From what age can you give nuts?
Nuts contain many nutrients, but their use in childhood has some limitations. Therefore, before you treat a baby with any kind, you should learn about their benefits and harms for the child’s body, as well as the recommended dates for the introduction of nuts into the diet of children.
- Any nut is a product with high nutritional value. Added to the baby diet in small quantities, it will enrich it with a variety of nutrients.
- They are a valuable source of natural oils in which polyunsaturated fatty acids are present. They are important for the normal functioning of the child's body and have a great influence on mental development. Especially a lot of healthy fats in almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts, as well as peanuts. At the same time, walnuts will give the child and omega-3 fats.
- Children get vegetable proteins and fiber from them, so they are important for the diet of children who do not use eggs and meat, and also have a beneficial effect on bowel function.
- They are the source of many vitamin compounds. (primarily vitamin E, but they also contain other vitamins), as well as mineral salts (calcium, zinc, and others), so their use is important for immunity and maintaining the health of the child’s body. Especially rich in vitamin E is hazelnut.
- Thanks to the combination of a fairly high calorie, easily digestible fats and valuable plant proteins This product is recommended for enhanced physical exertion.
- Brazil nut due to high selenium content able to normalize blood glucose levels and help with skin diseases.
- Consuming walnuts can eliminate iodine deficiency. They have a positive effect on mental activity, as well as help fight anemia and hypovitaminosis.
- Cashews contain a lot of iron, so they are recommended for anemia and frequent colds. They also have a positive effect on the condition of the gums and teeth.
- Black walnut has antihelminthic and antibacterial action.
- Ground nuts can replace flour, and are often used to diversify the taste of familiar dishes, for example, to add to a dessert or to prepare a sauce.
Having learned the benefits of different types of nuts, one should not forget about their possible harmful effects on the children's body.
They can be dangerous for children in the following situations.
They are classified as allergenic products that can cause severe and rapid allergic reactions (and even when used in small quantities). This is the main reason why they should not be given to young children. Allergic reaction can occur on one type of nuts, but it happens on several at once.
If an allergy has already appeared, it remains until the end of life and can be triggered not only by whole nuts, but also by oils (for example, if you add walnut oil to a dish), sweets or other products in the manufacture of which they are used.
- They may be individual intolerance, which manifests itself only in childhood, and when a child grows up, its symptoms pass.
- Some types of nuts (for example, Brazilian or cashews) are dangerous raw, so they should definitely be fried.
- If they are stale and spoiled, they can cause food poisoning.
- Because they are considered rather difficult to digest, they are not advised to give to children with diseases of the digestive tract.
- Since their caloric content is rather high, they should be limited in the nutrition of overweight children.
- Walnuts should not be given to children with exacerbations of gastrointestinal diseases, as well as with increased blood clotting.
- Excessive use of almonds is dangerous for children with diseases of the nervous system and arrhythmias.
- Hazelnuts should not be included in the diet of children with liver disease and diabetes.
From what age to give
Most doctors, among them the popular pediatrician Komarovsky, recommend postponing familiarity with the nuts until the age of three, and some doctors advise giving them only over the age of 5 years. This is due to the fact that children under three are more likely to react. allergies on an unfamiliar product. In addition, a small child runs the risk of choking nuts, because they are quite solid and small.
It is possible to treat a baby with crushed nuts even a little earlier (at 2 years old) if the crumbs do not have an allergy tendency and the portion will be small. At the same time, they cannot be given to a one-year-old child.
How to enter into the diet
Offering any kind of nuts for the first time, limit one thing or even part of it. It is best to treat a kid over 3 years old with one nut during breakfast, in order to determine the tolerance of such a product during the day. If the child’s well-being has not deteriorated, the stool is normal, there is no abdominal pain and there are no other manifestations of a negative reaction;
How to give
In order for the nuts to be absorbed better, they are advised to be given as a snack, as a separate dish. If they are not cleaned, for example, inshell walnuts, then cleaning is recommended immediately before use. Nuts go well with dried fruit and honey - from this mixture for children you can make healthy sweets (provided that there is no allergy to any of the components).
How much to give
To assess the daily norm for a particular baby, use the volume of his palms. A child can eat as many nuts a day as is in his hand. In this case, you can give one type of nuts, but after becoming acquainted with all kinds, it is preferable to treat the crumbs with a mixture of different varieties. The recommended frequency of eating nuts in children is 1-2 times a week.
How to choose
It is better to buy nuts in the store, since the conditions in which they are on the market can lead to their damage (for example, exposure to the sun). Before giving a nut to a child, try it yourself. If the taste is unpleasant or rancid, they should be thrown away.
With regard to the choice of different varieties, consider the following features:
- The most common and inexpensive option is peanuts, but it is considered the most allergenic. Although peanuts are legumes, for their properties, such a product is classified as nuts. The child should not be given sachets of salted roasted peanuts. It is best to choose unpeeled walnut for baby food, for example, in shell, and then roast it in the oven and clean it yourself.
- Brazil nuts are also classified as highly allergenic. In addition, they contain some substances that are dangerous for children, so their use is limited to 1-2 things per day.
- Very useful and tasty walnuts like most children because of their unusual shape. When choosing them it is important not to buy a dried and rancid product, then it will only benefit. The optimal dose for children is 2 pieces per day.
- Many children love pine nuts very much, because they are sweet and small in size. It also attracts kids the form of cashews. Both of these varieties are usually bought in purified form, so you should pay attention to shelf life and appearance of the product.
- Hazelnut is an available product in our latitudes and has not only a lot of useful properties, but also a special taste. It is advised to buy it unpeeled, and if you bought the hazelnuts without a shell, keep them for a maximum of six months.
- Choosing almonds for a child, buy only sweet varieties. If you want to buy peeled almonds, they are more preferable in packaging, as they are better protected from external influences than the product by weight. Do not buy wet, wrinkled or darkened almonds. Also, refuse to buy if they have an oily or moldy surface.
- Pecans are not recommended for children because of the high risk of allergies, but with good endurance it is quite possible to include it in the diet in order to replenish it with vitamins. When purchasing, make sure that the nut shell is clean and not damaged.
- When buying pistachios, pay attention to their appearance. Prefer open nuts with light-colored shells and green kernels. Look at the film between the core and the shell — it should be brown.
- When choosing hazelnuts in the shell, ensure the integrity of the shell and the absence of odor. Do not buy them if they are stained or spotted.
See the following videos for the benefits and harms of walnuts.