Strawberries are juicy, yummy and so pretty! But can I give my baby strawberries? Read on to find out the answer to this question.
No one can pass by a fruit stall without admiring the beauty of the strawberries. The candy-like aroma, bright red color, sour and sweet taste and the juicy texture make strawberries a favorite among all age groups. Did you know that strawberries are not actually berries? In fact, they are the aggregate fruit which is formed from a flower that has many ovaries. The ovaries are pollinated, after which they eventually develop and ripen into strawberries. Strawberries are considered to be a member of the rose family.
The name “Strawberry” is believed to have come from the Old English word meaning ‘to strew’ because the plant’s runners stray in all directions and look as if they are strewn on the ground. Unlike other fruits, strawberry’s seeds are seen dotted in their outer layer. There are around 200 seeds on an average strawberry. The seeds can sprout into new plants, but most of the new plants emerge through the runners.
Ancient Romans believed that strawberries had medicinal powers. The different strawberry varieties are June-bearing, overbearing and day neutral. The United States is the world’s largest producer of strawberries and they are grown year-round in the state of California. In India, Satara district of Maharashtra is famous for 80% of the country’s strawberry production.
Nutritional Benefits of Strawberries
Strawberries have no fat but more sugar compared to the other fruits. Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, containing even more than oranges. They are also packed with vitamins, fiber, manganese, potassium and high levels of antioxidants. Here are some of the health benefits of this yummy fruit:
- Boosts Immunity
- Improves Brain Health
- Helps prevent lifestyle diseases like cancer
- Regulates Blood Pressure
- Prevents Inflammation
- Lowers Cholesterol and improves heart health
- Improves Eye Health
- Supports Healthy Pregnancy
- Strengthens bones and teeth
- Helps to Treat Constipation
- Fights signs of premature ageing in skin
Can I give my Baby Strawberries?
With so many vital nutrients that aid growth and development, strawberries are a healthy food for babies. The latest weaning recommendations say that nearly all foods can be introduced to babies after six months, following the introduction of basic foods first. However, in order to be on the safe side, it is recommended to introduce strawberries between 6 and 8 months, and to follow the 3-day rule. If your baby has any food sensitivities or history of allergy, it’s safer to introduce strawberries after 1 year of age, after getting a green signal from your pediatrician. Watch out for these signs:
- Itchy rashes or Hives.
- Abdominal pain.
- Swelling of the face or around eyes.
- Shortness of breath.
- Dizzy or Lethargic feel.
Rush your baby to the emergency if any of these symptoms appear. Strawberries are a little acidic, and this can cause a rash around your baby’s mouth or diaper area. While offering strawberries as finger food for your baby, make sure the pieces are of small size and supervise the child throughout.
Choosing Strawberries for Baby
- Choose fresh strawberries which are bright red, firm, plump and with green and firm stems
- Avoid strawberries that look dull, with green or yellow patches and those which are soft or wrinkled or with blemishes and bruises
- Strawberries do not ripen after being picked so buy only fully ripened ones
- When selecting packed strawberries, choose containers with no stains or moisture, to avoid possible spoilage
- Strawberries can have high concentrations of pesticides, so the best option is to buy organic strawberries
Storage Tips for Strawberries
- Strawberries are easily perishable and dry out easily, so they have to be refrigerated and consumed within four days
- They have to be stored in an airtight container, after placing the fruits in a single layer on a paper towel
- Damaged strawberries can contaminate other fruits, so avoid storing them together
- Strawberries are fragile and they are not to be left at room temperature or exposed to sunlight for a long time, as this might cause spoilage
- Strawberries can be frozen and stored for up to 6 months.
To freeze strawberries, first wash wash them gently and pat dry. Remove the cap and stem, arrange them on a flat pan and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer them to a zip lock bag and mark the date on it.
Strawberry Recipes for Babies and Toddlers
- 60 Healthy Strawberry Recipes for Babies and Kids
- Strawberry Banana Puree for Babies
- Homemade Strawberry Yogurt Recipe
- Heart Shaped Strawberry Cookies
- Strawberry Lassi
- Whole Wheat Strawberry Banana Pancakes Recipe
- Strawberry Yogurt Muffins