Strawberries are often thought of as delicious and healthy, and many new parents consider giving it to their baby. When deciding which solid foods to feed your baby, you want to choose those that are rich in vitamins and nutrients to help your child grow and develop.
But while strawberries are a tasty and healthy food, you may want to consider waiting to give them to your child until after his or her first birthday.
Strawberries are a fruit that is known for its juicy texture and bright red color. Though it is actually not considered a berry, strawberries are sweet to the taste and can be consumed fresh or prepared in foods such as milkshakes or preserves. Strawberries are very low in calories and an excellent source of vitamin C and flavonoids.
Can I Give My Baby Strawberries? Answer: After One Year
Though they are delicious and healthy, strawberries are one of the foods most commonly responsible for allergic reactions, which is why you should wait until your child is at least twelve months of age before introducing them.
The most common reaction to strawberries is itching or rash where the fruit comes into contact with the skin. Some reactions can be more severe and result in swelling of the throat.
Strawberries may also cause hives on the body, and some parents have found that strawberries worsen the symptoms of eczema or asthma. In some babies, strawberries can contribute to diaper rash, a reaction to the acidity in the fruit.
Strawberries can pose as a choking hazard to your baby. Make sure that they are either pureed or cut into very small pieces. Strawberries are slippery and can slide down your child’s throat before they had the chance to chew completely. If you are giving your child strawberries as a finger food, make sure they are cut into fingertip size pieces. Continue cutting strawberries this size until your child has had his or her third birthday.
Some babies have trouble digesting the strawberry’s seeds. If you notice seeds in your child’s diaper, don’t be alarmed. While it might look strange, it just means the seeds were harmlessly passed through your baby’s digestive system.
How to Choose at the Store
When purchasing strawberries, look for those that are harder and bright red in color. Strawberries do not last long, and strawberries that are bruised or brown are going bad. Also, strawberries have high levels of pesticides, so you may want to consider purchasing organic berries.
When you get your strawberries home, check through them and discard any that are damaged. If you do not do this, the damaged strawberries will contaminate the others. For best flavor, strawberries should only be kept in the refrigerator for two days. Make sure to store them in single layers, as they tend to spoil more quickly when piled on top of each other.
Be Careful with Finger Foods
If you plan on serving strawberries to your baby as a finger food, you need to make sure your baby is ready to handle them. Your baby will give you clear signs to let you know that he or she is ready for solid foods. Some of these signs include head control, sitting well with support, chewing motions, significant weight gain, growing appetite and showing curiosity about what you are eating.
Strawberries can be served whole as a finger food for your baby. You can also mash them with cream cheese and serve as a spread for sandwiches or crackers. Pureed strawberries can be added to pudding or oatmeal. You can even combine strawberries with other fruits and puree in a blender, then freeze in popsicle molds for a frozen tasty treat.
How to Introduce New Foods
Remember that all new foods should be introduced to babies with a minimum of three days apart. If you plan on introducing zucchini to your baby paired with another food, make sure you pair it with one your child has already consumed.
This way, if your child does react due to an allergy, you will know that zucchini was the culprit. Signs of an allergic reaction may include a swollen face, wheezing or a rash, vomiting, and diarrhea. If any of these symptoms occur after your child eats, call 911 immediately.
Remember, strawberries can be introduced to your baby around twelve months of age. However, if your baby shows any sign of allergies, you must first consult your child’s physician before introducing strawberries to their diet.