Serving your baby fresh fruit can be cheaper and more nutritious than buying processed baby food at the store, according to The University of Maine. To ensure that your baby enjoys fresh fruit, it is important to offer it at the right time and to prepare it correctly.
Age and Skills
Your baby will be ready to try solid foods when she is 4 to 6 months old, can hold her head up, sit with support and seems interested in foods. Rice cereal is often recommended as a first food for babies because it is easy to digest. The Kids Health website states that once your baby can eat cereal off a spoon, you can try giving her a fruit or vegetable.
In the beginning, you will need to mash or puree fruit for your baby. Remove any seeds or pits and puree prunes, apples, pears, peaches or apricots with a food processor, mill, grinder or blender. Some fruits, such as ripe bananas, can be easily mashed with a fork. You may have to add formula, breast milk or water to make the fruit thin enough for your baby to try, but you can gradually thicken the consistency as he gets used to it. When he is 8 to 11 months old, he may be ready to try fruit diced into small pieces.
Fruits to Avoid
Kids Health suggests you avoid giving your baby citrus fruits until she is one year old. Citrus fruits include oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit. The acidic properties of citrus fruits can cause painful diaper rashes for your baby.
Keep in mind that small pieces of fruit, such as berries, are a choking hazard for your baby. Be sure to cut them into small pieces before offering them. After offering a new kind of fruit, the website Babycenter recommends waiting three days before offering your baby a different type of new food. This can help spot any allergy symptoms, such as a rash, gas or diarrhea, and identify the cause.
If you are concerned about pesticides on your baby’s fruit, consider buying organic fruit. Some fruits, such as strawberries, have higher levels of pesticides than others. Your baby may have trouble digesting small berry seeds, such as those in blackberries. It is normal to find these in your baby’s diaper after she eats them.