Sweet, luscious and chewy, power-packed with nutrients and minerals, dates as fruit are the most underutilized. Have you often asked people around as to why should children eat dates? While many would say that dates as instant power boosters, but as parents, most of us do not realize how it can benefit our little ones if included in their daily diet.
Pediatricians recommend dates to be included in the diets of both toddlers and children. As it contains essential vitamins and nutrients required for the proper growth of children, it can be introduced with baby food, once the child is weaned.
There is a wide variety of dates available in the market. Opt for ripened dates. Seedless dates are a better option for children. Dried dates are believed to be more nutritious. In whatever form you plan to use them, wash them before consumption.
Here is a list of benefits that this tropical fruit is capable of providing to your little ones.
Why should children eat dates? – 6 reasons, why…
1. An extremely rich source of nutrition
Dates contain several vitamins and minerals. Also rich in fiber and antioxidants, they are definitely good for your child’s health. It is high on calcium and magnesium, responsible for the bone development, and potassium required for the brain development and overall growth of your child. Dates are also recommended by doctors, in cases of iron deficiency in children.
2. During teething
A ripened date can be given to the child during the teething period. Chewing on a date helps to strengthen the gums and for easy and quick tooth eruption. It will also serve as a healthy teether.
3. Cures constipation
As dates are high in fiber, they are good for children who face constipation and digestive problems. Including them in your child’s daily diet can help relieve these problems.
4. Gastrointestinal problems
Dates are known to help in reducing stomach ulcers. So for children who complain of acid reflux and acidity, dates can be of great help. It is also a good cure for dysentery in children.
5. Helps the liver
Dates also help in protecting the liver. At a younger age, children are prone to jaundice, hepatitis, and typhoid – bacterial and viral infections in the liver. Dates as a part of the diet can help in minimizing such threats.
6. Weight gain
For children who find it difficult to gain weight, including dates, is a sure-shot way to help in weight gain. Dates soaked in milk overnight if given daily can surely lead to an increase in weight in lean and thin children.
Dates are good for the overall health of children. They can be used as an alternative to sugar. Using it to sweeten milk and other baby food can help in saving your child from the ill-effects of sugar. The sweet taste of dates is liked by children. For infants and toddlers, steamed dates can be mashed and added to baby food. Let your child snack on dates, and rest assured, your child’s overall need for nutrition is definitely being met.
Disclaimer: Please consult your child’s doctor in case you may be looking for a long-term solution to cure constipation or any specific liver-related issues as dates alone can’t resolve these health-related issues. These benefits have been listed in consultation with the dietitians.
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