Introducing your baby to solid foods is an exciting milestone during the first year. There are so many fruits, vegetables, and other foods out there to try. You might not know where to begin.
Here’s what you need to know about adding pineapple to your baby’s ever-expanding diet.
When to Introduce Pineapple
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) revised its solid food guidelines in 2012. Babies older than 6 months can now enjoy most foods. Parents don’t need to introduce them in a specific order. Though pediatricians may share specific food rules with you, there is no medical evidence that introducing solid foods in any particular order has an advantage for your baby.
Pineapple is a delicious, healthy fruit that’s rich in vitamin C, B-6, and magnesium. When prepared safely, it can make an excellent addition to your baby’s diet. The AAP 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.
The new AAP guidelines for introducing solids don’t list any forbidden food groups in the first year. Still, many experts encourage parents to proceed with caution when giving citrus and other acidic fruits to younger babies.
The citric acid in pineapple may irritate your baby’s stomach (especially if they have reflux) or lead to diaper rash.
Before jumping in with pineapple as a first food, you may want to try it in small doses to see how your child’s system reacts. If your baby is sensitive, you may want to delay introducing pineapple until they are closer to 1 year.
Worried about allergic reactions? People who are allergic to pineapple may also have sensitivity to:
- passion fruit
How to Spot Allergic Reactions
Your baby is at a higher risk of experiencing allergic reactions if there’s a family history of conditions like eczema, asthma, and food allergies. If you or other close family members have these conditions, speak with your doctor about how to introduce foods to your baby.
Watch your child closely after introducing new foods. Possible symptoms of allergic reaction include:
- gas or bloating
Call your baby’s pediatrician if you notice these symptoms after eating something new. Get immediate medical attention if your baby has difficulty breathing or develops hives. These are signs of a much more serious reaction.
Depending on the severity of your baby’s allergic reaction, you should wait several months before offering the food again. Better yet, ask for guidance from your pediatrician.
How to Prepare Pineapple
When it comes to preparing and serving pineapple, you’ll want to start slowly to gauge your child’s sensitivity to the acids before giving them chunks or large portions of it to eat.
Since pineapple isn’t on the Environmental Working Group’s dirty dozen list of produce, you don’t necessarily need to buy organic unless you want to.
When choosing a pineapple at the store, sniff the stem to see if it’s ripe. If it smells sweet, it should be just right. Cut the stem and base off the pineapple. Then quarter the fruit. Core each quarter across the whole length and remove the skin, as if you’re removing the skin from a fish.
Babies just starting out with solids, from 6 to 9 months in age, should stick to purees to avoid choking. Babies between 9 and 12 months old may graduate to strained and mashed fruits. Pineapple is particularly fibrous, so choking is a concern. Always supervise mealtimes.
As far as how much to offer, babies only need a few tablespoons of solid food per serving.
Once you know your baby enjoys and can tolerate pineapple, you can start incorporating it into their diet in fun ways. Here are some healthy recipe ideas to get started.
Wholesome Baby Food suggests simply mashing up pineapple and adding it to yogurt, cereal, chicken, or sweet potato. If raw pineapple is too fibrous, you can steam it to soften for your baby.
Pineapple, Banana, and Mint Puree
The puree method from Teeny Tiny Foodie is simple. Place cubed pineapple, banana, and sprigs of fresh mint in your food processor and blend until smooth. You can try adding this flavorful puree to cooked quinoa or couscous for fun texture. Mix into Greek yogurt or ricotta cheese for added protein.
Vegetable and Pineapple Puree
Sneak some veggies in with your baby’s pineapple! The Parent Guide suggests blending equal measurements of cooked pineapple, corn, and carrots into a tasty puree. As your baby starts eating new vegetables, you could also try using them in place of the carrots.
Older babies may enjoy this simple smoothie from Weelicious. Blend together 1 medium banana, 1/2 cup of chopped pineapple, and 1/3 cup whole milk yogurt. Top with wheat germ. Babies can eat it with a spoon. Toddlers can try a straw. Freeze extras in an ice cube tray.
Banana and Pineapple Muffins
Once your baby has celebrated their first birthday, you can try these muffins from Nestle Baby. You’ll mix together 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, milk or follow-up formula, an egg, 2 tbsp. vegetable oil, half a small banana, and 1/4 cup crushed pineapple. Then portion into a muffin tin and bake for 15 minutes.
Is your little one not digging pineapple or other foods? A baby may need to try a new food a whopping 10 to 15 times before they’ll actually eat it. The key is to give your baby a varied diet and expose them to all types of tastes and textures.