Meat of a ripe coconut is very hard. That is not suitable for her child. However, the soft meat of the green coconut is thicker and fibrous is much better for your child. It is also known as the coconut jelly and it is a very nutritious food which can be given to your child. Rich in vitamins and minerals, this food will provide your child with healthy bones and blood.
Should Coconut Meat be given to My Child?
Coconut is actually not a nut. It is a part of the palm family. So, it is basically a drupe and not a nut. Even though FDA has categorised coconut as a tree nut, coconut has no features of a nut. Coconut is not known for any kind of allergic reaction for children or infant. However, you should consult with your paediatrician or a proper nutritionist before introducing coconut meat to your child.
Coconut meat is easily digestible. However, if your baby is showing any kind of reluctance, then it is better not to continue it. Before offering your child with shredded coconut or toasted coconut, make sure that your child knows how to chew the food and do not just swallow them. Coconut meat dust, can cause irritation in your child’s throat and trigger vomiting tendencies.
Giving Coconut Meat to Your Child
You can offer your child raw green coconut meat. But it is wise to wait till he/she is at least 8 months old. You can also grate the coconut and toast it or mix with boiling water in order to mix it well in your child’s diet. Grated as well as the toasted coconut meats are sweet and supple and can be added to any sort of dessert your child fancies. You can also obviously make your little one the coconut cream pie. Also the same time the coconut meat puddings and coconut meat cakes can be easily made and your child will also love them. If you are planning to make the famous chocolate cakes then you can add the shredded coconut.
There are a number of ways you can introduce coconut meat to your child. Coconut meat can be added to your child’s regular meal in order to increase the nutritional value of the food. It is a good habit to add a little bit of coconut meat at first, in any meal, to check how he/she reacts. Coconut meat can also be mixed with various rice and meat items. The coconuts meats can also be made into puree and add to your baby’s mash.
- Add coconut meat into mash vegetables
- Use for cooking rice for your child
- Make purees with the meat
- Mix it with egg, fish or meat
Health Benefits of Coconut Meat
Healthy Weight Gain:
With rich fibre and mono-unsaturated fats such as oleic and palmitic acid, coconut meat are ideal for providing your child with all the essential fat that will help him/her gain the healthy weight but will not add to the waistline. These mono-saturated fats also ensure that your child’s heart is well protected.
Boosts Nervous System:
Research shows that coconut meat contains folic acid and is high in vitamin B9 which is normally not found in another other forms of nuts. This particular kind of vitamin is known to trigger the formation of red blood cells among children. Also at the same time it boosts up the normal functioning of the nervous system.
Good Source of Starch:
Starch is important for your child’s muscular growth and it also improves the digestive system. Coconut meat contains double the amount of starch when compared to a potato and it is helpful for children in their early growth stage.
Alternate Source of Fibre:
Sometimes children are allergic to gluten and wheat and finding a healthy alternate to fulfil the fibre requirement is a bit challenging. However, coconut meat is free from any form of gluten and for that reason it can be given to kids, who are allergic to wheat, as an alternate source of fibre.
Growth of Teeth & Bones:
Coconut meats are high in magnesium, phosphorous and calcium and for that reason it triggers the growth of teeth and bones among kids. In the early stages of development, the consumption of calcium and phosphorous rich foods are really beneficial for your little one.
Rich in Minerals:
Coconut meats are rich in several minerals in the form of iron, sulphur, chlorine, and manganese and copper and for that reason they have the potential to boost the natural growth in your child. Starting from brain development to the development of the blood vessels, coconut meats are really a super-food for your little one.
Boosts the Level of Energy:
Especially in the early growth stage, your child needs a lot of energy in order to sustain all the developmental activities going around the brain and body. Coconut meats are often recommended to kids for the high level of energy content.
Do not start feeding your child with coconut meat if he/she is less than 8 months old or not yet into solids. Talk to your pediatrician before introducing the food item to your child.