The berry season lasts all summer, and during this time, mothers try to feed their babies with natural vitamins for the future. But more is not always better! What berries and in what quantity should be included in the children’s diet?
With the onset of heat, a huge number of ripe berries appear on the shelves — Crimean strawberries, Krasnodar cherries, Armenian mulberries, and many grow raspberries and currants right in their summer cottages! Why are berries so valued? It is believed that they contain almost all known vitamins: they are a source of vitamin C and folic acid. In addition, the berries are rich in bioflavonoids (vitamin P), dietary fiber (pectin), organic acids, mineral salts. All these substances are also indispensable in the nutrition of babies, like vitamins.
Let’s analyze the most popular berries according to their vitamin and mineral composition:
Strawberry. A favorite of all children, this berry strengthens blood vessels, cleanses the body and improves immunity.
Useful substances: manganese, zinc, potassium, calcium, copper, cobalt, molybdenum, phosphorus, fluorine and iodine, carotene. There is more vitamin C in strawberries than in lemons.
Danger: When choosing strawberries, it is important to remember that they are included in the famous «Dirty Dozen» — the list of the 12 most dangerous foods according to the Environmental Working Group, which specializes in research and advocacy in the field of human health and the environment. The most dangerous is early strawberries, its producers most often “bring to mind” with the help of chemicals. The best time to buy strawberries is June.
Raspberry. We all know raspberries as a serious competitor to antipyretics, because they also contain salicylic acid. Raspberries for colds will help reduce the temperature, has diaphoretic and antimicrobial properties. Vitamin C in it is not enough, but a lot of fruit sugars.
Useful substances: salicylic acid, potassium, calcium, iron, carotene, vitamins B1 and B2. The largest amount of fiber, folic acid.
Danger: raspberry fruits are contraindicated in bronchial asthma, but the roots of this plant in folk medicine, on the contrary, are considered a very effective remedy for this disease.
Currant. Black currants are not only the sweetest and richest in taste, but also contain much more vitamins than white and red ones. 100 g of black currant contains more than three daily norms of vitamin C, a third of the norm of vitamins B1 and B2. Useful substances: Pectin, magnesium, potassium, folic acid, iron and phosphorus.
There are few vitamins in red and white currants, but there is a lot of pectin. It is a strong antioxidant, removing toxins and heavy metals from the body. Currant heals the heart and blood vessels, nervous diseases and even saves from headaches! Another nice bonus is that vitamin C is well preserved in any blackcurrant blanks.
Danger: due to high acidity, currants are not recommended for use during exacerbation of gastritis and peptic ulcer.
Cherry. The abundance of iron helps to increase the level of hemoglobin, and this saves babies from anemia. Vitamins and minerals saturate tissues, preventing the development of deficient conditions.
The berry has a laxative effect, improves intestinal motility, and kakhetin and tannin in its composition relieve allergic manifestations. Cherry is also effective for colds — its pulp has a bactericidal property.
But there is one danger: abundance of bones. Be careful when giving these berries to a child. Pre-stone cherries or offer your baby healthy Bitey snacks based on this berry — they contain freeze-dried cherries.
Freeze drying is the process of extracting liquid from foods. First, the products are quickly frozen to a temperature of −200 C. Its advantage is that with such a strong freezing, ice crystals are formed in biological tissues so small that they are not able to destroy the cell membranes of the product. Ice crystals, without turning into a liquid, evaporate.
This method ensures the preservation of all useful properties of products without exception. Sublimates do not contain any preservatives or dyes — this is their main advantage compared to other long-term storage products.
According to the recommendations of the State Institution of the Research Institute of Nutrition of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and pediatricians in Russia, you can start acquaintance with berries from all types of currants, blueberries, raspberries, but strawberries and wild strawberries should be offered a month later, as this is the most allergenic berry among all.
In any case, the first meeting with berries should occur no earlier than 5-6 months. When offering your baby a new berry, start with small doses — in the same way as any complementary foods. A child up to a year old is given berry complementary foods at the tip of a teaspoon. For an older child, the first serving of a particular berry can be increased to a full teaspoon. From the age of two, a child can already eat all the berries, the main thing is to observe the measure. Another important point is that when offering a child berries, one should not get carried away with sugar, it is better to accustom him to a natural taste.