There are various benefits of pumpkin for babies. This fruit is not only sweet and delicious, but also has many nutrients that are good for eye and skin health, smooth the baby's digestive tract, and increase his body's resistance.
One of the reasons why pumpkin is good to add to a baby's complementary food menu is because of the nutrients it contains.
Pumpkin fruit contains a variety of nutrients needed by babies, namely calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, complex carbohydrates, water, protein, and fiber.
5 Benefits of Pumpkin for Babies
After the baby is 6 months old and over, the supply of breast milk alone can no longer meet their nutritional needs. Your little one also needs nutrition from food or solid food. Pumpkin can be a good choice of fruit and is safe for consumption by babies.
The following are the benefits of pumpkin for baby's health:
1. Maintain eye health
The yellow and orange color of pumpkin comes from the content of beta carotene which is converted into vitamin A in the body. This vitamin is very good for supporting baby's eye health.
Contains vitamin A, lutein, and zeaxanthin Pumpkin is useful for protecting the eyes from various diseases, as well as helping the retina absorb and process light that enters the eye.
2. Increase endurance
Pumpkin is rich in iron, folic acid, as well as vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E which are antioxidants. All these nutrients function to form the baby's immune system. Antioxidants also play an important role in counteracting the effects of free radicals.
Consuming pumpkin in sufficient levels can make immune cells work better to ward off and prevent infection and speed up the healing process when the baby is sick or injured.
3. Make skin healthy
Besides being good for the eyes, beta carotene contained in pumpkin can act as a natural sunscreen that can block the dangers of excessive sun exposure on the skin.
Not only vitamin A, vitamin C in pumpkin also plays a role in the process of forming collagen which is needed by baby's skin to keep it healthy and supple.
4. Smooth the baby's digestion
Besides being rich in vitamins and minerals, pumpkin is also rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates. These nutrients are good for keeping the baby's digestive tract moving smoothly and preventing constipation.
To meet their fiber needs, babies need to consume about 10 grams of fiber every day. This fiber intake can be obtained from nuts and fruits and vegetables. One of them is pumpkin.
5. Makes sleep better
Does your little one often have trouble sleeping? If so, you can give processed pumpkin as a complementary food menu.
This is because pumpkin contains tryptophan, which is a type of essential amino acid that will help your little one produce the hormone serotonin. This hormone plays a role in managing mood, making sleep more sound, and making the baby feel calm and happy.
Pumpkin can be processed into various preparations, such as compote, soup, salad, pie, and also juice. But for babies, this fruit is more suitable to be served in the form of puree or added to baby porridge.
To make porridge or puree pumpkin, the method is quite easy. Choose a pumpkin that is good and not deformed. Next, peel the pumpkin, wash it, and cut the pumpkin into cubes. After that, boil or steam the pumpkin until soft, then remove and drain.
The next step is to mash the pumpkin with blender and adding formula or breast milk. Serve this pumpkin porridge for your little one's snack.
Given the many benefits of pumpkin for babies, there's nothing wrong with adding this fruit to your little one's daily menu. However, you need to be careful if your little one has a history of allergies.
Although rare, babies can experience allergies after consuming pumpkin. If your little one seems fussy, has itching, a rash appears on the skin, or nausea and vomiting after eating pumpkin, you should immediately consult a pediatrician.