Corn for children: types, health benefits, side effects and recipes
In this article
- Is corn safe for children?
- Corn nutritional value
- types of corn
- How and when to introduce corn in your child’s diet
- Corn benefits for your baby
- Corn side effects in children
- How to choose and store corn?
- Delicious corn recipes for your baby
- to ask questions
Corn, also called corn in many countries, is a delicious food known for its sweet taste, bright yellow color and protein value. For this reason, you might think that this could be a perfect meal for your child to start with.
However, it is best to know all the health benefits as well as the side effects of corn before introducing it to your child’s diet. Below we will discuss them all, how to feed corn to your child and precautions to be taken while doing so.
Is corn safe for children?
First of all, corn is safe for your baby, but it is best not to make it a part of solid food at first. Corn contains a good amount of protein and carbohydrates, which makes it a great energy food, but it lacks many other nutrients. Also, for reasons like risk of allergy, indigestion, etc., it is believed that corn should be discontinued from the baby’s diet until it is at least a year old. If there is a history of corn allergy in your family, avoid giving corn to your child until he or she can keep it. Also, if your child has eczema, stay away from corns unless the doctor says so.
Corn nutritional value
Corn is high in B vitamins: thiamine, niacin, pantothenic acid (B5) and folate. It contains dietary fiber, minerals, magnesium and phosphorous in moderate proportions. The table below shows its nutritional values:
Nutritional value per 100 grams (3.5 ounces)
9 mcg 644 mcg 0.155 mg 0.055 mg 1.77 mg 0.717 mg 0.093 mg 42 mcg 6.8 mg
|Pantothenic acid (B5)
|Folic acid (B9)
0.52 mg 37 mg 0.163 mg 89 mg 270 mg 0.46 mg
types of corn
There are five different types of corn: dent, sweet, flint, popcorn and flour.
- Dent: Also known as field corn, the teeth are yellow or white. It is used in livestock feed, processed foods, and industrial products.
- Sweet: Sweet corn is named so because it contains a higher percentage of natural sugar compared to other types of corn. Dent contains 4% sugar while sweet corn contains 10%. Instead of adding it to food, it is consumed directly. Sweet corn is rarely used as livestock feed, so it should be eaten soon after being picked, as 50% of the sugar is converted to starch after 24 hours.
- Flint: Flint corn has a rough outer covering and is grown in Central and South America. It is either yellow or red.
- Flour: Flour is the oldest type of corn and is used in baked foods. It is usually white, and its kernels are smooth and full of starch.
- Popcorn: This type of popcorn is soft and starchy on the inside and pops up when heated. Moisture inside the nucleus acts as vapor causing it to explode. Other types of corn can also pop but not in the same way as popcorn, due to their high levels of starch and moisture.
Keep in mind that corn is not as healthy as other vegetables, fruits, and grains.
How and when to introduce corn in your child’s diet
Corn can be given to a baby after six months of age when he begins to eat solid food. To reduce the risk of developing allergies, you can wait until the child is one year old. It is also best to wait until the baby’s digestive system improves as corn is difficult to digest. Here is where you can introduce corn in your child’s diet:
- Make corn puree and feed the mixture to the infant. It will be soft and easy to swallow.
- When your baby is 18-24 months old, you can start giving him cream corn.
- Once your child is two years old or older and has developed his chewing teeth, you can give him corn kernels to eat, but make sure he chews them.
If it is necessary to give corn or nutritious foods to children, always choose the last option. It has never been considered a low nutritional value alternative to corn. You can always serve it as a finger food in subsequent months. Some tips for introducing corn in your child’s diet are:
- Do not give corn to your baby as a first food. Wait until he enjoys a variety of fruits and vegetables and is comfortable with digesting them.
- Choose ears of corn that are narrow and green. Avoid dry ones. Make sure the corn kernels are bright in color, with pincers, and not indented.
- Yellow and white corn are both delicious. There are some newer varieties on the market that are sweeter for longer, because the sugar in them takes longer to turn into starch.
- Cereals can be a serious choking hazard, so avoid giving hard corn until your child is at least a year old.
- Canned corn is less nutritious than fresh corn, which contains more protein. Be sure to check the ingredients for canned corn carefully and avoid buying added sugar and salt.
- Prepare and store corn as soon as you buy it to prevent spoilage. Until the time of consumption, keep it refrigerated as it slows down the conversion of sugar into starch.
- Introduce your child to cream of corn because it is easy to digest. You can make the cream corn you want by mashing the kernels in a food processor and using the right amount of water.
Corn benefits for your baby
Corn can be beneficial for your child when offered in limited to moderate amounts. Here are some useful methods –
- Weight gain : 100 grams of corn contains about 350 calories – a great food for energy. If your child is underweight, a corn diet can help him gain a few kilos. Even a normal weight baby can be given corn to help him maintain his body weight after stopping breastfeeding.
- Growth and development of the body: Corn is rich in many minerals and vitamins that help in the growth of the body. For example, kernels are rich in B-complex. Thiamine supports nerve and brain development. Niacin improves the metabolism of sugars, proteins and fatty acids. Folic acid helps in the growth of new cells.
- Protects blood cells: The antioxidants (in the form of vitamin E) in corn help protect cells from damage. Antioxidants also help prevent tissue and DNA damage in the body. Corn contains the anti-cancer compound phenolic ferulic acid.
- Good eyes and skin: Yellow corn is rich in vitamin A, which is a source of beta-carotene important for good vision. Beta-carotene is also an antioxidant which is beneficial for baby’s skin.
- Muscle and nerve function: Corn contains phosphorous (which supports bone health), potassium, magnesium (essential for muscle and nerve function) and iron (which improves brain development).
- Improves Digestion: Corn is rich in fiber that acts as a laxative. If your child has problems with digestion or constipation, then cornstarch and cornmeal can help alleviate the problem.
Corn side effects in children
The natural sugars in corn can turn into starch very quickly and therefore not very healthy for children. Corn side effects may include –
Allergies appear due to the proteins in the corn kernels. The lipid transport protein (LPD) is responsible for allergens and remains in the corn even after processing or digestion. Storage proteins found in grains and corn pollen are also potential allergens. Both corn and corn products can trigger allergic reactions such as eczema and allergic rhinitis. Here is a list of some of the major corn based products in the market –
- Corn Starch
- Baking powder
- corn oil
- Roasted corn flour
- corn bread
- vanilla extract
- confectioner’s sugar
- corn flour
- fake butter
- decorated colorful
- invert sugar
- corn syrup
Here are the symptoms of corn allergy in children that you should watch out for –
- Skin rash
- Asthma or anaphylaxis
- dry or runny nose
- Nausea, cramps, vomiting, indigestion, diarrhea
If your child shows symptoms of corn allergy, don’t panic. The first and most obvious step is to ban corn and its by-products from the child’s diet. Store-bought food may contain traces of corn, so be sure to only give your child homemade food. If symptoms are severe, take it to a doctor who can prescribe medication.
Intolerance is caused by digestive problems and is different from allergy. If your child has the following symptoms, it may mean that he is intolerant to corn –
- stomach pain
Intolerance can be corrected easily compared to allergy. Just stop including corn in your child’s diet and feed him light and healthy fruits and vegetables with plenty of water.
How to choose and store corn?
Once you know that your child is fine with corn and does not have any allergy or intolerance to its consumption, you can go ahead and buy it from the market. Here are some tips for choosing the best corn in the market –
- Choose fresh corn, not canned, because eating fresh corn is the best way to do this.
- The corn kernels should be thick and shiny
- The husk protects the corn from the heat, so buy corn with the husk still attached to it.
- If the supermarket or store allows it, remove the corn husks and check the quality of the kernels and head.
- The tassels (the brown threads near the top) should be sticky and shiny.
- Buy Organic Non-GMO Corn
- You can also buy frozen corn
- Make sure the peels are tightly closed and green. Dried husks indicate that the corn may be spoiled.
- Press the corn with both hands to feel its firmness. Hard corn is fresh and has healthy kernels.
- Corn should be kept away from sunlight and heat because the sugars in it can easily turn into starch.
- Consuming corn for the first three days
- If you buy canned corn, check the ingredients very carefully to see if there is any sugar. Canned corn is less nutritious than fresh corn.
- Store the corn in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator.
Delicious corn recipes for your baby
Corn is a versatile ingredient that can be served in many ways. From sweet corn soup to your child’s corn porridge, here are some ways to prepare it so your little one can eat it!
1. Corn puree recipe
Ingredients: a piece of sweet corn, a teaspoon of water, breast milk or formula
- Run a knife through the grits and remove them from a piece of bread
- Put the grains in boiling water and let them boil until they are soft
- Add water or breast milk and make a puree. Add more water to a liquid consistency
2. Sweet Corn Soup Recipe
Ingredients: fresh sweet corn, salt to taste, 1 tablespoon finely chopped carrots, beans, broccoli, green onions
- Cook the corn cob and remove the kernels after cooling
- Keep some beans away for later use and mash the rest
- Cook the other vegetables in a heavy bottom pan with a little butter
- After cooking for 2 minutes, add the corn puree and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil
- Add water to desired consistency
- Add the rest of the grains and let it boil
3. Oatmeal, pumpkin and cornmeal recipe
Ingredients: 1 cup water, 1 cup milk, 1 cup mashed pumpkin, water as needed, yellow cornmeal, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon ground ginger (optional), a pinch of salt.
Put water, milk and pumpkin in a pan
- In another bowl, mix the cornmeal with the water. Make sure there are no lumps.
- Add the cornmeal paste and sugar to the mixture in the pan, heat and stir until it thickens.
- Add ginger and salt
- Let it cook for 3-5 minutes
- Serve hot and corn porridge
4. Carrot, Potato and Sweet Corn Puree Recipe
Ingredients: 1 carrot, 1 potato, 1 tablespoon of peas, 2 tablespoons of sweet corn kernels, 4 tablespoons of water and 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- Grease a frying pan with oil and finely chopped carrots until soft
- Add potatoes, peas, sweet corn and water
- Let the mixture boil and let it boil for 15 minutes to make corn puree
5. Corn and cauliflower puree recipe
Ingredients: 1 cup shredded cabbage, 1 cup curd, 2 cups corn, hot pepper to order
- Cook corn and steam cauliflower
- Puree it in a blender or food processor
- Mix yogurt and black pepper to taste
6. Corn Dumplings (for 1 year old) recipes
Ingredients: 2-3 tablespoons milk, 2-3 tablespoons sauce, 1 cup sweet corn, 1 cup all-purpose flour, vegetable oil
- Mix flour and milk to make a smooth mixture
- Add the sauce and corn kernels
- Add a thin layer of vegetable oil to the pan and spread small portions of the mixture over it
- Press it lightly while cooking and flip the pancakes a few times
7. Corn, apple and sweet potato puree
Ingredients: 1 peeled apple, 1 sweet potato, 2 cups of corn
- Cook corn, steam apples and sweet potatoes
- three puree
- Add some formula or breast milk to reduce texture
8. Cornmeal Cutlets (for children over 1 year old) recipe
Ingredients: 2 tablespoons cornmeal, 1 boiled potato, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, salt to taste, black pepper to taste, oil for frying
- Mashed boiled potatoes
- Add the cornstarch, salt, lemon juice, and add a little black pepper
- Using your fingers, shape the mixture into small flat circles
- Fry the rounds in a frying pan, throwing them in every now and then
- Cornmeal usually mixes well with meals of carrots, apples, peas, brown rice, or rice, all of which are easy to digest.
to ask questions
1. Can your child drink corn syrup (Karo) to treat constipation?
Karo corn syrup does not treat constipation. It does not have the necessary chemical composition that allows liquid to enter the intestine and liquid stool. This used to be a common home remedy but is not an effective one.
2. Is corn syrup in formula good for babies?
Corn syrup is an artificial sweetener and the fructose content makes the formula high. It is only used to sweeten the product and therefore should be avoided for children. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) will not only cause a child to gain weight but may also become addicted to sugary foods. When he grows up he can only eat such foods for him. What you can do is check the ingredients in the formula before you buy it and choose one that has low levels of corn syrup.
3. Is it safe to give cornflakes to a one-year-old child?
Children 1 year of age or older can safely eat cornflakes, but it is important to choose one that is low in salt. Rice flakes, oatmeal and wheat flakes have better nutritional value than corn flakes.
4. Can you give cornstarch to your child?
Children who have not yet developed their teeth should not be given starchy foods such as cornstarch. It is usually given because it can be swallowed easily. However, there is a risk of not being able to swallow food properly, which may hinder the baby’s digestion process.
5. Is guinea corn good for babies?
Guinean corn, also known as sorghum, is rich in unsaturated fats, proteins, fiber and minerals such as phosphorous, potassium, calcium and iron. It is high in starch, so if you are giving it to your child, make sure to balance his diet with other less starchy foods.
6. Is corn an ideal food for my baby?
Fruit and vegetable snacks are more nutritious than corn puffs.
7. Can corn flour be used to feed a child?
First determine what type of rash the child has. Cornmeal can soothe non-fungal rashes but if applied to fungal rashes, it helps the fungus to grow.
8. Can you use cornstarch to treat diaper rash?
Cornstarch supports bacterial growth, so avoid using it to treat diaper rash. Alternatively, you can use baby powder.
Corn has various health benefits but it is also important to introduce it at the right time, in the right form and in the right amount for your child’s diet so that you do not have to worry about any harmful effects.