At the moment that the mother begins with the introduction of solids and complementary feeding, the issue of citrus fruits causes a lot of respect and, to a certain extent, fear, due to the issue of allergic reactions. How and when to introduce citrus fruits in the diet of children? Before developing the topic, it is important to know what citrus fruits are and what nutrients they contain. Let's go to them!
Citrus fruits are a group of fruits, belonging to the citrus genus, which are characterized by having a sour or bittersweet taste, very colorful, generally juicy and with a penetrating aroma, that is, very aromatic.
Citrus fruits grow on small trees during the spring season and bear fruit during the fall and winter. The flowers of these trees are very beautiful and are white in color and are known as orange blossom ", which means" white flower in Arabic.
Citrus leaves are widely used in infusions or teas. They are native to tropical and subtropical Asia and are high in vitamin C and water, they also contain citric acid, vitamin A, B1, B2, folic acid, calcium, potassium, copper, sulfur.
They are low-calorie fruits, since they provide approximately 50Kcal per 100 grams of edible portion. The best-known citrus fruits are lemon, tangerine, sweet orange, sour orange, lime, grapefruit or grapefruit, and guava. The benefits of citrus fruits are many, among them the most important are,
1. Strengthens the immune system, which is in charge of the body's defenses, since it fights external agents or pathogenic microorganisms that penetrate the body and cause diseases, mild or severe, even to cause death. Therefore, the consumption of citrus fruits, especially in this case the orange, will strengthen the defenses and maintain an active immune system against any foreign agent.
2. Incalculable source of vitamins and minerals, that keep the body in good general condition, metabolism, cardiorespiratory system, defenses, and tissues in general.
3. Keeps the skin hydrated, beautiful, preserved and healthy, especially when they are consumed at breakfast hours.
4. Protects and maintains the functions of the digestive system, regulating acidity, improving digestion, facilitating evacuations due to its high fiber content and allowing healing of gastric or duodenal mucosa lesions, such as ulcerative lesions.
5. Prevents metabolic diseases such as diabetes and hypoglycemia. It also lowers high levels of cholesterol, uric acid and prevents heart and circulatory disorders.
6. Helps to detoxify and purify the body of toxic substances that penetrate from the environment and that can accumulate in the tissues and cause great damage, including the formation of malignant tumors.
7. Benefits weight loss, since they have a diuretic, laxative and fat-burning effect, especially if they are ingested on an empty stomach.
The introduction of solid foods in babies is carried out from 6 months of age, what we call complementary feeding or also the beginning of new foods, known as ablactation.
It is called complementary feeding because it complements breastfeeding or artificial formula that the baby has been consuming since newborn and will continue to be their main food until 12 months of age.
When I carry out the complementary feeding consultations, I explain to parents that citrus fruits are included in foods called allergens, that is, they can cause a food allergy, which has the following symptoms:
- Skin lesions: eczema, hives, itching or itching.
- Digestive disorders: vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain.
- Respiratory disorders; sneezing, frequent cough, shortness of breath and more severe, glottis edema.
- Circulatory disorders: weakness, dizziness, loss of consciousness.
- Others: eyelid edema, labial or generalized edema.
So before the introduction of these citrus fruits was recommended from 12 months and even after 2 years, to reduce the risk of allergies in children, but currently scientific studies have shown that delaying the introduction of Rather, food allergens may increase the risk of these allergic reactions.
When introducing citrus fruits for the first time, I recommend following the instructions below:
- Offer one citrus fruit at a time, preferably whole and not in juices or smoothies, so that its nutrients and fiber are preserved intact.
- How it is considered an allergenic food offered for three days in a row, observing any possible allergic reaction.
- Preferably in the early hours of the morning and if possible before 3 pm.
- And never accompanied by another new food, since if an allergic reaction occurs, we cannot distinguish which of the two foods was the cause.
You can read more articles similar to How and when to introduce citrus fruits in the diet of children, in the Babies category on site.