Wondering whether can babies eat green peppers or not? Have a look at this informative article to know more.
Bell peppers, belonging to the Capsicum annum species are globally recognized as sweet peppers, capsicum, or simply peppers. Their origin can be traced to Central and South America. They come in a range of colors like red, yellow, green, orange, purple, and even white. Green peppers are the unripe variant, with a slightly bitter taste in comparison to their ripe, sweeter counterparts.
Green pepper gets the name bell peppers from their bell shape look and thick walls enclose the seeds. Bell peppers do not produce the irritant chemical capsaicin that creates a burning sensation in tissues on contact. in other words, bell peppers are not spicy, unlike all other members of the genus Capsicum, including their close relative’s chilies.
Nutritional Composition and Benefits
Peppers are 92% water by weight, with negligible fat and protein content. Green peppers are a comparatively good source of fiber that regulates bowel movements.
One cup of raw green peppers accounts for approx. 30 calories. They are loaded with vitamins and essential minerals like vitamins A, B6, B9, C, K, potassium, magnesium, and iron. By weight, green peppers contain 1.5 times the amount of Vitamin C that oranges have.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that boosts collagen synthesis and iron absorption, keeping anemia at bay. Their vitamin B6 content regulates hemoglobin formation, nutrient metabolism, immune function, and neurotransmitter synthesis.
Green peppers are rich in bioactive plant compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that defend the body against a host of health disorders. Such disorders include insulin resistance, heart disease, mental decline, and fatty liver. Notably, lutein, a carotenoid abundant in green bell peppers, fights light-exposure damage to photoreceptor cells in the eyes, thereby reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration. This condition can cause vision loss.
Can Babies Eat Green Peppers
Your baby can eat green peppers as there are no known side effects of it against babies. Green peppers are a healthy, nutrient-rich option that you can introduce into your baby’s diet when they are ready to start solid foods. This usually happens at 6-9 months of age.
Wash the green pepper thoroughly to wash off any dirt or toxins. Now, separate the stem and split the green pepper in half. Remove the core and seeds and rinse them with plain water to remove any remaining seeds.
Cut the green peppers into small chunks, strips, dice, or simply puree them. You can sautee the green pepper with salt and black pepper to make it more palatable.
For 6-9 Months Baby
- You can cut the green pepper in quarters and roast them until they are soft and easy to chew.
- Otherwise, you can slice the pepper thinly and feed it to your baby slowly.
- A smooth green pepper puree works well on its own or along with other mashed vegetables, rice, or lentils.
For 9-12 Months
By this age, babies start grasping and eating food on their own. You can give small chunks of green pepper as finger food to your baby. However, always supervise them as they’ve not become experts and mishaps could still happen.
For 12-24 Months
- You can combine cooked or raw green peppers in salads along with other fruits and vegetables.
- Chop and add bell peppers to cooked rice, pasta, soup, stew, or even scrambled eggs.
Each child is different. Therefore, it is best to get clearance from a pediatrician before feeding green peppers to your baby for the first time. Start with minimal amounts and watch out for signs of an allergic reaction. Such signs can include:
- Shortness of breath,
- Swelling of tongue/throat/face
- Rapidly-spreading skin rash
- Severe stomach ache
- Uncontrollable crying
Seek emergency medical care in case of anaphylaxis. Raw green peppers are a possible choking hazard. So, it is best to puree or chop finely so that they are not more than ½ inches in size. Excessive consumption of bell peppers can lead to diarrhea, heartburn, or an upset stomach.