Watermelons are a sweet, refreshing and most importantly nutritious summer snack.
Not only do they provide us with hydration, it also contains a lot of vital vitamins and minerals as well as some antioxidants.
That is why it is not surprising that many parents want to serve this fruit to their child.
Consisting of 93% water, a watermelon is a great alternative to water and is especially refreshing on a hot summer’s day.
There are many questions to be answered related to how and when you can serve this fruit to your child. Hopefully we can put your mind at ease with our recommendations.
When Can My Baby Eat Watermelon?
It is recommended that babies don’t consume watermelon before the age of 6 months. Between the ages of 6 months and 10 months, you can start with very simple recipes.
If you have any history of food allergies in your family, you should start after 8 months.
In order to eat watermelon, your little one needs to be ready for textured food. Starting it too early can result in them not liking the food because of its texture, which is a difficult habit to change afterwards.
Most babies are ready for textured food between the ages of 8 and 10 months.
Can your baby chew watermelon? Does your baby have enough teeth to handle this kind of food?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then you can give it a go.
Thankfully, watermelon is soft and doesn’t require much chewing compared to other fruits. Babies can enjoy this delicious snack quite early on in life, but they must be prepared for a textured food like this as we said.
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It would be best to introduce watermelon as a puree or even a drink first. Last but not least, you should always consult your pediatrician when it comes to introducing any food to your kid for the first time.
Can My Baby Eat Watermelon Every day?
A healthy diet should contain a variety of tastes and textures. As with every food you shouldn’t consume too much of it.
Therefore, it would be unwise to give your baby watermelon every day.
Watermelon is also an acidic fruit, which means that it has a lot of natural sugar and sugar is clearly a red flag when it comes to babies.
On the plus side, watermelons contain many vitamins such as a high content of vitamin C which we know helps strengthen the immune system as well as the absorption of iron.
It also contains a load of vitamin A, which is great for a baby’s eyesight and skin. There are also minerals in watermelon such as Calcium and Manganese that help with the bone development.
Let’s also add the all-important antioxidant lycopene which is great for your baby’s heart.
The health benefits of a watermelon are great especially when it comes to rehydration. A watermelon is a vital part of a baby’s diet but so is the variety and the chance to taste different types of food.
Watermelon should become a stable part of your baby’s diet, especially through the summer months.
What’s The Best Way To Prepare Watermelon For My Baby To Eat?
First, the watermelon you choose is very important. Tap the watermelon with your fingers, a ripe watermelon should sound hollow. Unripe watermelons are not as juicy or tasty enough for anyone yet alone for a baby.
Make sure that, as with all fruit, there are no brown spots or bruises. Avoid watermelons that split in places as they are the signs of overripe fruit.
Do not forget to wash the watermelon first as watermelons grow close to the ground. That’s why it is wise to take extra care when washing it.
If you buy pre-packed watermelons, you should also wash them even if the packet says it is unnecessary.
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Of course, the best watermelon is the whole one that is not pre-packed. You never know when the pre-packed watermelon was picked and also you can’t tell if the fruit is under ripe.
The best way to prepare a watermelon for you baby is to cut it up into small bite sized pieces. You must make sure that there are no seeds left, this is very important as the seeds can be a choking hazard.
Because a watermelon is quite soft make sure that the pieces are not too large. Your baby might try to eat the piece without chewing and if the piece is too big this can become a choking hazard, as well.
Another great idea is to serve the watermelon by mashing it and feeding to your baby yourself.
After you have cut into the watermelon you can keep it in the fridge but before you serve it to your child again, make sure that you wait until the watermelon is at room temperature. A cold watermelon can give your baby a sore throat or cold.
What’re Some Good Foods to Mix With Watermelon?
There are many other fruits that you can mix with watermelon. Fruits such as bananas, peaches, blueberries, mangos, avocados and of course honeydew melons go very well with watermelon.
You can make a great fruit puree or smoothie by mixing them all together.
You can also buy some natural yoghurt with watermelon to add thickness to a puree. Watermelon can be a great addition to any fruit salad. You can also use it as finger food alongside cucumbers or bananas.
Any Allergy Issues With Watermelon For My Baby?
We have talked about the great benefits of watermelons but saying that your baby can also develop an allergic reaction to any type of food when he tastes it for the first time.
When you first serve the watermelon, you should look out for any signs of a reaction before you give it to your baby again. Reaction signs might include a rash, diarrhea, vomiting and a runny nose.
As watermelon has an acidic nature, your baby could develop a rash. This is not an allergy but a reaction to the acidic levels in the fruit.
If you have a history of allergies in your family then you should hold off from giving watermelon until 8 months.
Watermelon allergies in babies are very rare but there can be issues if your baby suffers from high fever or pollen allergies.
If your baby has a ragweed allergy, this is a pollen allergy which usually appears in August and fall time, then it is better to stop giving your baby watermelon at this time. The rest of the year watermelon is safe to give.
Please also note that your baby’s stool may be a little red after eating watermelon. This is normal and nothing to worry about.
Any Good Recipe With Watermelon For My Baby?
There are lots of great things that you can do with watermelon to make either a tasty and healthy snack or as a desert after a meal. The most obvious one is watermelon puree.
- First carefully cut and deseed the fruit
- It is very important to take out all the seeds
- Put it in a blender and mix
- For a different taste, you can add banana, mango or avocado for a delicious healthy puree
If you want to give your baby a more textured taste of watermelon, then a fruit salad is perfect.
Small diced pieces of watermelon, always deseed, some pieces of banana, some pieces of peach, make a wonderful fruit salad that will also be a great finger food for your baby.
Always make sure that you cut up the pieces small enough so there is no choking hazard. If you wish you can add a small amount of yoghurt for some extra calcium.
On a hot summer’s day watermelon juice is a perfect choice.
- Dice and deseed the watermelon
- Put it in the blender
- Drain the juice and squeeze the flesh to get all of the juice out
Watermelon juice can make a nice refreshing drink that is a little different from water but still rehydrates your baby with added vitamins and minerals.
Watermelon soup is also a delicious dish for your baby. This soup can be served cold, great if you live in hot climates or hot, which may sound a little strange but is delicious.
It helps rehydrate and adds lots of essential vitamins and minerals to your baby’s diet.
- Add some unsweetened apple juice
- Add some vegetable stock
- Add diced and deseeded watermelon
- Add a small amount of yoghurt
- Add diced and deseeded cucumbers
- Blend the ingredients together and there you are!
If you are unsure about the vegetable stock, then just add more yoghurt for thickness.
If you have a baby that is teething, frozen watermelon puree or popsicles are also work miracles on sore gums. You can freeze the melon then puree it and then can serve it with a spoon.
You can also make watermelon popsicles by pureeing the watermelon first then putting it in a popsicle mold to freeze.
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