The Best Fruit for Your Baby at All Stages

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Fruits make amazing first foods for babies. Most of them have soft textures and sweet flavours. They are also highly nutritious and fibrous, providing many key nutrients that support your baby’s growth and development.

As your little one transitions from milk to solids, fruits will help to support this journey. That said, as you are thinking about which fruits to introduce, consider your baby’s stage alongside the nutritional value you want to get.

Best First Fruits – 4-6 months

Starting solids is a major milestone. The best first fruits between 4-6 months have soft textures, mild flavours, and lots of nutrients. Our top picks include:

  • Bananas – Easy to digest and won’t cause allergies. However, giving large amounts or too frequently can result in some constipation.
  • Avocados – Loaded with fibre for gut health and healthy fats for brain development.
  • Berries like apples, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are super delicious and loaded with vitamins and polyphenols (antioxidants). If possible, go for organic. Cook thoroughly until soft for purees.
  • Stone fruits like mango, apricots, peaches and sweet cherries are rich in fibre as well as many wonderful vitamins.
  • Prunes and figs – Good for babies struggling with constipation. Add a little bit to your fruit and veggie purees for a mild laxative effect.

Aim for single-ingredient purees first to test reactions. Then gradually mix into yogurt, oats, natural yogurt and veggies. Try Little Bellies fruit and oat smoothies – specially developed for 6+ months babies to support the introduction of solids or introduce new flavours.

When your baby is ready to explore even more flavours and textures, consider offering snacks designed as finger foods. Try Little Bellies TASTY TEXTURES for 7+ months babies, learning to self-feed.

More thoughts and insights from Leah Hackney, RD, LD, CSP, to guide you through this exciting journey in her article Introducing Solids.

Best Fruits for Baby-Led Weaning (6-7 months)

Baby-led weaning encourages self-feeding and exploration of different textures. Before starting baby led weaning, ensure your baby can sit up independently and has good core control. Opt for fruits that are easy to grasp and safe for your baby to handle. Here are a few top contenders:

  • Banana Slices: Perfect finger food for little hands.
  • Steamed Apple Wedges: Soft and manageable for chewing.
  • Papaya Strips: Interesting tropical taste to explore during self-feeding.
  • Watermelon Cubes: Juicy and easy to handle.

For additional insights, read our article Baby Led Weaning – Tips for New Parents.

Best Fruits from 8 to 12 Months

As babies master chewing skills, expand fruit options beyond purees. Prioritise vitamin C and antioxidant-rich selections like:

  • Papaya – Loaded with vitamin C. It also has papain enzyme to aid protein digestion.
  • Mangoes – Loaded with vitamin A for super vision!
  • Blueberries – Low allergy risk with incredible antioxidant properties.
  • Oranges – Sweet, seedless segments are great to gnaw and suck. Always taste yourself first to make sure it’s not too acidic.

Offer new fruit in the morning so that you can monitor for a reaction and then you can offer the next new fruit the following day.

Best Toddler Fruits 12+ Months

By 12 months, toddlers can enjoy most fruits cut into pieces, wedges, or strips for grasping, biting, and chewing practice. Focus on nutritious variety:

  • Strawberries – Perfect size for little hands. Leave green caps on for grip.
  • Cherries – Contain antioxidants. Be sure to pit first.
  • Grapes – Offer seedless grapes that have been cut lengthwise and then into quarters. Never offer grapes whole as they are a choking risk. Teach your child not to swallow them whole.
  • Watermelon and Cantaloupe – Packed with immunity-boosting vitamins A and C.

Toddlers need repeated exposure to appreciate new flavours. Be patient and creative in fruit presentations. Avoid force feeding and offer praise for trying new items.

Best Fruits for Immune System and Overall Health

Here are a few great immune-boosting choices:

  • Kiwi: Packed with vitamins and fibre.
  • Oranges: Rich in vitamin C.
  • Watermelon: Hydrating and loaded with antioxidants.
  • Blueberries, Raspberries and Grapes: Rich in polyphenols (antioxidants).
  • Apple Slices: Offer a fun twist by using cookie cutters for different shapes.
  • Diced Melon: Refreshing and rich in vitamins.

Key Fruit Tips by Age

Beyond selecting the most nutritious fruits for every stage, keep these age-specific tips in mind:

  • 4-6 months – Focus on thin purees. Mix with breast milk or formula to avoid constipation from thicker textures.
  • From 6/7 months, expand to mashed fruits. Combine with iron-rich foods like cereal and meat for absorption. If sitting independently, introduce chopped soft fruits but monitor carefully for choking hazards. Always supervise.
  • 12+ months – Toddlers can now enjoy most sliced fruits but should remain seated while eating to prevent choking. Avoid whole grapes until older as these are a choking risk.

Pairing the right fruits with your baby’s evolving motor skills ensures safe exploration and healthy nutrition during the intricate transition to solid foods.

Fruits to Avoid

There are some fruits that you should avoid giving to your baby, either because they are allergenic, acidic, or choking hazards.

  • If a baby has reflux or medical reasons, avoid acidic fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, pineapples and grapefruits that can irritate your baby’s stomach and mouth. Wait until your baby is at least 12 months old before giving them acidic fruits.
  • Grapes: Grapes are a choking hazard for babies. Never offer whole grapes. Always cut them into quarters or smaller pieces.

Final Thoughts

When thinking about what fruit to get your little one, the most important factors to consider are nutrient density and age appropriateness. Make sure the fruits that you offer your child have easy-to-digest textures, especially in those early months. Aim for a rainbow of colours as chewing skills allow.

For our master list of best veggies for your baby, read our article The Best Vegetables for Your Baby at All Stages.

Photo by Sahand Babali on Unsplash