Starting solid foods, like blueberries, is a joyous time for our children. They finally get to experience tastes and textures outside of their regular breast milk or formula. As parents, we get to watch what our children enjoy and what they do not enjoy. Some foods will be eaten up within seconds, while others will be spit out (and possibly thrown across the room).
When our children start solid foods, it is hard for us as parents to know which foods are safe and which are not. Some foods pose health risks to babies under one year of age, some are just not soft enough for our children to handle, and some may pose as a high allergy risk. One food that often comes to mind is blueberries.
Blueberries are a type of fruit packed with vitamins, fiber and antioxidants and are perfectly safe to give to your baby around eight months of age. Blueberries are very healthy for your child and are great served with other foods during breakfast or lunch, or served alone as a snack.
Can I Give My Baby Blueberries? Answer: After 6 Months
Before your baby can begin solid foods, he or she needs to be able to handle them. Until around four to six months of age, your baby’s stomach is not ready or fully developed to handle anything other than formula or breast milk, which is why doctors recommend waiting until this age to start your baby on solid foods.
Your baby must also be able to sit up with support and mush, chew or gum food in his or her mouth (not spit it back out, like most babies tend to do as a reflex). By the time your baby is eight months old, he or she should be able to do all of the aforementioned things, which is why it is best to wait until then to start them on blueberries.
No Preparation Needed
Aside from their healthy benefits, blueberries are also a fantastic food for your little one because they do not need to be prepared. After one quick wash, they are ready for your little one to enjoy. They are also a very easy snack to take on the go.
Some parents often worry about the seeds found in blueberries. The seeds in blueberries are not like the seeds found in other fruits, and your child’s digestive system will be able to process them perfectly fine without any trouble. There is no need for you to try and de-seed a blueberry before you give it to your child.
When you first introduce blueberries to your little one, make sure to either serve it alone or with another food your child has already enjoyed. Even though blueberries are not known to cause many allergic reactions, it is always best to wait three days in between feeding your child new foods. This way, if your child does have an allergic reaction, you will know which food caused it.
When your child starts solid foods, it is always best to serve them foods that have been mashed, pureed or cut up into very small pieces. While you may not want to mash your blueberries, you could always puree them or cut them in half (or quarters) into small pieces. Even if your baby has mastered eating finger foods, and even though blueberries are soft, pieces that are not cut small enough can easily get lodged in your child’s throat, causing your child to choke.
Packed With Nutrients
Remember, once your baby is eight months old, has mastered sitting up and grabbing food with their fingers, it is perfectly safe to give them blueberries. Blueberries are packed with nutrients that are great for your child’s overall growth and development. They are also easy to prepare and can easily be taken along as a nutritious snack. Just always remember to puree or cut your blueberries into small pieces before giving them to your child. The small size of the blueberries can get lodged in your child’s throat if he or she tries to consume them whole, causing your child to choke.
As always, if you have any questions about blueberries or feeding them to your baby, it is always best to consult your child’s physician. He or she will be able to discuss your concerns and answer your questions in more thorough detail.