Citrus fruits are generally yummy, and everyone knows that they’re good for us, but does that apply to baby, and if so, at what age is it alright to give to them?
It’s natural to want to give your baby new food experiences, but it’s also important not to rush them along in the process either. They should breastfeed for as long as possible, then make the transition into formulas, rice cereals, and then to solid foods. So you don’t want to jump the gun and start giving them acidic fruits like these before they’re ready. Remember, their body is a clean slate, and their stomach juices are not like an adults where we can basically break down most anything we swallow. A baby might have a tougher time with citrus fruits than you might think.
But you don’t have to be overly cautious, as these fruits are OK to give to your baby, at the right time and in the right portions. For most babies the right time is around 12 months, give or take a month, so you should take into account your own baby’s history to know when the time is right. We also recommend going organic when you do end up giving them citrus fruits, so they are getting a high quality fruit without the use of pesticides and other chemicals.
Can I Give My Baby Citrus Fruits? Answer: From One Year
Oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines top the list of what many moms want to try giving their babies first, as lemons and limes are too sour for baby to enjoy. Even grapefruit will probably make them pucker up from the tartness, but with a little sugar they taste fine. You can try giving your baby little bits of them before the 12 month mark, and see how they handle it, but common advice is to wait until their a full year old. The reason is the acidity of the fruits.
Citric Acid Concerns
These fruits all contain citric acid, and this is what is cause of concern as a parent. You won’t be putting your baby in any real danger, but this acid has been known to cause rashes in babies that never exhibited any signs of allergic reactions to any other foods before. It’s just something that comes with the territory of citrus fruits, so it’s something that you should be aware of, and watch out for, if and when you decide to give them to your baby.
Vitamin C and Your Baby
Vitamin C is an important vitamin as we all know, it can help ward off colds, and help lessen their duration if you keep your levels at a good amount. But do baby’s need any extra supplementation, and should it be in the form of fruits like oranges and tangerines?
Alternatives to Citrus
If you want to give your baby a sweet food, but don’t want to run the risk of having them break out in a rash from citrus fruits, consider melon like cantaloupe which has a sweet flavor, is easy to chew up, is good for your baby, and has very low incidence of any allergic reactions. Just be sure not to give it in ball form, as this has been shown to be a choking hazard.
Run It Past the Doctor
If you are still concerned whether or not to give your baby citrus foods, give the doctor a quick call and see if they think the time is right to introduce these fruits into their diet. And also remember to isolate the food so that you can be sure that it is the citrus fruits that are causing the upset, and not something else they’re trying that is new.
We recommend keeping a food journal from day one as a way to remember what your baby has and hasn’t had, that way you can remember what they like, what they don’t like, what they’re showed a reaction towards, and what was safe. This is a great way to keep everything documented so you don’t forget, and if you have another baby later you can use it as a way to give yourself a heads up, and also to compare similarities and differences between the two.