When Can Babies Eat Strawberries

Image : Shutterstock

The bright red color and a beautiful green crown make a strawberry appealing. That is perhaps why a baby reaches for it, among all other fruits and vegetables, in the basket.

Strawberries are succulent and tasty while being rich in multivitamins and minerals. But then, there’s the usual parental dilemma: are strawberries good for babies? Can a baby be allergic to strawberries? How can you give strawberries to a baby?

In this post, MomJunction answers these questions and more about strawberries for babies.

When Can Babies Eat Strawberries?

Strawberries must be introduced to a baby only after 12 months of age, along with other foods that have a potential for triggering an allergic reaction (1). Although strawberries are blamed for allergic reactions in babies, they are not as allergenic and rarely trigger an allergic reaction (2). Strawberries make a great addition to the baby’s diet since they offer several health benefits.

Back to top

Health Benefits Of Strawberries

Strawberries are naturally rich in vital micronutrients and minerals that are essential for the healthy development of your baby. Read on to know how the baby benefits by eating strawberries.

1. Strengthens the immune system

The fruit is rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that work together to keep the immune system healthy. A stronger immune system improves the baby’s resistance to several disease-causing pathogens.

2. Improves the nervous system

The phytochemicals found in strawberries offer several benefits to the nervous system, including improving the brain function.

3. Good for the circulatory system

Potassium, which strawberries have in abundance, is beneficial to the general health of the baby, developing blood vessels and boosting the overall wellness of the circulatory system.

4. Helps bones stay healthy

The fruit contains calcium, phosphorus, and fluoride that play a significant role in developing the bones, which is important for the growing baby.

5. Way to stay hydrated

100g of strawberries has 90.25g water, which means babies get adequate fluids every time they eat strawberries.

The fruit also has several other nutrients. We’ll see them next.

[Read: When Can Babies Eat Kiwi Fruit]

Back to top

Nutritional Value Per 100g Of Strawberries:

One serving or 100g of strawberries have:

Natural sugars4.89g
Vitamin C58.8mg
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)0.024mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.022mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)0.386mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.125mg
Vitamin B60.047mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)20µg
Vitamin A1µg
Vitamin K2.2µg

Source: United States Department of Agriculture (3)

Your baby can benefit from this nutritious fruit if you are picking up good-quality strawberries, and storing them right. Let’s see how you can do that.

Back to top

How To Select And Store Strawberries?

Select: Strawberries are available throughout the year thanks to improved cultivation practices and better pest control. On the flip side, strawberries have the highest levels of pesticide residue in them (4).

Therefore, select organically produced varieties that are free from harmful pesticides. Choose strawberries that are bright red and have no blemishes and bruises. Check the leaves to get a clue since ripe strawberries have a greener and firmer stem when compared to the unripe or overripe fruits.

Storage: Strawberries can dry out easily, so refrigerate them and consume within four days. Always store them in a perforated container so that they don’t get soggy. You can freeze strawberries in water to keep them fresh for over a week but once thawed, do not refreeze.

[Read: Are Blueberries Safe For Babies?]

Back to top

How To Process Strawberries For Babies?

Steam the berries before blending them to a puree. This process softens the pulp and the tiny seeds, which the infant may not be able to swallow when raw. Here is how you process strawberries before including them in any baby food:

Step 1: Wash the berries with a mixture of three parts water and one part edible vinegar. As the fruit grows close to the ground, the soil bacteria can get transferred to the fruit. Vinegar helps flush the bacteria without damaging the fruit or affecting its taste.

Step 2: After cleaning with the water-vinegar mixture, rinse the berries with plain water. Cut the stem and leaves and slice the fruit into four pieces (quarters).

Step 3: Place the chopped strawberries in a steamer and steam them for 3-4 minutes. Steaming is the best way to cook them since it retains the shape and nutritional content of the fruit.

Step 4: Blend the berries once they are cooled. Add water to the mixture to dilute the consistency. Blend until there are no lumps and visible seeds that can pose a choking hazard for the baby.

Taste the puree yourself to make sure it is easy to swallow. If you can swallow the puree without feeling any small bits, then it is safe for your baby. You can blend the puree with some additional water and for extra time to make delicious strawberry juice for the baby.

You can even use frozen strawberries for this process, but thaw them well before processing. The puree can be added to various other baby foods or blended in combination with other fruits to make tasty strawberry fruit purees.

Note: Make sure that the strawberries have blended well since they can be a serious choking hazard for the baby. Strawberry seeds are rough and tend to stick to the walls of the baby’s throat. Therefore, always puree the strawberry until it is smooth. You may strain the blended strawberries to be sure the seeds are not present.

Strawberry baby food combinations

Strawberries can be mixed with several food items to make delicious baby food. Here are some food items that you can combine strawberries with:

  • Fruits: Strawberry purees taste great with other purees, especially those made from sweet and pulpy fruits like mangoes and peaches.
  • Baby cereals: You can add a broad range of baby cereals to strawberry puree. You can also mix flours made from rice and oatmeal to make delicious porridge.
  • Meat products: Chicken and meat purees go well with strawberry since it improves the taste of the otherwise bland meat, while also enhancing the nutritional content of the baby food.
  • Milk and yogurt: This is a classic combination that both adults and kids love. Infants can consume strawberries and whole cow’s milk after 12 months of age, which means you can make strawberry smoothies and milkshakes once your baby is old enough.

Next, we share some yummy strawberry baby food recipes in combination with these foods.

Back to top

Delicious Strawberry-Flavored Baby Food Recipes

Plain strawberry puree makes an excellent meal or snack for babies, and it can be frozen to be used over a day or two.

You may also make other strawberry-flavored foods to break the monotony. Here are some recipes for that.

1. Strawberry banana puree

Image: Shutterstock

Bananas are rich in potassium, and so are strawberries, making this puree a great potassium booster for the baby.

You will need:

  • 1 cup chopped bananas
  • 1 cup strawberry puree
  • 3-4 cups water or whole cow’s milk

How to:

  1. Prepare a cup of strawberry puree as mentioned earlier. Once done, mash some bananas till they are soft and without any lumps.
    Mix the mashed bananas with the strawberry puree and pour the mixture into a blender. Blend them, add some water to dilute the consistency, and serve.
  2. Babies can have cow’s milk from the age of 12 months, and whole cow milk is recommended over skimmed varieties (5). Use whole cow milk for diluting the puree. It will add extra flavor to the puree, making it more palatable for your little one.

[Read: Dry Fruits Recipes For Babies]

2. Strawberry mango puree

Image: Shutterstock

A sweet delight for your baby with the richness of multiple vitamins.

You will need:

  • 1 cup chopped mango
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 3-4 cups water or whole cow’s milk

How to:

  1. You can puree the mangoes separately or with the strawberries. Ripe mangoes do not require any cooking, which means you can puree them directly.
  2. Add water or whole milk to dilute the mix when blending and serve it to your baby.

3.Apple strawberry puree

Image: Shutterstock

Both apple and strawberry are rich in minerals making this puree an excellent tonic for the growing infant.

You will need:

  • 1 cup chopped apple
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 3-4 cups water or cow milk

How to:

  1. Clean and cook the apples separately by boiling, steaming or baking them. In the meantime, steam the strawberries to process them.
  2. Put the cooked apples and strawberries in a blender to process them together. Blend till there are no solid lumps and visible strawberry seeds.
  3. Add water or milk to the puree and serve it to your baby.

4. Strawberry with chicken puree

Image: Shutterstock

Add a fruity twist to the usual chicken puree, making it quite delectable.

You will need:

  • 1 cup boiled boneless chicken pieces
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 3-4 cups water or whole cow’s milk

How to:

  1. Boil the boneless chicken pieces separately while you steam the strawberries. Cool both and add them to a blender.
  2. Use the chicken broth for dilution since it is rich in nutrients and enhances the flavor of the puree.
  3. Blend till there are no lumps. Add water or whole cow’s milk for dilution and serve it to your baby.

5.Peach strawberry puree

Image: Shutterstock

Peaches and strawberries are an excellent combination, both in terms of taste and nutrition.

You will need:

  • 1 cup chopped peaches
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 3-4 cups water or whole cow’s milk

How to:

  1. Cook the peaches and strawberries separately and once cooled, transfer them to a blender.
  2. Blend till no lumps and use water or whole cow’s milk for dilution.

You can use fruits similar to peaches, like pears and apricots, to make this puree.

[Read: Can Babies Eat Blackberries]

6. Strawberry milkshake

Image: Shutterstock

Since your baby can consume cow’s milk, it is the perfect time to introduce milkshakes in the diet.

You will need:

  • 1 cup strawberry puree
  • 3-4 cups water or whole cow’s milk

How to:

  1. Steam the berries to make the strawberry puree. Transfer to a blender containing boiled and cooled whole cow’s milk.
  2. Blend the milk and fruit till there are no lumps. Avoid making the milkshake too thick and dilute it with some extra milk or water to make it easier for the baby to eat.

7. Yogurt with strawberry puree

Image: Shutterstock

Strawberry-flavored yogurt is an excellent alternative to milkshakes and plain purees. Even babies can enjoy its mellow taste.

You will need:

  • 1 cup strawberry puree
  • 1-2 cups fresh yogurt made from whole cow’s milk

How to:

  1. Process some strawberries and prepare a cup of puree. Add it to the yogurt and blend them till they mix properly.
  2. If you feel the yogurt is too thick, you can dilute it with some milk or water during the blending process.

8. Baby cereal with strawberry puree

Image: Shutterstock

Strawberry puree tastes great when combined with baby cereals made from oatmeal.

You will need:

  • 1 cup strawberry puree
  • 2 cups oatmeal cereal

How to:

  1. Prepare the strawberry puree and pour it into a bowl of oatmeal cereal or any other baby cereal. Mix it with a spoon so that the consistency is uniform and every cereal grain gets soaked in the puree. Add some extra puree to thin the consistency.
  2. If the infant is young, then you can coarsely blend the cereal and puree mixture in a blender. It makes it easier for the baby to eat.

9. Strawberry rice porridge

Image: Shutterstock

Rice provides the carbohydrates while strawberry contributes the vitamins and minerals making this a great breakfast food for the baby.

You will need:

  • 1 cup strawberry puree
  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 3-4 cups of whole cow’s milk

How to:

1. Cook the rice flour with milk, until there are no lumps. Add some extra milk or water if you intend to thin the consistency. In the meantime, steam some strawberries and then prepare one cup of puree.

2. Add the strawberry puree to the rice porridge and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Keep stirring so that they mix consistently. Let the porridge cool before serving it to your baby.

[Read: Cherry Purees For Babies]

10. Strawberry sago (sabudana) porridge

Image: Shutterstock

Sago pearls (sabudana) are easy to digest and are an excellent combination with strawberry.

You will need:

  • 1 cup strawberry puree
  • 2 cups sago pearls
  • 2 cups water
  • 3-4 cups of whole cow’s milk

How to:

  1. Boil the sago in water until they are soft and mushy. Steam strawberries and prepare the puree.
  2. Strain the sago from the water and transfer to the vessel with the milk. Cook till the sago is soft enough to be swallowed conveniently.
  3. Add the strawberry puree to the porridge and simmer for 1-2 minutes while stirring to mix them together. Cool and serve to the baby.

Back to top

Precautions While Feeding Strawberries

Be cautious about giving your baby strawberries if they are allergic to any other food product or has a skin condition like eczema.

In such cases, consult the doctor before introducing strawberry to your baby’s diet. Watch out for the following symptoms of food allergy:

  • Skin hives, the small red or pink rashes, which are seen in clusters and are usually itchy.
  • Abdominal pain accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Swelling of the face or around eyes. You may also notice swelling in the neck muscles that make swallowing difficult for the little one. Swelling around nose can lead to shortness of breath.
  • General weakness as the baby feels dizzy and may find it difficult to focus on anything. They may feel lethargic.

Back to top

If you suspect your baby has an allergic reaction, then stop feeding them strawberries and take them to a doctor. If the infant is not allergic to the berry, then you can safely continue feeding the fruit since it is a treasure trove of several vital nutrients and minerals.

Do you have some interesting information to share about strawberries for babies? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Recommended Articles: