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Can babies eat raw Pumpkin? This is the question most moms want answers to. Pumpkin is one of the fruits that has numerous nutritional benefits. It is beneficial to building a healthy system. It has been recommended by pediatricians that solid food should not be given to a baby younger than 6 months old since the baby would still be getting nutrients from breastmilk or formula. At 6 months of age, a baby might start teething and can now chew any solid food given gradually.
At this stage, your little one would need the essential nutrients gotten from solid foods for more healthy development. Yes, babies can eat pumpkin. It has been researched to give a baby some essential nutrients to build a healthy immune system and it can be used in several baby-friendly recipes to keep your baby healthy. Pumpkin has numerous health benefits for your little one. Below are some of the benefits your baby would get when you include pumpkin while making your baby’s meal.
5 Benefit of pumpkin for baby
1. Gives essential nutrients
Your little one needs the essential nutrient from pumpkin to have a healthy development. Pumpkin contains so many essential nutrients and minerals like magnesium and calcium which aid the development of your baby’s bone. It also contains phosphorous which aids and improve brain function and keeps your little ones hormone level balanced.
2. Eyesight development
Pumpkin is full of vitamin A, which is essential for the development of your baby’s eyesight. A baby’s eyesight is still developing and would need the carotenoids present in the pumpkin to speed up the process of the development of the eyesight, reduce the risk of several eye complications and diseases and also reduce the accumulation of a fatty substance on the retina that causes blurred vision.
3. Helps your baby sleep better
One of a parent’s greatest delight is to see their little one sleeping peacefully without a fuss. Pumpkin has a substance called tryptophan which helps in the production of serotonin in the body. This serotonin is an amino acid that induces calmness in the body and allows your baby to sleep nice and peacefully at night. Ensure the pumpkin is well pureed so your baby can easily digest it and quickly fall asleep.
4. Improves your baby’s digestion
Babies become uncomfortable and could make a fuss when there is a problem with their bowel movements. As a parent, this might cause you to worry and try to find the right food to give to your little one to make their bowel movement easy. Pumpkin is a great source of fibre and it also regulated your little one’s bowel movement.
5. Enhances the immune system
Pumpkin contains retinol (pro-Vitamin A) which has antioxidants that help your baby’s developing immune system. Pumpkin also contains beta-carotene which the body converts into vitamin A, this is essential for the healthy development of your baby.
Although pumpkin has several benefits, it also has side effects. Below are some side effects of pumpkin for babies.
The side effects of pumpkin for babies
1. Allergic reactions
If your baby is allergic to pumpkin, it is important to avoid including pumpkin in the meal plan since it can give rise to allergic reactions like nasal congestion, difficulty in breathing, itching, etc. Ensure you monitor your baby during mealtime and discontinue giving your baby pumpkin if you notice any allergic reactions.
The dietary fibre present in the pumpkin gives your little one some essential benefits, still, it is important to give your baby pumpkin in moderation. Indigestion can occur as a result of too much intake of pumpkin and it is not good for the digestive system of your baby.
3. Weight gain
It has been recommended that pumpkin should be consumed in moderate quantities. Pumpkin is high in calories and if eaten in excess this can cause excess weight gain which is not healthy for your little one.
What to mix with pumpkin for baby food
There are several things to mix with pumpkin when making your baby’s food. Below are a few options.
Adding an apple to pumpkin for your baby’s food not only gives it a great taste but supports your baby’s immune system. Ensure to de-seed and chop the apple into bits, also chop the pumpkin into bits. Boil them in water until tender. Cool for 3-5 minutes then mashes to make the mixture a puree. You can add some cinnamon before giving your baby an additional flavor.
Oatmeal is rich in antioxidants and is essential for healthy growth for your baby. Mix ½ cup of pumpkin puree with 1½ cup of cooked oatmeal. You can add a little dash of desired spice and serve when cool. You can also blend to make it a puree if needed.
3. Basmati rice
Basmati rice gives your baby a more balanced level of energy to play, crawl and run. Boil basmati rice till it is tender for your baby to easily eat and digest. Remove from heat to cool for 3-5 minutes. Add pumpkin puree to the basmati rice and a dash of desired spice. For younger babies, you can puree the mixture to make it easy to digest.
Raw pumpkin nutrition
Pumpkin has so many benefits and giving it to your baby would aid healthy development. Pumpkin can be added to your little one’s diet because they will need the added nutrients from solid food from six months of age. The above are some of the benefits your baby would get from eating pumpkin.
Can babies eat raw Pumpkin?
As seen from the content above, the answer to the question “Can babies eat raw pumpkin”, is yes, they can. However, you can only give it to them when they are above six months of age. Ensure you monitor your baby during mealtime and discontinue giving pumpkin to your baby if you notice allergic reactions. Pumpkin can be added to a range of different things to give additional nutrients, above are a few things you can add to the pumpkin while making your baby’s food. Ensure you give your baby pumpkin moderately to avoid having any side effects.