Papaya is a fruit that doesn’t often make it onto a daily menu, but has its share of beneficial nutrients and vitamins that makes it a good choice for adults and babies alike.
Even though they’re considered by many to be more of an exotic fruit, they still represent a low risk of an allergic reaction, and can make the regular rotation in your baby’s diet along with other nutritious fruits and vegetables. Oddly enough it may pose a threat to babies with a latex allergy, so you may want to avoid it if you suspect your baby might be allergic to latex.
You’ll still want to wait until they’re ready for it, but you can treat it the same way you treat other foods, mashing it up so they can swallow it easily, and monitoring how they handle it to see if it passes the test.
Even though the consensus is that papaya gets the green light you’ll want to treat it like you would any new food and gauge your baby’s reaction to it. Also, make sure that the papaya is fully ripened, but not overly so. Press your thumb into the papaya and see if it yields to it. If it’s too soft, or smells too strongly it’s too ripe and should not be given to your baby. If you buy one that’s not quite ripe yet you can wait it out at home and prepare it for your baby when it’s at the peak of ripeness.
Can I Give My Baby Papaya? Answer: At 6-8 Months
Each baby is different as far as their development goes, so you only want to use this as a guide. There’s no reason to rush your baby into any foods they’re not ready for, as they’ll be ready for it all in due time. You’ll probably find that papaya is not the first fruit you end up giving them, as other staples like apples and bananas will likely have found their way to the head of the line. But the soft texture of papaya definitely adds to its digestibility and many babies will enjoy the taste.
Benefits of Papaya
Papaya contains antioxidants and a good amount of fiber to keep your baby healthy and regular. Overall we weren’t able to find anything that says that papaya should be avoided, or that it contains things that are harmful for your baby. Just to be sure you wouldn’t want to give them a large amount of it at one time, but that’s the same with most first time foods.
Introducing New Foods
If a food is low on the allergen scale you’ll still want to introduce it to your baby in small amounts, and away from any other new foods. See how they react to having it in their mouth, and then follow up by monitoring their digestion to see how well it passes through. If you get any signs that they are having trouble with it you may want to hold off for a few more months before giving it to them again. It could be that they just need a little more time to develop their digestive system and will be able to handle it better later on.
Other Tropical Fruits
Along with papaya you might also be considering giving your baby other tropical fruits like mango, passion fruit, kiwi, or plantains. Each of these fruits might seem more exotic, and therefore have more cause for caution on your part. It’s best to try them out one at a time, and monitoring how well they handle them.
It’s good to give your baby a variety of foods. This allows them to experience new tastes but it also broadens their nutritional outlook as well, since each food has its own unique qualities that it brings to the table, especially fruits and vegetables. There are so many choices available that it can be a bit overwhelming for new parents. You can make it a weekly tradition where you feed your baby a new fruit they haven’t experienced before. That way you’re always giving them new things but not feeling like you have to give them every fruit known to man.