Seeing your baby explore solids is a very exciting time for any parent. We find ourselves indulged in the countless opportunities ahead.
But of course, with these thoughts comes the anxiety of the uncertainty regarding what is beneficial, safe and potentially enjoyable for our precious little one. From baby rice to homemade purees, we all have our take on what works well for our baby.
When your little one reaches 6 months of age they are ready for solids, initially introducing a small amount once a day is sufficient. Blended, mashed or soft cooked fruit such as apple or pear are a great start to a child’s weaning journey.
Banana is an easy go-to for most parents as its soft and easy to mash or pureed on a pre-loaded spoon. Common fruits offered to babies include banana, apple and avocado. But how about something a little exotic… let’s explore Ananas Comosus, known commonly as the Pineapple.
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Can A Baby Eat Pineapple From 6 Months?
Yes, absolutely, this is the exciting part! The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that your child can begin eating solid foods from about 6 months old.
Solid foods do not need to be introduced in a specific order. Weaning is a big change for them and for you too.
When you do start to wean, smooth purees in gentle flavors are perfect for introducing your baby to solids. Of course baby rice is a great first weaning food as you can prepare this with their usual milk.
But as they get used to their first few solids you may wish to get more adventurous. This includes fruit, however careful choices must be made when choosing your fruit, the size of the piece and how best to introduce it safely.
You will be glad to know this includes pineapple. Pineapples have a fleshy pulp which is aromatic, juicy, tangy and sweet.
Is Pineapple Nutritious For Babies?
Pineapple is a delicious healthy fruit. Combined with its impressive nutrition profile makes it irresistible. Benefiting from low calories paired with zero cholesterol, sodium or fat.
There’s no denying it’s loaded with nutrients that can boost your babies well-being. Slice or puree, however you choose to offer it to your baby, you will enjoy adding this bright, tangy fruit to their diet.
Pineapple has various nutritional benefits,
- Immunity Boost; rich in Vitamin C.
- Muscle & Nervous system; excellent source of Vitamin B1.
- Good for Digestion; rich in dietary fiber.
- Immune Response and Bone Formation; great source of manganese.
- Heart Health; contains bromelain that has been attributed to the cardioprotective benefits when consumed regularly
- Hydration; pineapple is a juicy fruit that could help fight dehydration. 100 grams of pineapple contains 85 grams of water.
- Pain Relief; Bromelain present is believed to provide relief from pain and has anti-inflammatory properties
Is There Anything To Be Concerned About?
Introducing pineapple to your baby’s diet can be an enjoyable process. Although acidic foods should be introduced carefully.
The citric acid may irritate the baby’s tummy. The acidity may cause rash around your baby’s mouth, skin in this area is delicate.
Also keep an eye out for diaper rash, again due to the acidity in Pineapple. If your baby experiences this consider giving them a break from pineapple to let the area heal.
Pineapple is not known to be an allergen however The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests waiting at least two to three days after introducing a new food to your baby before starting another. This way, you can monitor for any allergic reactions. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for potential side effects.
Raw pineapple can trigger oral allergy syndrome. A condition caused by a cross-reaction in allergens. Its less likely in children under 3, but babies may still be affected. Be sure to be on the lookout for possible signs of reaction.
Oral allergy syndrome symptoms can include:
- Skin, lip or tongue swelling
- Throat tightness or trouble swallowing
- Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or diarrhea
- Trouble breathing
Should your child show any of the above symptoms, call your doctor immediately.
Is Pineapple a Choking Hazard?
Pineapple can be a hard fruit, it’s naturally fibrous. Anything complicated to chew on for a baby is a choking hazard. Make sure to prepare the fruit safely.
There are parts of the fruit which can be extra tough and difficult to eat if not removed carefully. Ensure age appropriate sized pieces are given to your child and inspect for all outer peel and rigid core.
Make sure to drain and rinse fruit well. Later we will explore how to select your pineapple and different ways to prepare it for your baby.
Can babies have pineapple juice instead?
It is important to note that babies do not need juice. Babies younger than 12 months should not be offered juice.
From 0-12 months’ breastmilk or formula and water is all they require. After 12 months of age (up to 3 years of age), give only 100% fruit juice and no more than 4 ounces a day (recommended by AAP). Offer it only in a cup, not in a bottle, to help prevent tooth decay.
Although it is important to note, juice from pineapple can be used to relieve bronchitis and chest congestion. As mentioned above, pineapple contains Bromelain which helps loosen mucus.
Just make sure to wait until your baby is over 12 months. Do not give your baby store bought pineapple juice as these usually contain added sugars.
Try freshly pressed juice instead. Ensure you only give your child juice once in a while, juice should be limited and given as a treat.
What’s the best way to prepare the pineapple?
Pineapple is available in various forms, lets first explore our options. Fresh is always best, however thawed frozen pineapple can be a convenient option.
Canned pineapple has its benefits as its soft and easier for your baby to eat, however canned can be high in sugar. Be sure to only purchase the variety in natural juice and always avoid syrup.
Rinse the pineapple pieces thoroughly to remove as much of the canned juice as possible before serving. Always check the can is within its use-by date before serving to your child.
If your child is new to weaning, avoid bite size pieces. Offer thick long slices which will be easy for your baby to hold and chew on.
Make sure they are long enough for your baby to grip, if this proves difficult roll the slice in some baby cereal to help them get their little hands stable. Frozen pineapple rings are a great way to help your teething baby enjoy soothing their gums whilst benefiting from a delicious tropical fruit.
Initially try blending some fresh chunks of pineapple for a smooth sweet and tangy pineapple puree. Purees are great offered with a spoon or in a puree pouch.
Pineapple pairs up nicely with some yogurt, serve pineapple sticks with a dollop of yogurt. A great option for baby led weaning.
6 months – the first time
- Long, thick slices for chewing (these can be rolled in cereal to help grip)
- Puree using fresh or frozen pineapple. Blend until smooth, serve with a spoon or in a puree pouch
- Frozen rings are a juicy way to help soothe gums
9 months – when your baby has a few teeth
- Thinner strips for you baby to hold and bite on (avoid smaller pieces as these can still be a choking hazard)
12 months and older – when your child has become a confident eater
- Small pieces are now an option, let your child use their fingers or a baby fork
Easy Pineapple Recipes for Babies
Pineapple Porridge – 6 months +
- 100g Fresh cubed pineapple
- 2 tbsp / 20g Powdered oats
- ½ cup of water
- Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan
- Add your pineapple and oats to the water and mix until well incorporated
- Cover and simmer for 5 minutes
- Blend with a potato masher or blender for a smoother finish
Pineapple & Banana Smoothie – 6 months +
- 1 cup Pineapple cubes
- 1 Banana
- 1 cup Plain yogurt
- Place all the ingredients into a blender or smoothie maker and blend until smooth
Chocolate Coated Pineapple Sticks – 9 months +
- Pineapple cut into strips
- Dark chocolate chips
- Pat dry the pineapple sticks with some kitchen paper
- Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave at 30 second intervals, 2-3 times until smooth
- Dip the pineapple halfway into the chocolate, you may prefer to use a spoon to drizzle over the pineapple
- For an optional exciting extra try topping with a drizzle of white chocolate
- Lay the sticks flat on a tray covered in parchment paper, and refrigerate
Shrimp & Pineapple Kebabs – 12 months +
- Large peeled and tailed Shrimp
- Cubes of fresh Pineapple
- If using frozen shrimp, thaw and pat dry with kitchen paper
- Alternate shrimp and pineapple cubes onto skewers until you have 3 shrimp and 2 pineapples on each skewer. Make sure to start and end with a shrimp
- Grill on medium heat for 5-8 minutes, make sure to flip once halfway
Try adding some seasoning as your little tot gets older than 12 months. These kebabs are great marinated in a little low salt soya, vinegar and honey!