The benefits of cucumber for kids are diverse. This popular summer vegetable is best known for its high water content, helping to prevent dehydration and cool down the stomach. Children can enjoy it raw as a part of fresh, crisp salads or a refreshing juice ideal for hot summers.
Cucumbers are also a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins that can improve your child’s immunity, protect them from different illnesses, and help manage minor burns or skin eruptions. Moreover, you can experiment with them in various ways to include them in your child’s diet.
Read on to know more about the health benefits of cucumbers for children and how to pick the best cucumbers when you go grocery shopping.
What Is A Cucumber?
Cucumber is a torpedo-shaped vegetable with green or dark green skin outside and edible pulp with seeds inside it. It has a soft texture and a mildly sweet taste. This vegetable is quite popular and originates from South East Asia. However, today it is available in most parts of the world. Cucumber is rich in vitamins and antioxidants and has high water content. Many kids consume it during the summer.
Health Benefits Of Cucumber For Kids
Cucumber possesses vitamins, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, thiamin, niacin, and folate. Vitamin A ensures good vision, vitamin B6 ensures a healthy hemoglobin count, and vitamin K helps promote bone metabolismiXA vital process characterized by the continuous process of bone growth and degradation. and blood coagulationiXA life-saving process that stops a person from bleeding out in case of an injury. in children. So eating cucumber or drinking its juice boosts your child’s immunity and keeps them healthy, energetic, and free of ailments. (1)
2. Prevents dehydration
Cucumbers possess a high amount of water. In fact, 96% of cucumbers is water. Munching a cucumber quenches your kid’s thirst as well as helps replenish the water and minerals in her body. Thus, eating cucumber prevents the risk of dehydration in kids.
Besides vitamins, cucumber is also a rich source of antioxidants. Free radicals resulting out of metabolism are in constant search of free electrons. These free radicals may attack electrons from essential body cells and, at times the DNA, thus causing serious ailments. Antioxidants possess free electrons, and they donate them to a free radical to neutralize it. So eating cucumber prevents free radical scavenging and protects your child from various disorders and ailments (2).
4. Treats stomach disorders
Cucumber is a great remedy to treat stomach disorders, such as acidity and duodenal and gastric ulcers in kids. Offer your kid cucumber juice to treat stomach disorders quickly and effectively.
5. Natural analgesic
Various studies reveal that cucumber possesses analgesic properties and acts as a natural painkiller. Flavonoids in cucumber provide analgesic effects. So, eating cucumber helps alleviate any pain your kid may suffer.
6. Treats skin eruptions or burns
Cucumber is a natural cure for skin eruptions in kids. A skin eruption, bug bite, or small burn can leave an ugly mark on the skin. Cucumber not only helps eliminate the mark but placing cucumber slices on skin eruptions for a few hours helps mitigate the pain and intensity of these eruptions.
7. Prevents constipation
Dietary fibers and high water content in cucumber promotes digestion. Eating cucumber aids in flushing out toxins from your kid’s body and prevents any constipation risks she faces. (3)
8. Healthy hair and nails
Cucumber contains the mineral silica, which is beneficial for hair and nails. Eating cucumber helps keep your little one’s hair and nails strong and shiny.
Cucumber possesses lignans, namely pinoresinol, secoisolariciresinol, and lariciresinol, which have great potential in preventing any cancer risks. Adequate and regular intake of cucumber prevents the chances of cancer development in children (4).
10. Promotes joint health
Cucumber is an excellent nutrition source of not only vitamins but also calcium, potassium, silica, and magnesium. So it effectively strengthens the connective tissuesiXTissue that supports, protects and connects the body's organs. and promotes joint health in kids. Also, cucumber reduces uric acidiXA chemical that is created when the body breaks down purines (building blocks of DNA). levels and prevents the formation of kidney stones (5).
How Do You Choose Cucumber For Kids?
Learning to choose cucumbers is essential to find those with the best quality and flavor. Pick those that have no cuts, soft spots, wrinkles, and bruises. Peel the skin of the cucumber for better results. Let your kid munch a raw cucumber if she enjoys it. If your child doesn’t like the taste of raw cucumber, you can use simple ingredients to modify the taste of cucumber. An anonymous mother of two shares how she prepares Dill Cucumber Stars, a simple and fun cucumber snack. She says, “Ro and Ree (her daughters) are mad for cukes (cucumbers), and they’re mad for cooking, so this simple little recipe for dill cucumber stars is right up their alley. These work great in little bento boxes, as a side to any meal, or as an anytime snack (i).”
To make dill cucumber stars, cut cucumbers into fun shapes. Place the cucumber slices in a glass bowl and add white vinegar, water, sugar, salt, pepper, and minced dill. Refrigerate until chilled, then serve.
Whether raw or in delicious recipes, cucumbers can be a healthy and tasty addition to your child’s diet. If your kid doesn’t enjoy munching on cucumbers, you can also obtain fresh cucumber juice and give her a glass of juice daily.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do you serve cucumbers for kids?
You may serve your child sliced pieces of raw cucumber with or without the skin. In either case, ensure to clean the cucumber thoroughly before serving. Based on your child’s age and feeding abilities, you can cut a cucumber into cubes, circles, or lengthwise pieces and serve them as a part of salads, smoothies, dips, or an ingredient in infused water. Cucumber pickle is another way children can consume this hydrating vegetable.
2. Can kids eat too many cucumbers?
Cucumbers are high in water and fiber. It helps to bring satiety which may reduce the chances of overconsumption. However, cucumber may contain some antinutrientsiXSubstances that block the absorption of nutrients from the food they consume. that interfere with the absorption of some minerals. Hence kids should not eat too many cucumbers (8).
3. Do cucumbers cause gas?
Cucumbers contain a compound called cucurbitacins, which may cause gastrointestinal problems. Thus, overconsumption of cucumbers can lead to gas and discomfort in some individuals (9).
Cucumbers contain a lot of water and are an ideal cooling food to beat the heat during summers. Juicy cucumber for kids can prevent dehydration and provide relief from stomach disorders, constipation, and minor skin eruptions. They are found to keep joints healthy, act as a natural painkiller, and improve hair and nails. You can try out various recipes using this versatile vegetable. They are rich in vitamins and have antioxidant and anticancer properties too. You can give your child to enjoy it as is or add the chopped-up pieces into salads in their lunchbox or as juice.
Infographic: Easy And Tasty Cucumber Dishes Children Will Love
If your child doesn’t like cucumbers, the dishes shared in the following infographic will change their mind. These options are also ideal for children who don’t relish vegetables in general. Give them a try. Your child will surely ask for more.
- Antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients are abundant in cucumbers.
- Cucumbers possess a high water content and can soothe the stomach.
- Their high vitamin content supports good eyesight, healthy hemoglobin levels, and bone metabolism.
- Cucumbers serve as natural painkillers, containing anticarcinogenic and analgesic properties.
- Additional benefits of cucumbers include preventing constipation, treating skin eruptions, promoting joint health, and strengthening hair and nails.
Personal Experience: Source
i. Do your kids like cucumbers?
- Dr. Parveen Akhtar et al.; (20200; Energizing Effectiveness of Cucumber (Khayarain) For Health. A Review Article.
- D Kumar et al.; (2010);Free Radical Scavenging and Analgesic Activities of Cucumis sativus L. Fruit Extract.
- Nutrition in Cancer Care (PDQ®)–Patient Version.
- Health benefits of cucumber.
- Choose Water for Healthy Hydration.
- 9 Health Benefits of Cucumbers.
- Ayeni G et al. (2016); Anti-Nutritional Potential Mineral Elements And Phyto-Constituents Of Cucumber Fruits (Cucumis sativus).
- Ujjwal Kaushik et al.; (2015); Cucurbitacins – An insight into medicinal leads from nature.