February is National Cherry Month. While it may not quite be cherry season, cherries are fabulous, so why not start the celebration early? We probably have George Washington to thank for that! Cherries are packed with nutrients and are delicious, so let's celebrate them. Plus, we always have frozen cherries in our freezer for snacks, dessert and smoothies.
The Environmental Working Group recently removed cherries from the Dirty Dozen list, meaning they no longer are one of the foods grown with the highest level of pesticides. For more on the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen, click here.
Cherries are loaded with nutrients, including calcium, iron, Vitamin C, potassium, fiber and melatonin. The melatonin in cherries promotes brain health and also helps regulate our body's internal clock. This means it helps determine just when we wake up and when we fall asleep. So, if you little one's body clock seems to be a tad off, a sweet cherry puree might help get things back on track. Cherries, like their relatives (apricots, peaches and plums) have a laxative effect, so if baby is constipated, cherries may help get things moving.
Babies may begin to eat Cherries at about 8 months of age or sooner with the ok of your pediatrician. Cherries are not highly allergenic, however, cherries do contain pits and a rather thick skin. Young babies may not be able to properly digest cherries earlier than 8 months of age and if you wish to add them to baby food earlier, do be sure to thoroughly blend them!
Here's some of our favorite cherry recipes:
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