11 Health Benefits of Chicken in Your Child’s Diet

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Health benefits of Chicken in child’s diet include muscle growth, enhancement in  circulatory system, promoting bone health, facilitating brain development, healthy teeth, bones and organs, fluid balance, energy production, ensures full stomach and boosting immunity.

If you are planning to add meat in your child’s diet then the nutritional components of chicken makes it a good first option. Chicken is a low-fat content meat with high proteins which makes it a perfect choice to be added to your child’s diet. But before you add it, knowing whether your baby is ready to digest it is important.

Read More:Health Benefits of Eggs for Kids

chicken for kids

In this article:

When can you start Adding Chicken in your Child’s Diet?
Nutritional Facts of Chicken
11 Amazing Health Benefits of Chicken in Your Child’s Diet
Best ways to Cook Chicken for your Baby
Can Babies be Allergic to Chicken?
Tips for Serving Chicken to Your Baby
Healthy Chicken Recipes for Babies

When can you start Adding Chicken in your Child’s Diet?

You can start adding chicken to your child’s diet once he/she turns six months old, since this is the stage when babies are introduced to solid foods. You can make chicken into a puree and feed them not more than 2 tablespoons a day. Start with 1 tablespoon and then make it 2, this way you can also notice if your baby is able to digest it or not.

Read More:How To Introduce Meat Into Your Baby’s Diet

Nutritional Facts of Chicken

As we discussed above, chicken is filled with nutrients and minerals which makes it a perfect choice. Here is a table with the nutritional information of chicken:

Nutritional componentNutritional value per 100 gram
Protein18.6 g
Fat15.06 g
Energy215 kcal
Vitamin A400 ug
Vitamin B10.06 mg
Vitamin B20.12 mg
Vitamin B36.08 mg
Vitamin B60.35 mg
Vitamin B120.31 mg
Folate6 ug
Vitamin C1.6 mg
Vitamin D0.2 ug
Vitamin E0.3 mg
Vitamin K1.5 ug
Calcium15 mg
Iron0.9 mg
Sodium70 mg
Phosphorous147 mg
Potassium189 mg
Magnesium20 mg
Zinc1.31 mg

11 Amazing Health Benefits of Chicken in Your Child’s Diet

The profuse nutrients of chicken have many health benefits if added to your baby. Here are 11 health benefits of chicken for your baby:

Muscle Growth

Chicken has high protein content with 18.6 g per 100 grams. Protein is essential for muscle growth of your baby. It is considered that protein found from animals digests faster and easier compared to the plant proteins. Therefore, by adding chicken to your baby’s diet you can provide them with good amount of protein for their muscle growth.

Read More:Health Benefits of Turmeric in your Child’s Diet

Enhances Circulatory System

The iron content in chicken is necessary for the growth of red blood cells. Chicken also contains potassium which keeps the blood vessels in a healthy condition, and hence enhances the circulatory system keeping your baby healthy.

Promotes Bone Health

100g of chicken contains 15mg of calcium and 182mg of phosphorus. These two minerals have a vital role in the formation of bones. Therefore, chicken will ensure good bone health to your baby.

Facilitates Brain Development

Chicken is rich in vitamins including vitamin a, c and b12 also called cobalamin. These vitamins are essential for brain development in infants and also ensure proper growth in your children.

Boosts Immunity 

Micronutrients such as zinc and magnesium in chicken, make your baby’s immunity game strong. It keeps their immune system active hence preventing any infections and ailments.

Healthy Teeth, Bones and Organs 

Chicken is rich in phosphorus, an essential mineral that supports the health of your teeth and bones, as well as the functioning of kidney, liver and central nervous system.

For Growth 

Chicken has amino acids that help your child to grow taller and stronger. It is one of the best foods for growing children.

Fluid Balance 

Chicken contains potassium which is an important mineral that functions as an electrolyte. It helps regulate fluid balance, nerve signals and muscle contractions. Potassium intake is important for kids as part of a nutritious diet.

Energy Production

The b vitamins of chicken helps make energy in your child’s body. It helps your body use carbohydrates, fatty acids, and proteins. Since chicken is filled with all the vitamins, it is a healthy choice if consumed in limited amount.

Increases Cell Mass 

Chicken contains sodium that is an important growth factor, it helps in stimulating cell proliferation and protein synthesis and increasing cell mass.

Ensures Full Stomach 

Chicken is a healthy and a filling option for growing kids. They may consume only a small amount of calories but their stomach can stay full for hours. What more do you need if you are ensured that your baby is full?

Best ways to Cook Chicken for your Baby

The following are the best ways to cook chicken for your baby:

  • Bake – Cut chicken pieces into small and even size and then bake the chicken at 190 degree Celsius for 20 minutes. Once baked, you can puree it for babies or shred it for kids over 12 months of age.
  • Poach – Cut thin slices of boneless chicken and place them in a saucepan with just enough water to submerge them. Then boil this for about 20 minutes until the chicken is completely cooked. Once done puree the chicken slices with water or strain the nutrient-rich water to use in other baby foods.
  • Boil – Boiling is the best way to cook chicken as it softens the meat for easy pureeing and kills pathogens. Cut the chicken into small pieces and completely submerge them in water in a boiling pot. Boil for 30 minutes or longer until the chicken is completely cooked and then puree the chicken.

Can Babies be Allergic to Chicken?

As we have discussed before, know whether your baby is ready to digest chicken, to avoid any kind of allergic reactions. Introducing small amount in the beginning helps to reduce the chances of indigestion problem. Notice the reactions of your baby, if they do not show any allergic reaction, you can continue feeding them chicken, if not stop it immediately.

But for the babies with sensitive digestive system and immune system, it might be difficult to digest meat; hence they may show some allergic reactions to this food. Here are the possible reactions you might notice if your baby’s body is not able to digest chicken:

  • Swelling: your baby might have a swollen face, neck, eyelids, throat, and nose indicate an allergy. They may also find it difficult to open his eyes or breathe.
  • Pain in the abdomen: abdominal cramping or pain along with diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Rashes or hives on the skin: itchy red bumps on the body.
  • Fatigue: weakness and dullness in the baby.

Tips for Serving Chicken to Your Baby

  • Buy organic whole chicken which is plump and bony.
  • Chicken breast will be the perfect choice to feed your baby, since it is a great source of lean protein.
  • Buy chicken with opaque skin and not spotted ones
  • Avoid buying frozen chicken with frozen liquid, since this might mean that the chicken was thawed and frozen again
  • Do not keep fresh chicken in the refrigerator for more than 2 days
  • Keep chicken away from other foods to avoid cross contamination
  • Check whether the chicken is cooked completely by inserting a skewer into the thickest part. If clear juice comes out instead of pink juice then it means it’s properly cooked.
  • Do not add any extra salt in the chicken, since it already has sodium content which is enough for the baby.

Healthy Chicken Recipes for Babies

Here are some healthy chicken recipes which you can try at home easily and feed your baby.

Chicken Puree

One of the simplest forms of cooking chicken for your 6 month old baby is by making chicken puree.

Ingredients –

  • 2 cups of boneless chicken
  • 3-4 cups of water

How to cook – Put chicken in a boiling pot or pressure cooker, and cook until the chicken is tender. Cool and transfer it in a blender with water. Blend to the desired consistency. If you have used poached or roasted chicken, then cut it into smaller pieces and blend with boiled water. To make chicken soup, add more water.

Chicken Stew

For babies who prefer liquids more than the solids, then chicken stew is a good choice. This is similar to chicken puree but the focus is on the water.

Ingredients –

  • 3-4 cups chicken with bones
  • 7-8 cups of water

How to cook – Boil chicken thoroughly in a pot or a pressure cooker and cook for 25-30 minutes as it leaches all the nutrients into the water. Once cooked, let the stew cool, and then strain the liquid using a sieve. The highly nutritious chicken stew is ready.

Chicken and Rice Porridge

Rice is rich in carbohydrates, which is an excellent source of energy for your growing baby. Chicken and rice mixed together will make a perfect combination.

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups of chopped boneless chicken
  • 2 cups rice
  • 1 cup mashed banana
  • 4-5 cups water

How to cook – boil chicken and rice separately, once they are cooked, transfer them into a blender with excess water. You can add mashed banana for sweetness, since it is porridge. Blend all the ingredients till you get the desired consistency.

Chicken and Sweet Potato Puree

Both chicken and sweet potato are high in vitamins, making it a good combination for your baby’s diet.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of finely chopped sweet potato
  • 2 cups of boneless chicken
  • 3-4 cups of water

How to cook – cook chicken and sweet potato separately, once they’re cooked, blend them to the desired consistency.

Note – you can also make this recipe using beetroot or peas.

Apples and Chicken Puree

This is a simple, nutritious and delicious recipe.

Ingredients –

  • ¼ cup of boneless chicken
  • ¼ cup of seedless apple or homemade applesauce

How to cook – cook chicken and apple separately. Once done, blend them together until you get the required consistency.

References

https://www.momjunction.com/articles/chicken-recipes-for-your-baby_00329436/#gref

https://www.verywellfit.com/how-many-calories-in-chicken-breast-3495665

Hope this article was of help for all our parents!! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy and Healthy Babies!!

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