The health benefits of lemon for children include a remedy for scurvy, digestive problems, diarrhea, oral diseases, besides boosting their immune system, fighting cold and preventing and curing cholera.
One of the most important fruits of the citrus group, lemon offers a variety of health benefits for children and adults. It is large in size, often growing to the size of an apple. When ripe, its outer layer turns yellow in color and inside there’s a lot of juice along with little seeds.
Believed to have been originated in India, it is grown on the western side of the country. It is generally grown at a height of 4000 ft above sea level. The lemon tree grows to a height of 6 meters and is characterized by oval leaves that progress from a reddish shade to dark green as it grows. The fruits are oval and the skin yellow. Its flesh is made up of about eight to 10 segments and is often bitter.
Despite its bitter taste, it contains about 71% of our daily need for Vitamin C. Its juice is most often used, which makes up half its weight. It contains the highest content of citric acid among vegetables which helps for our cells’ energy metabolism.
It has innumerable health benefits including keeping us hydrated in the summer. It also provides the body with necessary minerals and vitamins when we are exposed to a heat wave.
Can I give lemon to my child?
Most parents are skeptical about giving their toddlers and kids lemon juice due to its sourness. Children may also be allergic to citrus fruits. For these two reasons, until a baby is about a year old, it is best to avoid giving him lemon slices. However, once he is six months old or above, he may be given a thin lemon juice.
Begin by adding a teaspoon of sugar so that the bitter taste doesn’t get to him. Lemon slices should not be given to him directly because the ascorbic acid content in lemon can severely damage the enamel in his teeth and cause sensitive teeth.
Citrus allergies are also a cause of great concern to parents of toddlers and little kids. If your family suffers from citrus allergies, do not give your child lemon juice before the age of one year. These allergies manifest as diaper rash or rash around the mouth and lips. If you see this on your toddler, take him to the pediatrician immediately.
On commercial baby food cartons, read the labels and check for citrus ingredients. He may, over time, become tolerant to citrus fruits, but until then, it’s better to keep him away from the lemon family.
Health benefits of lemon for children
There are several advantages of giving children lemon juice. Prominent among them are:
Cures problems of digestion: If your child suffers from problems related to digestion, lemon juice can cure them. Acidity related to lemon juice contains properties that can help kill intestinal worms. Besides, if your child suffers from constipation, biliousness or dyspepsia, lemon juice will help him recover soon.
Scurvy:This oral and skin disease sets in when there’s a lack of Vitamin C and ascorbic acid in the body. By giving your child two tablespoons of lemon juice infused with water, two to three times a day, he will recover fully from scurvy.
Gets rid of diarrhea:If your baby or child has diarrhea, you should concentrate on increasing the water levels in his body. Of course, you will give him oral rehydration medication, but you can also supplement that with one tablespoon of lemon juice diluted in a glass of water. Add a little sugar and salt to it and let him sip it slowly.
Boosts immunity:Lemon is rich in Vitamin C, which is ideal for a strong immune system that can protect us from microbes that cause infection and disease. Since children are particularly vulnerable to disease due to their yet underdeveloped immune system, it pays to give them a watered down version of lemon juice to boost their immunity and protect them from bacteria and virus that cause disease.
Helps control vomiting: If your child is subject to chronic indigestion, nervous disorders and stomach reflux, these symptoms can be reduced significantly by taking 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice with a spoon of honey.
Aids in tonsillitis treatment: Children do well with tonsillitis when given a teaspoon of this juice with a glass of warm water and a tablespoon of honey. This should be given along with a diet of fresh fruits after your child has passed stools.
Measures to take before giving your child lemon juice
Before you give your child lemon juice, since it is sour to taste and can be allergic to your little one. The measures outlined below will keep your child safe and give him all the health benefits of lemon juice.
In lemonade form, your child will enjoy this drink for its distinctive flavor. A large-sized lemon can give about 40 ml-50 ml of juice. If you add about 50 gm sugar to it in two glasses of water, mix well in a jug of water until completely dissolved, it can make for a heavenly drink. Cooling it in the refrigerator before giving it to your child will help further.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, these are the nutritional components that lemon contains:
|Nutritional Component||Value per 100 g||Nutritional Component||Value per 100 g|
|Water||88.98 gm||Energy||29 kcal|
|Protein||1.10 gm||Total Lipid||0.30 gm|
|Carbohydrate||9.32 gm||Fiber||2.8 gm|
|Sugar||2.50 gm||Calcium||26 mg|
|Iron||0.60 mg||Magnesium||8 mg|
|Phosphorus||16 mg||Potassium||138 mg|
|Sodium||2 mg||Zinc||0.06 mg|
|Vitamin C||53 mg||Thiamin||0.040 mg|
|Riboflavin||0.020 mg||Niacin||0.100 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.080 mg||Folate||11 ug|
|Vitamin A||22 IU||Vitamin E||0.15 mg|