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Doctor shares whether tangerines are good for children

Doctor shares whether tangerines are good for children Illustrative photo (pixabay.com)
Author: Maria Kholina

Tangerines are a popular fruit, but can they be given to young children?

Pediatrician Daryna Vlasenko shared more about it on her Instagram.

When can tangerines be given to children?

Tangerines, as they pose a choking hazard and should be cut into small pieces that are difficult for young children to grasp, are best introduced around the age of 9 months when the pincer grasp is developing.

Although some tangerines are seedless due to hybridization, there are still many varieties with seeds on the market. Make sure to remove them before serving.

Are tangerines beneficial for little kids?

Tangerines contain a lot of vitamin C, which strengthens the child's immune system and aids in the absorption of iron from plant-based foods such as beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds.

Tangerines also contain vitamins from the B group (including folic acid), a large amount of beta-carotene (which converts to vitamin A), and many other beneficial plant nutrients, such as carotenoids and phenols. These nutrients together contribute to healthy growth, development, and vision.

The pulp also contains fiber to support intestinal health. Moreover, tangerines contain a special carotenoid called beta-cryptoxanthin, which has antioxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory effects (among other benefits).

Are tangerines a choking hazard for infants?

Yes. Citrus parts (if left in the membrane) and seeds are dangerous for infants and children. To minimize the risk, separate the tangerine flesh from the peel and serve bite-sized pieces.

Note that juicy fruits like tangerines can cause a strong cough when a child learns to eat them. This is because the juice is released under pressure, which infants may find challenging to handle.

Although this usually does not cause concern and gets resolved with practice and time, be prepared for coughing and vomiting.

By the way, tangerines are not a common allergen, it's a myth!