Papaya is a famous tropical fruit that grows in a hot and humid climate. Initially originated from southern Mexico, it has made its way into the menus of many fitness enthusiasts.
Not only does it sports a mild tangy flavour, but it also has a soft texture with maximum nutrients, which makes it a perfect starter food for your growing toddler.
Rich in Vitamin C and e, feeding papaya to your newborn is a great way to incorporate raw fruits in their diet. Ripe papaya can do wonders with the baby’s skin and mental development.
It is easier to digest and get assimilated into the body very quickly. You can introduce papaya to your baby’s diet for enhanced nutrition with no worries.
Nutritional facts related to papaya puree
Are you thinking about introducing papaya to your baby? Let us see how good it is.
The most common form of consuming papaya in babies is through papaya puree. It is easy to prepare and consume. Papaya hosts a colossal reservoir of Vitamin C, which is approximately three times more than cantaloupe, lemons or even mangoes.
It also includes Vitamin E, A, and minerals like iron and folic acid that improve the texture of your growing baby’s musculature and bones.
The health benefits of papaya are many. It promotes good eyesight and acts as an anti-ageing agent. This prevents easy wear and tear of the soft baby skin.
It also aids in digestive disorders and healing skin sores and ulcers. This native South American delicacy makes up excellent baby food. Papaya is a rich source of zinc and potassium too.
If one thing papaya is known for, it is definitely its immunity-boosting properties. A Simple bowl of diced papaya for babies improves metabolism and kidney health to a great extent.
From the immense variety of papaya recipes, papaya leaf juice is another nutritive choice. It promotes better functioning of the baby’s overall cardiovascular health.
The enzyme papain is present, giving papaya its characteristic pulpy texture. Papaya features many medicinal properties and desired consistency that ensures regular bowel movement.
Last but not least, papaya leaf juice is an excellent cure for dengue fever that causes allergic reactions and burning sensations.
Giving papaya regularly soothes an upset stomach as well. A small quantity of papaya given daily can enhance immunity to extraordinary levels.
Difference between a ripe papaya and an unripe papaya
There are two kinds of Mediterranean papaya that can add to your baby food recipes. The first is an unripe fruit with a green fruit wall that encases a rigid fruit pulp.
It is an excellent option for babies above the age of 1 year who can chew solid fruits easily.
This is less sweet but much richer in fibre. The papain content is relatively high in raw papaya that can damage the food pipe of the young one.
It is an excellent teething fruit that keeps the baby full for longer durations. However, it is advisable to eat only minimal amounts at this stage.
Another papaya variation is its ripe stage, which is the best stage for introducing papaya to your baby.
For babies, papaya puree extracted from the ripened fruit is a much more comfortable option. It is yellow in colour from the outside and sports a tangy orange colour inside. The seeds here are matured and larger.
This ripe papaya pulp is exceptionally soft for babies who haven’t grown their teeth yet. They can be easily fed papaya mash or papaya chunks.
The health benefits of its puree are immaculate. Intestinal worms are controlled under the enzymatic action of ripe papayas. The baby’s immune system is powered with additional antioxidants by eating papaya.
Precautions to take while including papaya in your baby food
Is papaya safe?
Even though it is a very nutritious fruit, this delicious fruit needs to be consumed carefully. It is highly suggested to refrain from buying baby papaya as it can be less matured and slightly bitter in taste.
Baby papaya, however, has a relatively more considerable amount of seeds. Another thing you should make sure of is to not go for unripe papayas, especially if your child is under six months of age.
Excessive consumption of papaya can lead to allergic reactions in some babies. Papaya acts as a natural laxative that is beneficial only when consumed in a controlled manner.
If you feed papaya in more significant amounts, it can lead your baby to suffer from severe constipation or diarrhoea.
Ways to introduce papaya
Papaya is best eaten raw. And, you can introduce papaya as a first food too as compared to other fruits, small pieces of papaya act as simple finger food that gives your child all the nutrients possible.
This new food for your baby is easy to adapt to and delivers essential nutrients with a great flavour.
However, if you do not want to indulge in a plain bowl of papaya chunks, you can amp up your baby’s daily diet with many experiments.
Small amounts of shredded papaya on top of their regular lunch or porridge can be easily incorporated. Also, it is essential to pick suitable papaya for babies while shopping.
Papaya recipes for babies
To relish the goodness of papaya, there are numerous food recipes to try. All the recipes mentioned below take less than 10 minutes to prepare and are super delicious for even adults.
If your baby is trying papaya for the first time, it is best to introduce these delectable delicacies to them!
Here are our top five utterly wholesome and healthy papaya dish picks:
Papaya peach yoghurt smoothie
This is a modified papaya milkshake alternative. You need papaya, milk yoghurt, honey, peach chunks, and a pinch of cinnamon powder for this recipe.
Take a blender and add chopped papaya pieces to the blending jar. Next, pour in milk, yoghurt and half a glass of milk as well. For a thicker smoothie, you can stick to only yoghurt. Then, add two spoons of water and finally some chopped peach.
Finish the mix off with two to three spoons of honey. You can adjust the level of sweetness according to your taste and can also switch to brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, stevia or anything else.
Squeeze in half a lemon for an added tang. Add in a pinch of cinnamon for an enhanced flavour, and here you go! Blend everything for 30 seconds, and your smoothie is ready.
Serve it cold or at room temperature with added papaya and peach pieces.
Spinach papaya soup
Spinach soup is a winter classic. Adding papaya to it takes up the health benefits of this soup to the next level. The preparation here is pretty simple.
Start by blanching 2 cups of spinach in boiling water. Cool down the mix and puree it in a blender till a fine paste is obtained.
Next, take single medium-sized papaya, chop it up in large dice, and puree it eventually. Add the spinach puree to a pan and heat the mixture.
Add in a cup of vegetable stock and let the broth cook for a further five minutes. Then, add in the spices of your choice along with regular seasoning of salt and pepper, according to taste.
Finally, add the pureed papaya to the soup and simmer the contents for five more minutes.
And that’s it! Your soup is ready. You can add roasted vegetable chunks as a side to the top. Garnish the soup with freshly chopped coriander and crushed black pepper. Serve hot!
Papaya puree ice lollies
You can never go wrong with papaya puree. Here is a way to take it up a notch. Kids love icy popsicles, and here we will prepare tasty ice lollies within an hour.
The preparation takes less time and the only time required is for the freezing procedure. It is best if you prepare a batch and let it freeze overnight. Start by pureeing one papaya using a hand blender.
Next, adjust the consistency with a dash of milk until you get a milkshake consistency. Add honey or brown sugar as the sweetening agent in the mix.
Refrain from using refined white sugar for your young baby. For every cup of puree, you can add one-fourth cup of sweetener. Mix the contents until smooth. You can add in a few drops of vanilla extract too!
Finally, pour the mix into small popsicle moulds. If you do not have moulds, you can freeze the mixture into small bowls too. Freeze the ice lollies for at least 40 minutes, and your summer fix is ready!
Papaya lemonade is another summer refresher for your baby in the summers. For this recipe, you need to prepare lemonade just like you would.
Go for one lemon for every glass of water with a spoon of brown sugar. Prepare your papaya by chopping it up in fine pieces and pureeing the rest.
To complete your lemon drink, mix everything together. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix everything well. Serve it cool. Try to avoid ice cubes as your baby might be sensitive to extreme cold.
Papaya fruit salad
The simplest of them all. Papaya salad is super easy to prepare and can be added to any greens of your choice. The dressing can be adjusted accordingly.
You can go for lemon-olive oil dressing or a regular ranch one. Simply chop up your greens with boiled broccoli and beans on the side.
Next, add medium-sized papaya dice to the bowl and season it well. You can use as many veggies as you prefer, in both raw or cooked stages. Try adding beetroot juice for vibrant colour and a quirky taste. Squeeze a lemon or a spoon of vinegar at the end and toss everything together!
If you have a massive batch of papaya at home, it is a wise decision to store papaya in an airtight container to enhance its shelf life.
There is no harm in feeding your baby papaya on a daily basis. However, a medical professional recommends consuming it every alternate day to prepare maximum benefits.
The seeds can also be dried and used over other recipes for good health. Older babies tend to enjoy papaya more than young ones since its characteristic flavour.
If you are a new mother on board, you can go ahead and inculcate papaya into your child’s daily menu. There are no limits to experiment, and the variations come out to be very refreshing!
Purvi Kothari founder of shishulife is a mother of one beautiful girl and growing her well giving her experience on how to tackle the kids. She holds a degree in MBA and CS and currently pursuing PhD in business communication. Apart from writing a blog in shishulife her worlds revolve around photography, family, and baking.