Weaning your baby onto solid foods can be an exciting and joyful experience. You get to introduce them to a whole new world of textures and tastes. However, while you may be excited to get your little one onto solids, there’s certain foods you need to avoid or at least be wary of.
Grapes are one of first foods parents want to introduce to their baby. They’re sweet, juicy, delicious and healthy. However, did you know they can also be potentially dangerous for baby? Below, you’ll discover everything you need to know before feeding grapes to babies.
The Benefits Of Feeding Baby Grapes
All fruits and vegetables have some pretty awesome benefits, and grapes are no exception. They’re high in flavonoids, which are known to potentially help lower bad cholesterol and help to keep the heart healthy. They’re also an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Just some of these include magnesium, folate, iron, zinc, potassium, Vitamins A, C, B1 and B2.
However, it’s actually the skin of the grape which contains the most health benefits, which can be potentially dangerous to baby.
At What Age Should Grapes Be Introduced?
The general guidelines are that grapes can be introduced to baby between the ages of 8-10 months. However, unlike some solid foods, the reason parents are advised to wait to give their baby grapes isn’t because they pose an allergy risk. Instead, they pose quite a serious choking risk; especially whole grapes.
However, there is still a chance baby could be allergic to grapes, despite the low risk. Therefore, like any new food, after introducing grapes it’s best to wait around 3 days before feeding them to your baby again. That way, you can see if they do cause any allergic reactions.
It’s also worth noting that although the official guidelines are to wait until baby is 8-10 months old, you should use your own judgement as to when baby is ready. Although you should never feed grapes to babies under 8 months old, they may not be ready to safely try them until they’re a little older than 10 months.
They’ll need to have teeth, so they can successfully chew the grapes and they’ll also need to be able to properly sit upright. As grapes are a finger food, baby should also be able to grab pieces of food and put it into their mouth.
Whenever you do decide baby is ready to try grapes, be sure to supervise them every time they eat them. Even when served correctly, they could still pose a choking hazard so it’s important to watch out for signs your baby might be struggling.
Buying Tips – What To Look Out For When Buying Baby Grapes
When you’re looking to buy grapes for baby, there’s a few things you’ll want to look out for. Firstly, it’s really important to ensure the grapes are seedless. The seeds, although very small, can still cause baby to choke.
You’ll also want to avoid imported grapes if you can. That’s because they tend to contain pesticides, which you obviously don’t want to expose your baby to if you can help it. Organic, locally grown grapes are a much healthier and safer choice.
It’s a good idea to use the grapes within a few days of buying them. The longer they are stored, even in the refrigerator, the more they’ll soften and bruise. You should also avoid buying grapes which are bruised, or which are already falling off the vine. This is because it means they’re already starting to go bad.
How To Prepare And Serve Grapes To A Baby
There’s a few of things to remember when preparing and serving grapes for baby. They include:
- Never feed whole grapes to baby
- Always peel the skin off
- Cut the grapes lengthwise
Under no circumstances should whole grapes be fed to baby. Although they may be soft and small to you, they’re the perfect size to get stuck in baby’s throat. You should also avoid cutting them widthwise. This is perhaps one of the biggest mistakes parents make when preparing grapes for baby. You’d think widthwise pieces would be safer than longer pieces, but it’s the width which can cause the problem. The grapes should always be cut lengthwise and ideally sliced several times, rather than simply just in half.
It’s also important to peel off the skin. As mentioned earlier, the skin contains most of the nutrition found in grapes, but it also presents a pretty serious choking hazard. So, always remove the skin before you cut the grapes up when serving to younger babies. If baby is old enough to eat the skin, be aware that parts of the skin may show up in baby’s poop. So, don’t be alarmed if you spot small bits of skin in baby’s diaper – it’s just the skin from the grapes!
One of the safest ways to feed grapes to baby is to puree the grapes. This is especially a great idea for younger babies and eliminates the choking risk. Otherwise, they can be cut lengthwise in numerous slices and served alongside other foods as a meal, or alone as a snack. They should never really be served alone as a meal as although they’re nutritious, they don’t have substance to be classed as a main meal.
Grapes can be a fantastic healthy treat once baby is old enough to chew. If you follow the above advice, your little one can enjoy this juicy snack without the risk of choking. It’s also advised you speak to your doctor or pediatrician before introducing new foods to baby.