Even though considered as a fruit, fig is an inverted flower and the seeds in it are the fruit. Figs can be consumed either fresh or dry. Since it is seasonal and highly perishable, it is commonly dried to preserve them. And, surprisingly unlike other fruits the nutritional value of fig increases when it is dried. Fig is a great source of fibre and a storehouse of nutrients including Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin A , calcium, iron, sodium and potassium.
Health benefits of Figs
1. Improves digestion - Fig is rich in dietary fibre(1/2 cup serving of dried figs contains around 7 g of fibre). Adding figs in your kid’s diet regularly can help regulate the bowel function and prevent constipation.
2. Strengthens bones - Kids and toddlers need around 700 mg of calcium a day. A serving of 100 g of dried figs meets around 20% of calcium requirement. Adding the calcium rich figs in your child’s diet will help in strengthening their bones and meet their daily needs. Half a cup of fresh figs provides as much as calcium as half a cup of milk.
3. Improved immunity - Researches prove the antimicrobial and antibacterial properties of fig extract. Hence they help in developing a young child’s immune system. And, these properties make it a suitable food in a child’s diet when they suffer from microbial and bacterial infections.
4. Promotes good sleep - An amino acid named tryptophan present in fig is a mild sedative and promotes good sleep. The high content of magnesium increases the quality and the duration of sleep.
5. Prevents Anemia- Fig are very rich in iron. Thus helping in the production of red blood cells and preventing anaemia.
6. Treat digestive and respiratory illnesses - From ancient times fig has been used to treat a number of ailments. It can be used for digestive ailments, respiratory diseases, throat infection, diabetes, urinary tract infections and many more. With its analgesic effects it is used to treat insect bites and stings.
Dosage and precaution
- Since figs are very high in fibre they should be avoided when your baby is suffering from diarrhea. But, they make an ideal food for kids suffering from constipation.
- Soaking dried figs for 30-45 minutes before usage will make juicing or any other preparation easier.
- Since figs are high in sugar, following appropriate dental hygiene is very important otherwise it might result in tooth decay.
- It is always important and safe to give the right dosage of any food. Do consult with your health practitioner before deciding the dosage for your little one.
How to include fig in your kid’s diet?
Including the soft, crunchy and tasty fig in your child’s diet will boost his immunity system and aid in their healthy development.
"Investing in early childhood nutrition is a surefire strategy. The returns are incredibly high" -Anne M. Mulcahy. Happy parenting!