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Introducing Strawberries

Strawberries are wonderful – everyone loves them for their bright, cheerful colour and their delicious taste…unfortunately, they are also one of the foods that commonly cause allergic reactions:Strawberries1

A mild reaction to strawberries could be a rash or itching where the fruit has come into contact with the skin – usually around the mouth – or nappy (diaper) rash from the acidity in the fruit.

  • Other reactions may be itchy swellings (hives) on other parts of the body, or worsening symptoms if a baby or child suffers from eczema or asthma.
  • Sometimes the reaction is severe enough to cause the throat to swell and prevent breathing.

Because of the risk of allergic reaction, you would usually be advised to wait until your baby is at least 1 year old before introducing strawberries into his or her diet.

Why are strawberries a problem?
Strawberries2Why people react to strawberries is still not clear. Some research points to the protein responsible for the colour of strawberries causing the allergic reactions – in tests some people who were allergic to red strawberries could eat or handle white strawberries with little effect.

The Environmental Working Group’s list of “the12 foods most commonly found to be high in pesticide residues” features strawberries – so if you cannot buy organic ones, take special care with non-organic strawberries by washing them thoroughly, or even soaking them, to minimize risks to your baby from residual pesticides.

Interestingly, as well as being free of pesticides, organic strawberries have been found to be much more beneficial nutritionally than non-organic ones!

Why are strawberries so good?
When your baby can have strawberries, they will provide him or her with many valuable nutrients…

  • Vitamins B, C and K
  • Copper
  • Dietary fibre
  • Folate
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Potassium

…and they contain high amounts of phenols – which help support the immune system, are good for the heart, and protect the body from diseases such as cancer.

This information presented to you acts as a guide which contains researched information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.

 

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