Do not let your hesitation keep you from allowing your child to explore new and exciting fruits like kiwi. There are many factors to consider when feeding your little one before offering them something besides milk or formula.
After reading through the information below, you will be able to make decisions on what will be best for your baby as they grow and develop.
The Many Benefits of Kiwi
Kiwi fruit is also known in other parts of the world as the Chinese gooseberry. They are native to eastern and central China but are available in grocery stores at many times throughout the year.
It has a fuzzy, thin skin that is easy to remove to reveal the green flesh inside. There are many rows of tiny, black seeds within the fruit that are edible. The fruit itself can range in flavor from slightly tart to quite sweet, depending on the ripeness.
An average 100-gram kiwi will give your baby:
- 61 calories
- 14.66 g carbohydrates
- 8.99 g sugar
- 3 g dietary fiber
- 0.52 g fat
- 1.14 g protein
- 83 g water
Kiwis contain a multitude of vitamins and minerals of exceptional amounts, including:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
By introducing kiwi into your baby’s diet, you are offering them healthy choices that can relieve constipation and boosts your baby’s immunity. When eating kiwi, it helps the body absorb iron from other food sources and is rich with phytonutrients. Kiwis are rich in antioxidants that can help prevent cancers and other negative health effects.
Determine if your baby is ready to have solids
Your baby will give you clues when they want to start eating solid foods. You can determine if your baby is willing to try solid foods with these signs:
- Is double the original birth weight
- Around six months of age or older
- Does not have a tongue-thrust reflex anymore
- Can hold their head up
- Opens mouth when seeing food
- An increased interest in what you are eating
- Grabbing your utensil or food as you eat near them
- Increased appetite
The next phase of your baby’s life will be an exciting one as you offer them a multitude of new and interesting foods. It is important that any foods you give to your baby are safe and will not pose any choking hazards. Be sure to prepare kiwi and other foods correctly so your baby can enjoy this experience carefully.
Precautions when considering kiwi
Kiwi can be quite acidic and could cause some issues with babies who suffer from diaper rashes. If anyone in your family has allergies to kiwi, exercise extreme caution before introducing this fruit to your baby. With a family history of food allergies, it is best to wait until your baby is 10 to 12 months of age before trying kiwi.
Babies that have sensitive stomachs could become gassy or have very loose stools after eating kiwi. If your baby has a history of stomach aches or tummy troubles, consider waiting until they are older before introducing kiwi.
If your baby is fine consuming kiwi and has no reactions, you still want to limit the frequency of this fruit. Due to the acidity of this fruit, it should not be offered every day to your baby, even though it has many health benefits. Too much of this fruit can cause mouth or diaper rashes and upset stomachs.
Preparing kiwi safely for your baby
Although the skin of a kiwi is edible, it can be quite tart. It can also be hard for a baby to chew and swallow due to its fuzzy surface. We recommend that you remove the thin outer skin of a kiwi before offering it to your baby.
Removing the skin can be done by using a vegetable peeler, small knife, or by cutting the top off the kiwi and scooping the fruit out from the inside.
The abundance of seeds in a kiwi are very small and do not pose a choking hazard. Therefore, you do not need to remove any of these seeds before offering it to your baby. It is safe to include them with the fruit as you prepare the fruit.
Kiwi can be quite slippery and hard to grab and chew. If your baby is new to eating foods, you may want to consider kiwi puree before attempting small pieces. You do not want your baby to choke on a piece of kiwi that did not get chewed enough before swallowing.
A handy trick when offering new foods to your baby is to mix in a small amount of breastmilk or formula with the pureed fruit. By doing this, it gives the new food a familiar taste your baby is used to. As your baby grows and develops, you can transition from puree to small pieces of kiwi.
Kiwi should be cut small enough to avoid choking, but large enough for your baby to grab themselves. This fruit can be hard to grasp as it is smooth and slippery when placed directly on a tray. Offer diced kiwi to your baby in a small bowl so that they will have a better chance of picking up the pieces.
What allergy symptoms to watch for when introducing Kiwi
With any new foods, a parent should watch closely for adverse reactions. Food allergy symptoms can vary depending on the individual. If you suspect your baby is allergic, or if your baby shows any symptoms after consuming it, do not continue to offer kiwi. Talk to a medical professional for guidance before reattempting to give kiwi to your baby.
Some symptoms of allergies or sensitivities your baby may have include:
- A rash on the skin around the mouth or on hands that came in contact with kiwi
- Swelling of the mouth, tongue, or hands
- Red, scaly patches of skin appearing
- Crying excessively or extremely irritable
- Vomiting or diarrhea immediately after consuming kiwi
- Stomach bloating
- Increased heart rate
- Difficulty breathing or wheezing
- Dizziness or unconsciousness
Allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the individual. Remember to introduce only one new food at a time and space them out to avoid any guesswork if your baby shows any adverse effects. Many parents will keep a food journal when they start introducing new foods like kiwi to help determine which foods could be causing reactions.
As long as you have waited until your baby is ready and you have no concerns with food allergies or sensitivities, kiwi can be a great new food to try. With its many health benefits, kiwi is a great fruit to offer your baby periodically.
By preparing the kiwi safely, you are giving your baby a chance to try new exciting fruits. You can help them develop a love of healthy food choices that will evolve as they grow up.