Some of the health benefits of pecan nuts are that they are rich sources of fiber, manganese, copper, protein, fats, iron, and many other vitamins and minerals known for promoting healthy growth and development in your baby.
Pecans are great for promoting your baby’s bone health, teeth health, healthy vision, reducing inflammation, building muscles, and aiding muscle recovery, and many others.
Can I give Pecan to my Baby?
Known as one of the most popular tree nuts around, pecans come from a large deciduous tree native to North America and Mexico. The nut can be found in hundreds of different varieties, and can be enjoyed fresh, roasted, or added in various recipes such as candied pecan, pecan pies, and pecan muffins. Best of all, the health benefits of pecans can be experienced all year round.
Pediatricians will tell you that you should introduce pecan nuts to your baby between the age of 12 months and 36 months. Oh yes, this is a big and confusing age gap. The reasons for this age gap are as varied as pediatricians that make the recommendations.
And to make matters more confusing, there have been a few studies released since 2008 that indicate that waiting to introduce nuts (or any of the common food allergens) to babies is not necessary at all!
As pecans are considered to be one of the allergen nuts it would be wise to wait till your baby is at least between 24 months and 36 months old before you introduce it in his or her diet. If your family has a history of allergies to pecan or any other nuts, then waiting to introduce pecan into his or her diet may help stave off a nut allergy.
Health Benefits of Pecan for Children
The pecan nuts with their contoured structure, crunchy texture and buttery flavor make for an interesting ingredient to include in a number of dishes, and they look pretty on the plate too. They are a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals such as manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium, offering some wonderful health benefits.
Promoting Digestive Health, Relieving Constipation
Fiber is essential for promoting colon health and paving way for regular bowel movements in your child. The fiber found in pecans help to clean out the gastrointestinal system, allowing the colon to work at greater levels of efficiency.
Pecan nuts are fiber-packed and they promote colon health and facilitate regular bowel movements in your child. Moreover, they prevent constipation and reduce the risk of hemorrhoids and colitis by cleaning out the gastrointestinal system.
Promoting Bone and Teeth Health, Preventing Muscle Soreness
After calcium, phosphorus is the most abundant minerals in the body, with 85% of it being found in bones and teeth. The other 15% can be found in both cells and tissues. In addition to helping your baby’s body to cleanse waste, the mineral partners up with calcium to promote the health of your little one’s bones and teeth.
Additionally, the mineral is essential for the proper growth and repair of cells and tissues along with the production of DNA and RNA. Lastly, phosphorus helps prevent muscle pain following rigorous play and exercise. This is an especially good snack for children who play sports in place of unhealthy sugary and processed foods.
Boosting Heart Health
Fiber found in pecans is also known to promote healthy heart activities. Pecans also contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats like oleic acid along with phenolic antioxidants. Both of these substances help to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes.
According to the National Pecan Shellers Association, adding a handful of pecan nuts in your diet helps decrease LDL i.e. ‘bad cholesterol’ and increase HDL i.e. ‘good cholesterol’.
Helps with Weight Loss and fighting Childhood Obesity
Consuming nuts enhances satiety and increases metabolism. Research has indicated that a diet comprising pecan nuts helps in losing weight. The nuts are also very rich sources of several important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates which together help increase the rate of metabolism.
If your child is suffering from obesity then including this nut in his or her diet can be a good measure to help him or her fight the weight gain and stay away from unhealthy snacks.
Adequate intake of manganese is vital for nerve conduction and brain function, and pecans are a rich source of manganese which is a powerful antioxidant. This trace mineral protects your nerve cells from free-radical damage, thus boosting immunity and protecting the body from diseases, infections, etc.
Skin Benefits and Hair Benefits of Pecans
Pecan nuts are an excellent source of vitamin-E, vitamin-A, zinc, folate and phosphorous which play an important role in maintaining good skin. Regular intake of pecan nuts by your child can effectively prevent skin problems such as dullness, excess oil, and breakouts. It also helps in protecting your child’s delicate skin from skin infections.
L-arginine, an amino acid present in pecan nuts are an effective hair groeth stimulant and can be used to counteract bald patches that may develop in the back of your baby’s head due to prolonged duration of lying in the same position.
Introducing Pecans to your baby : Precautions
Tree nuts such as pecans are very prone to cause allergies in your child. It is best to wait till your child is at least between 24 months and 36 months before introducing pecan or any other tree nuts in your baby’s diet.
Introduce pecan to your kid first in pies and muffins or along with other foods that they already like. Wait for a minimum of three days before introducing another new food, so that in case there is any allergic reaction you will know what caused it.
Look for allergic symptoms such as itchy red bumps and rashes, belly cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing or more serious conditions such as asthma or losing consciousness. In such a case treat your child immediately and discontinue feeding pecan to him or her.
Remember, always consult with your pediatrician regarding introducing solid foods to your baby and specifically discuss any foods that may pose allergy risks for your baby especially tree nuts such as pecan which are known to trigger allergic reactions.