Learn how to safely prepare and serve strawberries to your baby as early as 6 months! You can puree, offer as a finger food for baby led weaning, or add to recipes.
When can babies eat strawberries?
If soft and ripe, strawberries can be introduced to babies as soon as they’re ready to start solids, usually around 6 months.
It’s important to remember that your baby is unique and that rather than going by the calendar, you need to make sure your baby is DEVELOPMENTALLY ready to start solids.
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Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system and enhance the absorption of plant-based iron.
Their high fiber content can help with digestion and reduce the risk of constipation.
Strawberries also contain a variety of antioxidants, such as anthocyanins (which give strawberries their red color), ellagic acid, flavonoids, and vitamin E.
And together, these antioxidants help reduce inflammation, support the immune system, and protect against chronic diseases.
Are Strawberries safe for babies?
While strawberries can be introduced as one of your baby's first foods, it's extremely important to make sure they're prepared and served in an age-appropriate way to minimize the risk of choking.
Let me show you how! The key is to avoid small, round, and firm strawberries.
Strawberries are also not a common allergen. Although you may notice a rash around the mouth, this is likely not a sign of an allergic reaction. Rather it's due to the high acid content, just like tomatoes.
Selecting the best strawberries
Because they are delicate and have a short shelf life, selecting the best strawberries can be challenging. Here are some top tips:
- Choose strawberries that are bright red in color as they tend to be the sweetest. If you see any white or green patches, that means they were not picked at peak ripeness.
- The stem should be green and fresh. If it's brown or wilted that is a strong indicator that the berries are not fresh.
- Choose locally grown, in-season strawberries as they are often fresher with better flavor.
- Do the sniff test. Ripe strawberries should have a sweet, fragrant aroma.
I recommend purchasing in bulk and freezing the strawberries when they are in season so you can save money and enjoy their deliciousness all year round!
Organic vs. Conventional Strawberries
Strawberries are at the top of list when it comes to fruits with the highest pesticide residue , so it's best to purchase organic, IF possible.
I emphasize IF because organic strawberries are more expensive, and I don't want the cost to be a deterring factor.
The health benefits of eating any fruits and vegetables outweigh the potential pesticide risk.
Refer to the FAQ section below for tips on how to wash fresh strawberries to remove as much surface pesticide residue as possible.
It truly is so simple to make! All you need are ripe fresh strawberries or frozen strawberries that have been thawed. I recommend using fresh when in season for best flavor.
You can freeze fresh strawberries so you can enjoy the flavor of summer throughout the year.
The recipe is found at the bottom of the post.
Strawberry Puree combinations
You can serve strawberry puree by itself or mix in other foods such as:
- Yogurt (pictured)
- Baby oatmeal
- Chicken (know it may sound weird but your baby will love it!)
- Butternut squash
- Sweet potatoes
How to Serve Strawberries for Baby Led Weaning
There is a common misconception that you can't serve purees when doing baby led weaning, and that's simply not true!
Mash with the back of a fork and serve as is or add to any of the foods listed above.
I know it sounds counterintuitive but bigger is better and safer at this age. Their strong gag reflex will push out any large pieces that can't be swallowed whole.
So offer a big and soft whole strawberry with steam removed. It should be easily smooshable with your fingers.
I actually love frozen strawberries as they become super soft once thawed.
Along with all the above options, you can start to offer thinly sliced or quartered strawberries.
Have a teething baby? Try these popsicles made with 2 ingredient strawberry juice!
Strawberry Recipes for Babies
Frequently Asked Questions
Both types are great! Nothing beats fresh, in-season juicy strawberries. However, frozen strawberries are just as nutritious as fresh and are so convenient to have on hand all year round.
Here are some ways to keep your strawberries fresh for longer. Keep in mind moisture is the biggest enemy. You can line the container with a paper towel and replace it every day or so to keep the strawberries dry.
If you want to wash first and store in the refrigerator, transfer the strawberries to a large bowl with one part white vinegar and 3 parts water. Gently stir to coat in vinegar solution and allow to soak for 5-10 minutes. Drain and rinse thoroughly to remove any vinegar taste. Pat dry and transfer to a container lined with paper towel.
If you want to learn how to prepare other specific food(s), check out my How To Series!
- 1 cup ripe fresh or frozen strawberries
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Rinse well and pat dry. Remove the stems. Cut the strawberries into small pieces.
- Add to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Depending on how juicy your strawberries are, you many need to add a little bit of water, breastmilk, or formula.
- Optional: if you desire a smoother texture, strain the puree through a fine-mesh colander to remove any seeds or chunks.