Health benefits of strawberries for children include liver protection, rich source of vitamin c, good source of calcium and good source of phosphorous and considerable supply of folate. Strawberries are undoubtedly one of the most popular fruits in the world. Strawberry is known for its sweet flavor, juicy texture and its bright red colour. Strawberry is actually not a fruit or a berry, but it is the stem portion of the flower which develops into the fruit.
Strawberries are so popular around the world that they are used in variety of foods such as preserves, fruit juice, pies, ice creams, milkshakes and even in chocolates. Strawberry flavor and aroma added to many food products.
Strawberry cultivation is very old and it dates back to the Romans. In some texts, they had mentioned about strawberries and its wild cultivation. It was not until the 13th and 14th centuries that strawberry became very popular in European countries and here in Europe was the garden variety of strawberry was grown. It was during this period that strawberry was slowly gaining popularity in countries such as France, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland, etc. In the 17th century, strawberries were introduced to the Americas by the early European settlers.
Nutritional value found in Strawberries
According to the National Nutrient Database from the US Department of Agriculture, the nutritional components and value contained in strawberry include
|Nutritional Component||Value per 100 g||Nutritional Component||Value per 100 g|
|Water||90.95 g||Energy||32 kcal|
|Protein||0.67 g||Total Lipid||0.30 g|
|Carbohydrate||7.68 g||Dietary Fiber||2 g|
|Sugar||4.89 g||Calcium||16 mg|
|Iron||0.41 mg||Magnesium||13 mg|
|Phosphorous||24 mg||Potassium||153 mg|
|Sodium||1 mg||Zinc||0.14 mg|
|Vitamin C||58.8 mg||Thiamin||0.024 mg|
|Riboflavin||0.022 mg||Niacin||0.386 mg|
|Vitamin B-6||0.047 mg||Folate||24 ug|
|Vitamin A||12 IU||Vitamin E||0.29 mg|
|Vitamin K||2.2 ug|
Can strawberries be given to babies?
Though strawberries are one of the most popular fruits among the world, there is one catch. Strawberries are associated with allergic reactions. Hence, it is better to avoid strawberries for your babies until they are at least 1 year old. You can further avoid them, if your family has a history of allergies.
Health benefits of strawberries
Here are some of the health benefits of giving strawberries to your child.
Rich source of vitamin C: Vitamin C is an essential vitamin which cannot be processed by our bodies and it needs to be replenished regularly for optimum body functions. Vitamin C improves the immune system, fights cold, eye diseases, scurvy, etc. Strawberry being a good source of vitamin C can be given to your child to keep up the supply of vitamin C.
Good source of calcium and phosphorous: Strawberry provides considerable amounts of calcium and phosphorous. Growth of your child will depend upon how much dietary calcium he or she gets every day. As we all know, calcium is indispensable for bone growth and also for development and functioning of muscles, heart and nerves. Phosphorous on the other hand, also aids in bone development along with improvement in digestion, breaking down protein, repair of cells and various chemical reactions that take place in the body.
Protects liver: Liver being one of the crucial organs in our body, can be damaged by a number of factors. Highly processed foods, medications all have a negative effect on liver. In order to protect liver, give considerable amount of strawberries to your child, early on. Strawberries contain antioxidants which prevent oxidative stress that causes damage to the liver. (Kantah, et al, 2011).
Good source of folate: Strawberries are a good source of folate or folic acid. Folic acid is very important for infants and toddlers. Folate helps in producing red blood cells and useful for brain development. By giving strawberries to your child regularly, you can be sure about proper brain development and blood production.
Measures and tips to be taken while giving strawberries to your children
All of us are aware that strawberries are very popular around the world and are liked by children and adults alike. Yet, strawberries can be potentially dangerous, not for adults but for infants. Strawberries can cause lot of allergies and they must be avoided until your baby is at least 12 months or older. A family with a history of allergies is at greater risk and hence, strawberries should be avoided further. Most allergies disappear as the baby gets older, but until then, you must make sure that he or she does not have strawberries.