The beautifully coloured capsicums belong to the same family as chillies, but are milder and sweeter in taste. Even though it is cooked like a vegetable, it is a fruit which is generally green and becomes yellow and then red as it matures. Capsicum is loaded with nutrients including vitamins (Vitamins A, C and K), minerals and fiber.
Health benefits of capsicum
- Strengthens Immunity - Capsicum is rich in Vitamin C that helps in fighting infections and thereby strengthening your child’s immune system. The flavonoids present in capsicum reduces the risk of paediatric asthma, lung infections and wheezing. It also helps in improving your child’s bone strength. The concentration of Vitamin C is the highest in the red variety compared to others.
- Eye health - Vitamin A and beta carotene present in capsicum results in improved eye health when consumed in adequate amounts. Adding capsicum in your child’s diet regularly will reduce the risk of visual impairments.
- Prevention of Anemia - Capsicum is a decent source of iron. Moreover the Vitamin C concentration increases the absorption of dietary iron, thereby reducing the risk of anemia. You can increase the iron stores in the body by consuming capsicum with other iron-rich foods like meat or spinach.
- Reduces constipation - Since capsicum is affluent in dietary fibre, it can regulate digestion. It also reduces the risk of constipation in kids.
- Enhance memory and concentration - Vitamin B-6 is found in medium quantities in capsicum. It helps in the development of brain, strengthening memory and improving concentration. It also helps in improving the quality of sleep.
Selection and storage
- Always select fresh harvest, that is indicated by their firm and glossy skin. Choose those that are heavy for their size.
- Avoid those that are soft and dull looking ones. Also, avoid those with wrinkled skin and soft spots.
- They should be stored inside a refrigerator in a plastic bag. Use within 5 days.
It is very important that you rinse the surface, so that any pesticide residue is removed. When feeding toddlers, it is essential to cook them so that kids don’t choke accidentally. When cooking capsicum with other vegetables, add them at the end as capsicum takes less time to cook.
How to include capsicum in your child’s diet?
This very mild and less spicy capsicum rice is a great idea for kids lunchbox. Try this mild pulao version from sharmispassions.com
This easy recipe with capsicum and cheese will be a sure hit among kids. Try this capsicum cheese paratha recipe from rakskitchen.com
The sweet, crunchy and juicy capsicum provides necessary nutrients to a healthy lifestyle. So include capsicum in your grocery shopping list and let your child reap their health benefits.