A Parent’s Guide to Choosing the Best Fruits for Toddlers

Little ones can start eating certain solid foods at around six months old. At this age, your baby won’t be eating a steak anytime soon, but they will be able to start eating fruits and other soft and healthy foods.

As a parent, introducing your baby or toddler to a variety of fruits is an excellent way to promote healthy eating habits and provide essential nutrients for growth and development. But what are the best fruits for toddlers?

With so many fruits to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones are suitable for your little one. Here’s a guide to help you choose the best fruits for toddlers.

Soft and Ripe Fruits

Toddlers are still learning how to chew and swallow solid foods safely (depending on their age, of course), so it’s essential to offer soft and ripe fruits that are easy to mash up with their gums or teeth. Opt for fruits like bananas, avocados, mangoes, peaches, and pears (among others, of course).

You don’t want to pick fruits that are too hard, crunchy, or difficult to eat unless you’re ready to prepare them (for example, a young toddler may struggle to eat a fresh apple, but they can eat prepared apple sauce).

Focus on Freshness 

For the most part, you want to offer your child fresh fruits. These are full of nutrients and fiber that will keep your child healthy. As this blog about unhealthy fruits explains, while all fruit is healthy at a base level, certain methods of preparation make it less healthy, and at that point, the fruit should be a treat rather than a healthy snack.

Avoid dried fruits, juices, and anything else that diminishes the nutritional value while retaining all of the sugar. 

Prepare Fruits Properly

Remember that some fruits can be choking hazards for small children. You want to prepare the fruit so it’s safe to eat.

If the fruit has a pit, remove it before giving it to your toddler. Cut up their fruit servings into bite-sized pieces (even smaller fruits, like grapes). You can even mash softer nutritious fruits to make them easier to eat. 

Focus on Self-Feeding 

Self-feeding is great for a young toddler’s fine motor skills. Let your child play and explore with a plate of fruit, even if it gets messy. Let them learn how to eat mashed bananas, play with halved grapes, and grab tiny bites of peach with their fingers or a fork. 

This will help your child develop important skills while they eat some tasty and healthy fruits. 

It’s Time to Shop for the Best Fruits for Toddlers

At the end of the day, the best fruits for toddlers are the fruits they’ll eat as long as they’re safe and fresh. Your toddler may find that they have a taste for citrus or banana. As long as they’re getting their nutrients, it’s okay to experiment and see what they like best.

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