When you see the benefits of raw foods, you will want to share this diet with your entire family. You know what raw foods are good for you, but what raw fruits and vegetables are good for children and babies? You should wait until your baby is 12 months old before starting them on raw fruits and vegetables, but there are plenty of options that will help them grow and stay healthy once they are ready.
The first raw fruit most parents will think of is the apple, and for good reason.
With so many types of apples to choose from, there is sure to be a flavor your child will love. There are also a host of health benefits to be gained from apples. They are high in pectin, a dietary fiber that can help stimulate good bacteria in your child’s gut while fighting against bad bacteria. Apples are also high in boron and vitamin C. Boron is a mineral that helps bones and teeth stay strong., and one apple can supply a quarter of your child’s vitamin C daily requirements. You can serve raw apples in a variety of ways, including slices, strips, bite-sized pieces, and more.
Avocados contain a lot of healthy fats that are beneficial to babies and toddlers. They also have the highest protein content of any fruit per serving. Serve it diced or sliced for older babies and toddlers or serve as a puree that even younger babies can enjoy.
Bananas are full of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium. Carbohydrates will help provide sustained energy, while the fiber will support a healthy digestive tract. Not only are they delicious, but their peel makes them a portable snack that can be stored in any bag until your child is hungry. You can chop bananas into pieces for older babies and children to eat, but make sure you are thoroughly mashing ripe bananas for younger babies.
Blueberries are a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, and fiber as well as many antioxidants. If serving blueberries to babies, be sure you are cutting them into smaller pieces to prevent a choking hazard.
Cherries are full of vitamin C, iron, calcium, potassium, fiber, beta-carotene, and anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are an antioxidant that is believed to protect the brain. It is generally a good idea to give these to your baby cooked and mashed into a puree, but older children can enjoy raw cherries.
Oranges have incredibly high levels of vitamin C, and just one orange can provide the vitamin C requirement for two days. Oranges are also a source of fiber and beta-carotene, making these a great choice for anyone. Their juices are beneficial to kids of all ages, but you should only give oranges to toddlers and children.
Peaches are a rich source of vitamin C and dietary fiber, as well as a small amount of many other vitamins and minerals including potassium and the antioxidant beta-carotene. Be sure to cut them into small pieces for young toddlers, but older children can eat them as-is.
Vitamin C is an important part of any diet, and strawberries have more Vitamin C per serving than even oranges. Be sure to cut off the stems before serving them to children and babies.
Bell peppers serve as a great source of vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin C, providing your child with many helpful developmental boosts. These can be enjoyed as chunks, slices, or diced pieces for older children.
Broccoli contains high amounts of vitamin C, beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, fiber, and iron, serving as a great source of a variety of health benefits. These will be too tough for babies to enjoy raw, but children can enjoy broccoli raw to get a full host of benefits.
High in beta-carotene, carrots are an incredibly healthy addition to anyone’s diet. The beta-carotene in carrots converts into vitamin A to help play a role in their growth and healthy vision. Carrots should be cooked and mashed for young babies, but as soon as they have their molars, they can start enjoying small, bite-sized pieces.
You can find high levels of vitamin K in peas. This vitamin works alongside calcium to help foster healthy bone development in children. Whole peas can be a choking hazard, so be sure you are not feeding these to children under 3.
You can provide your child with a lot of vitamins and minerals with sweet potatoes. Potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and beta-carotene can be found in these tasty vegetables. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that can help prevent certain types of cancer, making sweet potatoes even more appealing. Older babies and children can eat this superfood raw, but make sure you are cooking and mashing it for young babies.
These are just a few of the raw fruits and vegetables that are great for your babies and children to enjoy. Be sure to find recipes to help even the pickiest eaters enjoy their raw food diet, and experiment with other options to find the foods your children will love.