Can I Give My Baby Grapes?

Can I give my baby grapes?Introducing solid foods to your baby, such as grapes, is an exciting time for both them and you.

Your child gets to experience new tastes and textures, and you get to watch them gobble it all up, or spit it all out! When your baby is ready for solid foods, usually around the ages of four to six months, he or she will be ready to try a whole new world of fruits, vegetables and meats.

With so many allergies and choking hazards out there today, parents are often concerned about the food they feed their baby.

One food that parents are often curious about is grapes.

Can I Give My Baby Grapes? Answer: At 8-10 Months

Grapes are a fruit that can be eaten raw or used to make jams or jellies, and they are okay to introduce to your baby when he or she is eight to ten months old. While grapes do not pose any allergy risks, they do pose a choking hazard. The skins of grapes along with their round size make for choking hazards to young babies. The skins of grapes should be peeled before serving them to your child, and you should either mash the grape up or cut it into very small pieces.

Serving Suggestion
While tasty, grapes are not good to serve alone as a meal; they are best paired with another food, such as chicken, sweet potatoes or applesauce. You can find numerous baby-friendly grape recipes in cookbooks or on the Internet.

Though they do not pose high allergy risks, it is best to wait three days after feeding your child a “new” food, like grapes. If you plan on introducing grapes to your child by pairing it with another food, make sure you pair it with something your child has already consumed. This way, if an allergic reaction does occur, you will know that grapes were the culprit. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include rash, vomiting, diarrhea, runny nose or lightheadedness.

A Healthy Choice
Grapes are a very healthy choice for your child. They contain flavonoids, which may be responsible for heart health and protecting against bad cholesterol. Grapes are also packed with antioxidants; however, the skin is what contains the most (especially darker skinned grapes). Grapes are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, niacin, folate, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, sodium, iron, manganese, copper and zinc.

How to Buy
When buying grapes, you should plan on using them within a few days from your original purchase, as the longer they are stored, the more they become bruised and softened. When selecting grapes to feed your baby, always choose seedless grapes, which pose less of a choking hazard. Imported grapes are known to contain pesticides, so if you have the option, choosing organic grapes is a healthy choice. Also, stay away from grapes that are bruised or falling off the vine, as they are already going bad.

Before your baby can have small finger foods like grapes, (that is, if you choose to cut them into small pieces rather than mash or puree), your child must be ready for them. Your baby needs to be able to chew, or gum, food and be able to sit up properly.

Fine Motor Skills
Your baby will also need to have mastered the pincer grasp, which lets him or her pick up small objects between their thumb and forefinger. Children usually do not master this skill until around nine to twelve months of age. Always make sure you are sitting close to your child while her or she eats in case they do start to choke.

If you think your child is ready for grapes, feel free to add it to his or her diet. Just remember to peel the skin off and either mash or puree, or cut into very tiny pieces. This will prevent your child from choking. While healthy as a snack, grapes do not make a good meal on their own, but should be paired with other tasty foods.

Grapes are a healthy choice for babies, and are an easy snack to have with you on the go. If you have any questions or concerns about when to introduce your child to grapes, it is always best to consult your child’s physician for guidance.

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Ann jones October 24, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Grapes should always be cut before giving to babies and young children as they can be a choking hazard and if left whole may cause death. Because of their soft malleable nature, they can completely block the windpipe and cannot be dislodged in the usual way and I know of incidents where small children have choked to death on a grape. I know you have made the point when introducing grapes to babies but the need to cut grapes in half for young children continues until much later. Please update your site to include this important message. Thank you.

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