Made up of approximately 95% water, cucumbers are refreshing and cooling. It is typically enjoyed raw and one of the vegetables that children usually like eating. This versatile vegetable is also very easy to add to a child’s diet. So, let’s look at the multiple benefits of eating cucumber for toddlers and children.
Helps in hydration
We get about 40% of our total water intake from food and 95% of a cucumber comprises of water and electrolytes. This makes them a great way to beat the summer heat and stay hydrated.
Cucumbers are a great snack since they have very few calories and no cholesterol or fat. The nutritional content of cucumbers according to the nutritive value of Indian Foods are:
- Energy: 13 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 2.5 gm
- Protein: 0.4 gm
- Fat: 0.1 gm
- Calcium: 10 mg
- Phosphorus: 25 mg
- Iron: 0.60 mg
- Sodium (Na): 10.2 mg
- Potassium (K): 50 mg
They also contain various phytochemicals like lignans.
Cucumbers help regulate bowel movements in a number of ways. The high water content aids in digestion and eases the passage of stool. It also has high fibre content that improves stool consistency. In addition, pectin, a particular type of fibre present in cucumbers, plays an important role in regulating bowel movements.
Cucumbers contain tannins and flavonoids that have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This helps reduce oxidative stress caused by free radicals and damage done by chronic illnesses. It is also known to protect children against a number of health conditions such as diabetes, autoimmune conditions, heart conditions, cancer, etc.
Home remedy for sunburn
Children have a high risk of getting sunburnt as they play outdoors in the summer. Applying a few slices of cucumber on the skin can help relieve swelling and itchiness associated with sunburn. It can also help treat damaged skin and puffiness.
Cucumbers have a very low calorific value and hence are a great snack. They are also very high in fibre and hence help curb hunger pangs.
Here are some interesting recipes to use cucumber for your kids
The simplest way to enjoy cucumbers is to slice them and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Alternatively, you could cut the cucumber into long pieces and serve it with a yogurt dip. Cucumbers can also be pickled and refrigerated. If your child does not like eating plain cucumbers slices, here are some interesting dishes to try.
Thai Cucumber Salad
Ingredients: 2 cucumbers, 3 green onions, ¼ cup peanuts
Dressing Ingredients: 1/3 cup rice vinegar, 2 tbsp sugar, ½ tsp red pepper flakes, ½ tsp toasted sesame oil, ½ tsp salt
- Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and keep aside
- Slice the cucumbers and keep in a large bowl
- Crush the peanuts roughly
- Add the peanuts, green onions and dressing to the cucumbers and mix well.
Baked cucumber chips
Ingredients: Cucumber and your choice of seasoning from the options below:
Option 1: Smoked paprika, garlic powder, and salt
Option 2: Onion powder, garlic, and salt
Option 3: Apple cider vinegar and salt
Option 4: Fresh lemon juice and black pepper
- Slice the cucumbers and put them in a bowl. Mix well with your favourite seasonings.
- Line baking tray with parchment paper and place the cucumber slices on it
- Bake the chips at 170 degrees .
- Remove once they are dry and crisp.
Cucumber and mint sorbet
Ingredients: 2-3 large cucumbers, 150gm sugar, ¾ cup water, handful of mint
- Mix the water, sugar and mint in a saucepan and heat over a low flame till the sugar dissolves. Keep aside to cool
- Puree the cucumber
- Mix the pureed cucumber and cooled syrup and blend again
- Strain to remove the pulpy bits
- Freeze for a few hours while stirring occasionally
- Let the sorbet thaw for a few minutes before serving.