The health benefits of custard apple in baby food include supply of minerals such as calcium for bone health, phosphorous for digestion, magnesium for energy production in the body, DNA and RNA synthesis, supply of vitamin C for strengthening the immune system and presence of antioxidants which neutralize free radicals.
Custard apple is one of the sweetest fruits that you can find and hence another name for custard apple is sugar apples. The fruit is native to the tropical American countries. But the exact point of origin is unknown. Today, you can find custard apples in most of the tropical countries of the world including tropical American countries such as Bahamas, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, etc and tropical and subtropical Asian countries such as India, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Custard apple is a seasonal fruit which generally grows during winters. The fruit is a green colored heart-shaped fruit with several bumps all over its body. This outer structure has a white colored sweet pulp and dark colored seeds inside it. As the fruit matures the outer bumpy layer becomes softer. You can easily break open a mature fruit to reveal the white pulp inside.
Nutrition in Custard Apple
The nutrition found in 100 g of Custard Apple includes
|Nutrition||Value per 100 g||Nutrition||Value per 100 g|
|Total Fat||1 g||Water||71.5 g|
|Protein||1.7g||Vitamin A||33 IU|
|Vitamin C||192 mg||Thiamin||0.1 mg|
|Riboflavin||0.1 mg||Niacin||0.5 mg|
|Pantothenic acid||0.1 mg||Calcium||30 mg|
|Iron||0.7 mg||Magnesium||18 mg|
|Phosphorous||21 mg||Potassium||382 mg|
Can I give Custard Apple to my baby?
As most fruits that can be given to your baby at 6 months of age, custard apple can also be given to your baby after you introduce solid foods. Preparing custard apple is very simple, You just have to take ripe or mature custard apple, carefully break it, take out all the pulp and remove all the seeds. The preparation time for custard apple pulp will not take more than 5 minutes.
Health benefits of custard apple in baby food
Custard apple brings together several health benefits for your baby, some of which are as follows.
Good supply of Vitamin C: Custard apple is a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is helpful in strengthening the immune system, it fights off infections, it is good for eyes, it reduces toxicity in infants and kids.
Supplies calcium: Calcium is one of the chief minerals that our body needs. As we know, calcium forms the basis for strong bones. Supplying good amounts of calcium through diet to your baby is very essential. Calcium in custard apple can help in strengthening the bones of your baby.
Supply of magnesium: Magnesium is another mineral that the body needs in order to produce energy. Magnesium also plays an important role in synthesis of DNA and RNA. DNA and RNA synthesis is highly essential in babies and toddlers because their rate of growth is much higher than adults and hence the average supply of magnesium must also be higher.
Supply of phosphorous: Another mineral apart from calcium that forms bones and teeth is phosphorous. Phosphorous deficiency can result in weak bones, tooth decay and gum problems in toddlers and kids. Phosphorous also helps in digesting food and is important for brain functioning.
Antibacterial properties: The biochemical extracts from custard apple possess antibacterial properties. Being a seasonal fruit, eating it during the season can help in fighting against seasonal bacterial attacks.
Supply of antioxidants: Like most fruits and vegetables, custard apple is also a good source of antioxidants. The importance of antioxidants cannot be undermined. Antioxidants are those molecules that help in reducing the effect of free radicals that form as a result of energy consumption in cells. These free radicals can cause damages to nearby cells and also to DNA. So, it is important that we include as much antioxidants as you can in your baby’s diet.
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Measures to be taken while giving custard apple to your baby
Here are few measures that you can take while giving custard apple to your baby.
Selecting the right fruit: custard apple must be matured or ripened enough to be given to your baby. The best indication is that the fruit will be soft enough for you to break open easily in one hand.
Preparing the pulp: The pulp of custard apple is white in color and it contains black or dark colored seeds. After breaking the fruit, you can actually take a spoon and scoop out all the pulp. Remove the seeds before serving it to your baby. The seeds can cause choking in babies and kids.
No need to sugar or any sweetener: The other name for custard apple is sugar apple. And it is one of the sweetest fruits. So, you don’t have to add any sugar or sweetening agent into the custard apple pulp.
No fruit juice: Making fruit juice can be tiresome work when the pulp itself has a thicker soup like consistency. Also, making fruit juice out of custard apple pulp can make your baby more susceptible to sweets and in turn increasing the chances of tooth decay from an early age. Avoid making juice.
Look for allergies: The risk of custard apple causing food allergies is low, but there are chances that it can cause allergies in some babies. If your family has a history of food allergies, just be very careful while giving custard apple pulp. Follow the 4 day rule and give custard apple in small quantities. If you think that your baby is taking it well, then go ahead. Just to be on the safe side, do not overfeed your baby with custard. There’s a limit of how much your baby can handle.
Ripening the fruit: If at all you buy unripened custard apple, don’t worry. You can easily ripen them at home. All you need to do is to warp the fruit in 2-3 layers of paper. In 3-4 days the fruits will ripen by themselves.