A prune is a variety of sun-dried plum, well known for its laxative effect. So, it is great for babies who have a tendency to be constipated. In addition, it contains nutriments essential for health: find out all its secrets quick!
The advantages of prunes
Unlike plums, prunes contain much less water and consequently, more energy and nutriments. Prunes have more calories but they help reduce the sensation of hunger.
Thanks to the dietary fibre they contain, prunes have a strong laxative effect. They are therefore a welcome addition to desserts if baby is constipated.
Prunes also contain potassium which is vital for bone formation and strength.
Lastly, with a high iron content, prunes are an ideal fruit in the diet of pregnant or breastfeeding women who often lack iron.
How to choose and keep them?
The number one producer of prunes, just ahead of France and its famous ‘pruneau d’Agen’, is the United States. Prunes are sold either whole or pitted, but the first criterion for selection is the size. Prunes comes in different sizes and the use you make of them will depend on that. For instance, it is advisable to choose « medium » to « large » prunes to make compotes and juice, whereas the « very large » and « giant » prunes will be used more for stuffed preparations or to make spirits.
Prunes are on sale all year round and they keep very well once the bag has been opened. Once opened, choose an airtight container in which you can keep them for a few days, preferably with their juice. That will prevent them from drying out too much and they will keep their moistness.
When and how to cook them?
Despite the obvious precautions to take if your child is prone to diarrhoea rather than constipation, prunes can be offered from 6 months of age.
You can steam them with their pip: once cooked, the pip is easy to remove.
To begin with offer compotes made with apple and prune or pear and prune to see if your baby likes this new fruit. If that’s the case, you will then be able to try out more adventurous combinations.
Even if your baby is constipated, make sure you don’t go over one or two prunes a day.