Onions are one of the most aromatic vegetables. The bulb portion of the onion is in the botanical family of Allium, which also includes garlic and shallots (yellow onion). Onions are believed to have originated in Asia and have been used as a food condiment for centuries. In modern times, onions have become popular vegetables consumed in canapés and salads.
Onions have been used as a natural remedy for ailments such as coughs and colds. In fact, there are many benefits onions can provide for your kids, especially when ingested in the form of raw onion soup. However, when is it okay to start giving you baby onions?
When is it okay to feed onion to your kids?
Onions are not usually recommended for children under six months old. While onions themselves are harmless, infants and young children may be more vulnerable to the effects of onions because they have a limited ability to taste, smell or process food. This makes it difficult for them to distinguish the onion from other foods they may eat.
Health Benefits of Onions for Kids
The following are some of the health benefits of onions for kids.
1. Onions are full of Vitamins
Onions are loaded with vitamins A, B, C, and E that make them an excellent source of vitamin C. They also contain essential minerals such as iron, calcium (which makes it beneficial for bone growth), magnesium, and potassium. Onions are also rich in folate and potassium.
2. Promotes immunity
Onions are known as good immunity boosters because they are a good source of bioactive and antioxidant compounds. About 1/4 cup of onions contains 35% of your daily dose of vitamin C which helps in boosting the immune system. Onions are also an effective source of vitamin B, which is needed to produce hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen through the bloodstream and in turn to the entire body.
3. Treats coughs
Fresh onion juice from grated raw onion has a dose-dependent effect on coughing. Onion is effective for relieving a dry cough with phlegm and also for treating chesty cough in children.
4. Improves sleep
Onions contain an amino acid called L-tryptophan, that acts as a natural sedative. It helps in reducing stress levels which give you a good sleep.
This vegetable also contains amino acid sulfoxides such as syn-propanediol-S-oxide which soothes the central nervous system and improves mood, learning capacity, the coordination of muscle fibers, and help release cramps arising from muscles during periods of tension.
5. Protects against cancer
Onions contain three types of cancer-fighting compounds: apigenin (an anti-estrogen), allyl sulfurocysteine (allicin), and ajoene. Allicin is thought to cause cell death by rupturing membranes that lead to apoptosis or cell suicide.
6. Aids in blood sugar regulation
Onions are an excellent source of quercetin which helps to lower the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes.
7. Gets rid of cold
Studies show that giving onions to kids before bed can reduce the symptoms associated with coughing, sneezing, and sniffling. Eating onions or other vegetables containing allicin, like garlic, helps to boost the body’s natural defenses and fight off infections.
8. Enhances gut health
Another one of the health benefits of onions for kids is that it improves gut health. Onions are an excellent source of fiber and prebiotics, which are imperative for a functioning gut. Prebiotics are nondigestible types of fiber that are used by beneficial gut bacteria.
Now you’ve known the benefits of feeding onions to your kids or babies, just make sure it is given to them in an appropriate quantity, as too much onions for kids also has its own downside.