Is Lemon Safe for Babies?


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If you have considered giving your baby lemon to try, you are not alone. As they grow, parents will introduce new foods into their diet. This article will outline some important facts when trying different foods with your infant. 

Giving your child this citrus fruit to try is completely fine, as long as this process is done safely and with caution. Read through the following information and see how you can prepare and serve lemon to your baby. 

Lemons are part of the citrus fruit family. This grouping also contains limes, oranges, and grapefruits. As your baby grows, you can offer a wide variety of these fruits to round out their diet. There are many benefits to introducing citrus once it is safe to do so. 

The Many Benefits of Lemon 

There are numerous benefits to lemons and other citrus fruits. They are significantly high in Vitamin C and antioxidants that help build immunity and decrease the chance of heart disease. They are also very hydrating, which aids in cell development and growth. 

Containing antimicrobial properties, it makes them helpful in combating bacteria. They have been used for years for cleaning because of this attribute. 

Other valuable aspects of lemons include folic acid, which is beneficial for heart health, as well as phytonutrients and fiber that are essential for digestive health. For such a small citrus fruit with these advantages, many parents choose to include them in their baby’s regular diet. 

For parents looking to include these qualities, lemons could be the right choice for your baby. 

Disadvantages of Offering Citrus Fruits

Although there are many benefits to giving these to your child, observe some caution. Lemons are highly acidic, which can cause issues if you give them to your baby too often. 

Excessive amounts of citric acid are not suitable for teeth enamel. If you consistently offer it to your child who already has teeth, or they are developing, it could cause damage. To avoid creating any damage, be sure to give them some fresh water after eating lemons to rinse out their mouth. 

They can also irritate the stomach and digestive tract, causing acid reflux. If your baby is prone to digestive issues or acid reflux, you should consider waiting longer before introducing citrus fruits into their diet. 

Lemons can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Citrus fruits can be a trigger for many people as they are highly allergenic. If you or anyone in the family has food allergies or sensitivities, you should exercise extreme caution when choosing to introduce it. 

How to Introduce Lemon to Your Baby 

When is a good time? 

If you are comfortable trying lemon with your baby, you should observe some recommended guidelines. By carefully introducing it into their diet, they will experience new foods and benefit from the many vitamins and nutrients. 

Babies should be 10 to 12 months of age before trying any citrus fruits like lemons. The sooner you give your infant foods that have the potential for allergies or sensitivities, the higher the chance that it will not agree with them and cause problems. 

How much is recommended? 

With any new foods, you will need to start slowly and in small amounts. Try not to overdo it, as too much can upset their stomach, even if they don’t have food allergies or sensitivities. 

You will want to offer only a couple spoonfuls of the juice on the food they are familiar with, or in small amounts. Do not give it every day, but rather once every two or three days should be fine. Start with a minimal amount and gradually work up as your baby becomes accustomed to the sour taste. 

How to introduce the juice and fruit 

When you are ready to give your baby lemons, you will need to prepare it safely to avoid any choking hazards. 

  • Remove any seeds
  • Do not offer peels at this age
  • When using the juice, only aim for one or two teaspoons per serving
  • When using the pulp, cut into small, diced pieces, as the membrane can be slippery and hard to chew
  • Stay with your child each time they eat

When beginning new foods, offer it with foods that they are already comfortable with and have no reactions. Do not pair lemons with another new food in case your baby shows signs of allergies or sensitivities. 

Squeeze a small amount of juice onto prepared food, like chicken or fish. As they get older and have teeth to chew the membrane properly, you can give them small pieces of the fruit on its own. 

Allergy Signs and Symptoms to Watch For

Citrus fruits can be a food allergy trigger for individuals with pollen allergies. If your baby or anyone in the family is allergic to pollen, you should consult your medical practitioner before giving them lemon to try. 

Signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction include: 

  • Redness or swelling of the skin, lips, mouth, or tongue where lemon came into contact
  • Itching
  • Scaly skin
  • Diaper rash
  • Fussy or irritable
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Excessive coughing 
  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 

If your child shows any signs of an allergy or sensitivity after eating them, stop immediately and contact your medical practitioner. Do not reintroduce it to your baby until after consulting your health professional. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is lemon juice good for a cough?

Yes, juice paired with raw honey can be a natural cough suppressant for children. It is full of Vitamin C and will keep them hydrated. You will need to be cautious about offering babies under the age of one raw honey. Recommendations are to wait until your baby turns one year of age before introducing any honey products into their diet. 

2. Is lemon good for fevers in babies?

Yes, they have natural cooling properties that can help bring a fever down naturally. You can give your baby a warm sponge bath with the juice to decrease a mild to moderate fever.

Be Cautious

As children grow and mature, offering them a wide range of foods that differ in texture and sweetness will help develop their palette. Introducing lemons can help give them a taste of sour or tangy fruit that is not familiar.  

By follow recommended guidelines when introducing new foods, you can avoid any adverse effects. This way they are sure to enjoy the experience and be open to trying new and exciting foods later. 

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