When Can My Baby Eat Strawberries?

baby eating strawberry

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There’s nothing quite like eating a strawberry in season. Bright, sweet, and juicy, it’s a delight that you can definitely share with your baby once they’re ready to begin eating solid foods. Most babies reach this benchmark around 4 to 6 months of age, at which point they can begin sampling single ingredients. Just make sure you've got your camera handy: Witnessing how your baby reacts to new tastes is almost as much fun as welcoming them to family meals in due time.

Chances are your child will probably like—and maybe even love—strawberries; after all, babies are born with a preference for sweetness. The bad news is that strawberries can leave nasty stains—so you’ll definitely need a bib and some stain-remover on hand. Read on for everything else you need to know about giving your baby strawberries for the first time.

Are Strawberries Safe for My Baby?

Strawberries are safe for babies beginning around ages 4 to 6 months old when solids are typically introduced. 

That said, it’s better to rely on developmental achievements than age to gauge whether your child is ready for food. Can they sit up alone or with support? Control their head and neck? Bring objects to the mouth and open their mouth when food is offered? Swallow food? All of these signs indicate your baby is there, according to Mark R. Corkins, MD, division chief of pediatric gastroenterology at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Tennessee.

Because strawberries are not a common allergen, the biggest risk in feeding them to babies is introducing them too early, in which case the infant may gag or push the food back out of their mouth, warns Dr. Angela Tsuang, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics in the division of allergy and immunology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Every baby is different. Be sure to consult with a pediatrician if you have any questions about giving your infant strawberries.

Benefits of Giving Baby Strawberries

While scant research exists on the health benefits of strawberries for babies, in particular, strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and dietary fiber. The fiber in strawberries can be especially helpful for children who drink formula, which can be constipating, Dr. Corkins says, adding that the berries may help loosen stool.

What's more, the consumption of any type of fruit is associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease and cancer for all ages. Strawberries happen to be an especially smart choice for babies and adults alike since they contain certain bioactive compounds with antioxidant and anticancer properties.

Safety Precautions

Compared to serving processed foods packed with who-knows-what ingredients, feeding your baby produce should feel like a no-brainer, if not a piece of cake. However, strawberries can stir up a host of concerns for first-time feeders.

First off, while whole strawberries can be fun for babies to play with and nibble on, berries that are about the width of a nickel can become lodged in the throat and are therefore considered a potential choking hazard. Proper preparation can help mitigate this risk—more on that below.

If fear of choking doesn't keep you up at night, food allergies might. Parents who worry about uncovering unknown food allergies when introducing new foods to their baby can rest assured that strawberries don’t make the list of top food allergens, which include shellfish and fish, peanuts and tree nuts, milk, wheat, soy, and egg. In other words, a baby who samples strawberries for the first time is unlikely to experience anaphylaxis, a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction that occurs when the body goes into shock.

That said, strawberries are acidic and can cause mild skin rashes when they come into contact with the skin, according to Dr. Tsuang. “This is more likely to be related to contact irritation and not an allergic reaction,” she says. So get your wipes ready and call your pediatrician if you notice anything out of the ordinary after feeding your baby strawberries.

When and How to Introduce Strawberries

As with any dietary changes, check with your baby’s pediatrician before giving them strawberries. Once you get the go-ahead, don’t expect your baby to start popping whole strawberries into their mouth the first time you introduce the fruit. Start with a puree or thin, soft slices for babies under 9 months old, suggests Dr. Tsuang. Older babies may be able to navigate small pieces—think Cheerios-sized.

What Amount of Strawberries Should I Give My Baby? 

Although you might want to eat strawberries by the pint when they're in season, fight the urge to serve your baby a similar serving. It's not (just) about saving some for later: Because your baby's belly is much smaller than yours, their serving should be much smaller than the portion you'd dole out to yourself. In case you need a frame or reference, an appropriate serving size of strawberry for first-timers is about 1 to 2 teaspoons of pureed strawberries, says Dr. Tsuang.

After the first few tastes, Dr. Corkins says you can use your baby’s fist as a guide for how much to serve them in a single sitting. As their little hands grow, their food portions can, as well.

A Word From Verywell

When introducing your baby to solids, your food options are boundless—as can be related anxieties. But before withholding one of the sweetest summer berries from your child's feeding tray, note that babies can absolutely enjoy strawberries once they hit the developmental milestones that indicate they are ready to begin eating solid foods. After all, with proper preparation, strawberries shouldn't pose a choking hazard, and they are not likely to cause an allergic reaction as they are not among the top allergenic foods.

If you have any questions or concerns about introducing what might just become one of your infant’s favorite fruits, talk to your baby’s pediatrician, who can help reassure you the first time you serve your baby strawberries or any other new food.

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7 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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