiber: 2.8 grams
- Fat: 0.3 grams
(Source – https://www.healthline.com/)
Lemons are high in minerals and vitamins and help to detoxify the whole body and also aids gut health. Lemons may also help in increasing the absorption of iron by the body. In fact, drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning is considered a healthy ritual according to Ayurveda. Even the peel, rind, seed and leaves of the fruit are used in various foods, drinks, cosmetic products and medicines.
Health Benefits of Lemons
Lemons have a high amount of vitamin C, soluble fiber and plant compounds. They are low in fat and constitute about 10% carbs and 89% of water. A medium lemon can provide about 20 calories and several health benefits.
- Boosts Immunity
- Increases hydration
- Maintains gut health
- Reduces cancer risk
- Controls vomiting and nausea
- Helps to treat tonsils
- Helps to maintain skin & hair health
- Prevents kidney stones
- Prevents Anemia
- Fights Cold
- Controls Diarrhea
Can I give my Baby Lemon?
Babies eating lemons for the first time make for the most trending videos in YouTube, but is it okay to feed babies lemons?
There’s no doubt that lemons are packed with vitamins and nutrients which can help baby’s growth and development, but the fact is that lemons also contain considerable amounts of citric acid. According to the new AAP guidelines your baby can have citrus fruits starting around 6 months, but some pediatricians suggest staying away from citrus fruits until baby is 10-12 months old.
The reason is this: citrus fruits like lemons are acidic and the acidity of the fruit may cause diaper rash, skin rashes and tummy pains especially if the baby has a sensitivity to new foods. In such cases, it is better to introduce lemons after the first birthday, since most babies develop a tolerance to citric acid as they get older.
If your child is not sensitive to new foods, and you think your baby would enjoy the sour taste of a lemon, you can give her a very small piece of a lemon or a spoon of diluted lemon juice without sugar or salt. Even then, lemons should be given only in moderation. Giving too much can cause GERD or even damage the enamel of baby’s teeth.
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 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 Lemons
Pick lemons which feel heavy for their size, and with smooth, thin and firm skin. Medium to large size lemons will be juicier. Avoid lemons with wrinkled, spongy or bumpy skin.
Lemons should be stored in a place that is free from moisture. Store them unwashed at room temperature for up to one week. If refrigerating, store them unwashed in a sealed plastic bag for up to 3 weeks.
Healthy Lemon Recipes for Babies and Kids
Lemon Juice from GK Food Diary
Lemon Barley Water from The Spruce Eats
Lemon Maple Pancakes from Baby Led Feeding
Lemon Coriander Soup from Veg Recipes of India
Lemon Sorbet Balls from Baby Led Feeding
Lemon & Herb Fish Fingers from My Fussy Eater
Lemon Quinoa from Sharmis Passions
Indian Style Asparagus with Lemon from Picky Eater Blog
Lemon Rice from Archana’s Kitchen