Potatoes in the diet of a child: timing of introduction into complementary foods and cooking rules25.05.2022
Most people refer to the potato as a vegetable, although to be precise, it is a root vegetable or, more specifically, a tuber. From these same tubers, such a huge number of dishes so beloved by both children and adults are made: boiled and fried potatoes, and mashed potatoes, and potato casserole, and potato cutlets, etc.
The taste of potatoes is familiar and pleasant to us. But are potatoes so useful, and if so, why exactly is it so good?
Useful properties of potatoes
Potato tubers contain a large amount of substances necessary for the growth and development of the child:
- Potassium – for the proper functioning of the heart muscle.
- Vitamin C – for strong immunity.
- B vitamins – for the proper functioning of the nervous system and the hematopoietic system.
- Magnesium and selenium – for the work of many enzymes in the body.
- Iodine – for the functioning of the thyroid gland.
- Phosphorus – for bone tissue.
Potato tubers are known to be rich in starch, and this may not be very beneficial for the child’s body.
Dangerous properties of potatoes
Starch is a carbohydrate. When it is digested, the child’s body may experience a certain kind of difficulty. Poorly digested starch can lead to the following problems:
- bloating, colic and stool disorder (constipation);
- allergic reactions;
- with uncontrolled use and improper preparation – weight gain.
In the greened skin of a potato, the content of a toxic substance, solanine, is high. When eating such tubers, even poisoning is possible.
When can you introduce your child to potatoes?
Knowing about the beneficial and dangerous properties of potatoes, it is easy to understand that it is not very suitable as the first vegetable food. For six-month-old babies, zucchini, cauliflower and broccoli are more suitable as first foods, as these vegetables are less allergenic, easier to digest and do not tend to provoke constipation.
As the child gets acquainted with adult food, his digestive system gets stronger. Potato dishes can be offered to him already at the age of 9-11 months (depending on the characteristics of each particular baby).
How to introduce potatoes into the child’s diet
In the first year of life, only blended mashed potatoes on the water are suitable for a child. When introducing it into the diet of a child, they adhere to the classical rules for the introduction of complementary foods.
- For the first time, give ¼ – ½ teaspoon in the morning.
- Watch the reaction for a day.
- If a skin rash and / or indigestion occurs (colic, bloating, constipation, nausea, vomiting, upset stool), the administration of the product is canceled. In the absence of negative symptoms, the next day, the portion is increased.
- In a week, bring the volume to a full portion.
Contrary to popular belief, potatoes are not a great side dish for meat and fish dishes, so you should not combine these foods in one meal. It is better to make a potato dinner separately, and offer the child, for example, zucchini and / or carrots, with mashed meat.
As the child grows, the variety of potato dishes may increase. Babies over a year old who do not have food allergies can be offered mashed potatoes with milk. For older children, boiled potatoes in uniforms or baked potatoes, as well as potato casseroles or potato cutlets, are already suitable.
Harmful potato dishes
Avoid feeding your baby fried potatoes – they are very harmful! So beloved by all kids, french fries do not have a single useful property, but they can ruin health very much, as they negatively affect the stomach, intestines, and biliary system, and also contributes to rapid weight gain.
It is no coincidence that children who frequent establishments where the main dish is deep-fried potatoes are so often obese.
We found that properly cooked potatoes from a certain age can become a relatively safe complementary food, with which neither babies nor parents will have any problems. It will make the children’s menu more varied, and the lack of vitamins in it can be easily compensated by combining potatoes with other vegetables.
The article is not a medical recommendation. For professional advice, you should consult a doctor.
- The practice of feeding children in the first year of life: guidelines / Yuryev V.V., Aleshina E.I.; SpbGPMA. – St. Petersburg, 2006. – 76 p.
- The program for optimizing the nutrition of children aged 1 to 3 years in the Russian Federation: guidelines / FGAU “NMIC of Children’s Health” of the Ministry of Health of Russia. – M., 2019. – 36 p.
- Propaedeutics of childhood diseases. A.V. Mazurin, I.M. Vorontsov. – St. Petersburg: ICF “Foliant”, 2005. – S. 924.
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