Oranges for Baby
Juicy, vibrant and sweet, oranges are great for baby and kiddo! Oranges are known for their high concentration of immune-boosting vitamin C and make the perfect healthy snack on the go. Oranges are full of a wide variety of phytonutrient compounds that are unique to citrus fruits and have been shown to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol (thanks to a high fiber content as well!). They also have potent anti-inflammatory properties, may protect against arthritis and help prevent ulcers and stomach cancer, but make sure to eat the white pulp portion of the orange in order to get the most benefit. Juice a few fresh oranges for a refreshing batch of orange juice, or let baby or kiddo nibble on a few sweet orange slices. Regardless, they will love the flavor of this healthy fruit!
Highlighted Nutritional Importance of Oranges
Vitamin C – oranges contain 160% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C! This potent antioxidant is important for boosting the immune system and healing small cuts and wounds
Folate – this B vitamin helps to support a healthy nervous system and brain
Vitamin A – crucial for a healthy skeletal system and immune system and helps support vision
Vitamin B6 – important for metabolizing protein, fat and carbohydrates and helps support healthy brain growth
Potassium – this electrolyte mineral helps keep baby’s heart muscles and kidneys working properly
Calcium – regulates healthy bone growth and skeletal development and plays a critical role in hormone production
Magnesium – helps to regulate energy production within the cell and is necessary for healthy bones and teeth and is important for healthy hormone production
Copper – this trace mineral is essential for forming red blood cells and boosts the body’s ability to mend tissues
Phosphorus – vital for healthy teeth and bones (about 85% of your body’s phosphorus is found in bone!)
How to Select and Store Oranges for Baby Food
Oranges aren’t listed on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list, meaning they aren’t contaminated with a high amount of pesticide residue. Buying organic is a personal choice.
Oranges don’t necessarily need to be bright orange in order to be ripe and delicious. Whether orange or not, oranges that are partially green or have brown spots may be just as ripe and tasty as those that are solid, vibrant orange. It’s important to avoid those with soft spots or traces of mold. For the juiciest oranges, try to choose fruit that are small but heavy for their size and have a thin skin.
Oranges can either be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator, depending on if you like them cold or not. Regardless of where they are stored, they should last about two weeks without losing any of their immune-boosting vitamin C content! It’s easy to reap all of the health benefits from oranges. Simply peel and slice oranges for a quick snack or pour fresh orange juice into sippy cups for thirsty kiddos. Orange zest is another great option if you want to add some of the tangy orange flavor into a puree for baby!
Recipes Using Oranges