Cantaloupe is on many people’s list as one of their favorite melons, if not favorite fruit. It’s sweet taste makes it appealing to the masses, and sooner or later you’ll wonder if it’s OK to share this natural treat with your baby.
It does make a great finger food when they’re ready for those, but you’ll want to cut it into wedges and not use a melon-baller to prevent a choking hazard. You’ll also want to ease them in with other fruits that they’re less likely to have an allergic reaction to.
Baby Center says that at 8 months most babies are ready for cantaloupe and all of the nutrients it contains, with some babies being ready sooner depending on what stage of their development they’re at.
Can I Give My Baby Cantaloupe? Answer: From 8 Months
While you can jump the gun on this and give them to your baby at 6 months if they’re showing signs of readiness, 8 months is considered appropriate for melons. There are plenty of other fruit options to try as a lead in to giving them cantaloupe, so you don’t have to feel pressed to give it to them sooner. It’s good to look for signs that your baby is giving you to let you know that they’re ready, and not use broad guidelines like these to make that determination. Never force your baby into foods they’re not ready for, and likewise you don’t have to wait for an arbitrary date if all signs are go.
Once your baby does start having cantaloupe as a go-to fruit in their diet they’ll benefit from the nutrients it provides. They’ll likely enjoy eating cantaloupe as its soft on the palate, tastes sweet and juicy, and the good new is it’s packing a vitamin and beta carotene punch. It can help with the proper development of your baby’s eyes, so you don’t want to wait too long to give them cantaloupe, as their first year is the one with the most overall development.
Possible Allergic Reactions
If your baby is allergic to melons in general, they’ll probably show signs after eating cantaloupe because it’s a melon. For this reason, many moms and dads wait until the 8 month mark before introducing them. You’re probably already used to introducing new foods to your little one, but just as a recap you’ll want to make sure that they haven’t had any new foods in the previous meal, and then monitor how well they digest it, and if there are any rashes or other symptoms of a reaction.
Broadening Baby’s Palate
Cantaloupe makes a great choice when you’re trying to think of foods that your baby will really find tasty, and when you start moving away from foods that are bland or one-dimensional. As they start becoming more used to the different melons you’ll eventually be able to make a fruit salad, using honeydew and watermelon to make it a colorful treat, stimulating more than one of their senses.
You don’t want to let your baby have a field day with cantaloupe, so be sure to limit portion sizes accordingly. The sugar will act to increase their blood sugar levels, and it’s a good idea not to spike these as your baby grows. Since they’ll probably think it’s really delicious, they’re going to keep looking like they want some more, and it’s sometimes hard to withhold foods that they want, but it’s a best to give them a balanced diet and keep sugar-bearing foods to smaller portions, even sugary fruits.
Although it may seem overwhelming, you’ll look back at these times when your baby is trying new foods almost daily as a fun experience. Sooner or later they’ll be in their high chair eating smaller bits of what the rest of the family is eating, and this time will be a fond memory. Try to make the most of it, and if you find that you’re having trouble keeping up with the foods they have and haven’t tried, keep a spreadsheet on your computer, or a journal in a notebook for easy reference.
And as with all questions that are related to what your baby can have, if you still have doubts, or if your baby has a medical history you’re concerned about, a quick call to the doctor can give you a clear answer.