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Summer is here, so are mangoes! This sweet and luscious fruit is only accessible at this time of year, and almost everyone loves to make the most of it. Although mango for babies is safe, parents can be skeptical when it comes to feeding them. Along with mango, jackfruit is also one of the fruits that is surrounded with doubts and myths. Let’s know the facts from an expert.
Dr Swathi Reddy (PT), Consultant Physiotherapist and certified diet counsellor and MIAP, Motherhood Hospitals, Bengaluru, spoke to Health Shots about the benefits and side effects of feeding mango and jackfruit to babies.
Mangoes and jackfruits, two of everyone’s favourite fruits, are available in plenty in summer. Parents may wonder if it is okay to feed these fruits to their babies, when they should begin introducing these flavours, and if there will be any health consequences.
“Even though both these fruits are healthy and beneficial to one’s health, it’s always a good idea to be aware of any potential adverse effects,” says Dr Reddy.
Dr Reddy says, “You can start giving mangoes when your child is around 8-10 months old. Mangoes are a good source of natural sugars and carbohydrates. This keeps the infant energized and active. Because it is a smooth and soft fruit, it can simply be fed as a puree. Moreover, it contains a lot of vitamin A and C.”
When feeding mangoes to babies for the first time, it’s crucial not to go overboard. The sweet taste of the fruit is appealing to the baby, and therefore he or she may reject to eat other vegetables which have a little bland flavour.
Your child may enjoy the taste and demand more, but you should exercise caution and avoid overfeeding them. Start with a little dose and watch whether your infant develops any signs of allergies, such as rashes, bumps, or digestive issues, such as diarrhea or loose movements. Remember to introduce new foods first thing in the morning to rule out allergies.
According to Dr Reddy, usually allergies from mangoes are rare but sometimes babies may develop rashes on skin. Mangoes that are highly fibrous should be avoided as they can cause irritation in the baby’s digestive tract and lead to indigestion and diarrhea. It should be taken in the amounts based on requirement of daily allowances (RDA) for babies. Any foods taken in excess will not be good as it affects the digestive system even if it is healthy.
Though jackfruit is also rich in nutrients, it is not advisable to introduce it very early. You can feed jackfruit when the baby is around 9 to 10 months old. The fruit must be cut into finger food size to avoid choking. Like in the case of mangoes, you should start with small quantities and observe your baby’s reaction to it.
Jackfruit can have certain negative consequences, particularly in babies who are allergic to pollen or latex. If your infant has a blood issue, you should avoid jackfruit because it can cause coagulation. An unpleasant stomach and diarrhoea might result from eating too much jackfruit.
Both mangoes and jackfruit have strong flavours and are very sweet but rich in nutrients. Your baby’s digestive system is still sensitive when they are very young. Taking these fruits in excess can sometimes cause issues. “You should not feed them these fruits before they are 6 months old. Baby should be on exclusive breastfeeding till 6 months. When you plan to introduce these in your baby’s diet, it is always good to consult your doctor and see what is suitable,” says Dr Reddy.