With so many health benefits that are particularly good for summer, it’s natural to wonder, “Can I give my Baby Watermelon?” Find out if you can and what else you need to know about this fruit.
Nature, or Mother Nature as we call her, is perfect at giving us exactly what we need, when we need it. No wonder then that nature is a Mom! One such example is how we get fruits and vegetables according to seasons, providing us with what we need for that particular weather. And when it comes to hot Indian summers, watermelons are the biggest natural gift we could ever get in the scorching heat.
Although we tend to classify watermelons as fruits, they are also a vegetable. The sweet red flesh of the fruit is delicious, hydrating and laden with nutrients. As soon as the first rays of the summer sun hit us, these large green fruits make their appearance at fruit stalls and supermarkets.
However, watermelons didn’t always look like this. When first discovered in Africa, they were small, about two inches in diameter. They looked pale, were full of seeds and not much flesh, which tasted bitter. and not very fleshy. It was us humans who modified the genetics of this fruit changed it into the sweet and bright red fruit we see today.
The first seedless watermelon was introduced in the 20th century. Watermelons come in different sizes, weighing anywhere from 5 pounds to an astonishing 200 pounds. There are more than 1200 varieties of watermelons found all over the world. The four major types of watermelons found in India are seedless, picnic, icebox, and yellow/orange fleshed. The entire watermelon can be consumed from the rind to the flesh to the seeds. Sprouted watermelon seeds are loaded with zinc, potassium and magnesium.
Health Benefits of Watermelon
Watermelons are 92% water and are excellent for providing hydration in summer. The sweet red flesh of the watermelon is not just thirst quenching, it has lots of health benefits too. The fruit is loaded with Vitamin A, B6 and C, lycopene and amino acids, providing us with lots of health benefits.
- Ensures Hydration
- Aids Weight Loss
- Regulates Bowel Movements
- Regulates Blood Pressure and improves heart health
- Helps in Reducing Asthma Attacks
- Prevents Macular Degeneration
- Prevents Cancer
- Promotes Kidney Health
- Protects Nerve Function
- Soothes Inflammation.
- Promotes Good Sleep.
Can I give my Baby Watermelon?
Melons may trigger allergic reactions in some babies, so it’s safer to introduce them after 8 months of age. However, if your baby has no family history of food allergies and sensitivities and is taking to all fruits without problems, you can start as early as 6 months.
Babies with food sensitivities or a family history of allergies may have an allergic reaction. In that case, introduce watermelons after consulting with the child’s pediatrician.
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.
The easiest way to feed babies watermelon is like this – Cut the melon in half and scoop out the seeds. Separate the flesh from the rind completely and either mash it to a puree or cut into chunks to serve as finger food.
Tips to select and store Watermelons
When buying watermelons, pick one which seems heavy for its size. Tap the fruit – a hollow sound indicates a ripe melon. Round melons tend to be sweeter compared to elongated ones which are more watery. Watermelons with a creamy yellow splotch and a sweet fresh scent are ready to be consumed.
Storing the watermelon at room temperature helps to retain its antioxidants. Uncut watermelons stay good for a week to ten days outside the fridge and can last for two to three weeks under refrigeration.
Watermelon Recipes for Babies and Kids
Check out more healthy watermelon recipes for babies and kids.