Food Hack: Digestible Raisins

Little Miss poops out raisins whole. They come out bigger than when they went in, bloated balloon-like raisins filled with absorbed liquid. If I fed her raisins for every meal, she would stop growing.

Photo of 8 assorted jumbo raisins with one normal raisin in the middle for scaleIt’s an annoying situation to be sure, but one not without a solution.

First, we buy Sun-Maid Jumbo Raisins. They are a little larger than normal raisins, some are three or four times bigger – a mix of California Golden Raisins, Thompson Raisins and Red Flame Raisins. You may have to hunt for a grocery store which stocks them.

Second, I slice each raisin at least once, if not three or four times. That’s right, this hack really involves hacking. A toddler’s gastrointestinal system cannot break down a raisin’s peel, skin, outer membrane, or whatever you call it. Cut the raisin in half, expose the juicy middle, and chemistry is free to do its work. The raisin’s skin still passes undigested, but gets pooped out like a deflated balloon, emptied of all its nutritious goodness. I use jumbo raisins because they are easier to cut than normal raisins.

Maybe adults cannot digest whole raisins either, but we chew them, providing the same effect as a knife. Would anyone care to chug a box of whole raisins to prove me wrong? When we see our own feces with the same clarity we see our child’s, the mysteries of the world unfold before us.

Death Disclaimer: The American Academy of Pediatrics lists raisins among common food choking hazards for children under 4 years of age, unless the raisins are "chopped completely." My personal measures include only feeding raisins while Little Miss is seated, and watching that she doesn’t stuff her mouth. Part of guzzling behavior might be learned, so we set an example by not stuffing our mouths at the dinner table. It’s also a good idea to take an infant and child CPR class through your local Red Cross office.

P.S. Although jumbo raisins aren’t sold through Sun-Maid’s web store, Fernando Rivera from the company’s consumer affairs office assures me they can be purchased directly by calling 1-800-SUN-MAID (1-800-786-6243).

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