Sweet potatoes are loved by all people, including children, because of their sweet and delicious taste. Not only that, this sweet potato also has a myriad of health benefits. But the question is, is it safe to give sweet potatoes to children?
Sweet potatoes contain a variety of nutrients needed by the body, including carbohydrates, fiber, protein, sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, as well as vitamins A, B6, C, and D. Sweet potatoes are also known to contain many antioxidants, especially purple and orange sweet potatoes.
Sweet Potatoes Are Safe to Give to Children
Seeing the nutritional content, sweet potatoes are very good given to children because it can help the process of growth and development. Various colors of sweet potatoes can be used to attract children's attention.
Mothers can introduce sweet potatoes to their little ones since they are 6 months old or when they start solids. At this age, sweet potatoes should be processed into puree or thick porridge, so that the baby does not choke.
Furthermore, when your little one is 9 months old or more, sweet potatoes can be given in the form of finger food because the ability to chew and grip it is better than before.
Apart from pure dan finger foodMother can also make sweet potatoes into various menus, you know, such as donuts, compote, snake fruit seeds, and pudding. Sweet potatoes can be processed in various ways, from steaming, roasting, frying, to sautéing. However, make sure the sweet potato texture is adjusted to the age of the little one, yes, Bun.
Various Benefits of Sweet Potatoes for Children
Not only is it safe to give to children, consuming sweet potatoes on a regular basis can also bring extraordinary benefits for your little one, including:
1. Healthy digestive tract
The fiber and antioxidants contained in sweet potatoes have benefits for gut health. Both of these compounds are believed to be able to increase good bacteria (probiotics) which can strengthen the cells that line the intestinal wall.
Sweet potatoes contain two types of fiber, namely soluble and insoluble fiber. These fibers are known to increase the volume of feces as well as absorb water and soften stools. That way, your little one will have a more regular bowel movement and avoid the risk of various kinds of digestive disorders, from diarrhea to colon cancer.
2. Increase endurance
The abundant content of vitamins A, C, and antioxidants in sweet potatoes, especially purple sweet potatoes and orange sweet potatoes, can support the work of white blood cells and the production of antibodies so as to increase the child's immune system. In addition, antioxidants can also ward off free radicals that cause various diseases.
3. Improve eye health
Orange sweet potatoes contain a lot of beta-carotene, which is a colorant that forms vitamin A. This vitamin is very important for visual acuity. The antioxidant activity of sweet potatoes can also protect eye cells from damage and maintain children's eye health.
4. Improve brain function
An animal study revealed that the anthocyanins found in purple sweet potatoes can protect the brain by preventing inflammation or damage from free radical exposure through its antioxidant activity.
Although further research is still needed, antioxidant properties are known to reduce the risk of mental disorders and memory disorders. So, there is no harm in taking this benefit for the baby.
After knowing the information above, now you no longer need to hesitate to give sweet potatoes as a healthy snack or a source of carbohydrates for children. Plus, sweet potatoes are also easy to find and relatively cheap.
However, pay attention to the way the sweet potatoes are cooked, yes, Bun. Consumption of fried, baked, or baked sweet potatoes can cause blood sugar levels to spike. So, try not to eat too much sweet potato to avoid obesity.
Although rare, some children may experience allergies when eating sweet potatoes. If after being given sweet potatoes, your little one experiences allergy symptoms, such as rash, vomiting, swollen lips and eyelids, or even shortness of breath and faints, immediately take him to a doctor or emergency room for treatment.