Deciding what age to introduce new foods to your baby can be tricky. Watermelon is an excellent fruit for both adults and children! It is a tasty treat on those hot summer days that are packed with essential vitamins. Most infants are okay to be introduced to watermelon at around 8-10 months old. By then they are typically starting to figure out finger foods, becoming familiar with various textures, and show interest in new foods. If you do decide to introduce your little one to watermelon, you should first take a few precautions.
Buy Whole Fresh Watermelon Instead Of Pre-Cut Ones
When you are heading to purchase watermelon try to aim for a fresh melon from your grocery store. The pre-cut and packaged fruit are more likely to carry harmful bacteria like salmonella because they have already been sliced and exposed to oxygen. You also run into the possibility that the pre-packaged watermelon wasn’t kept cold during the entire transportation to your grocery store. Chances are it was moved around a few times and exposed to heat at some time or another. You don’t have to worry about that with fresh watermelons because they still contain their rind, requiring no refrigeration and essentially keeping them safe from bacteria. Pre-packaged fruit also tends not to have as much flavor as what you will get from fresh fruit. Same goes for the vitamins and nutrients, and they tend to diminish once the watermelon is cut open.
Get Rid of Watermelon Seeds
Another essential precaution is always to be sure to remove all of the seeds, decreasing the chance of choking. Make sure that your child can chew and swallow without issue. Watermelon tends to be an awkward food to eat when you consider it’s texture and is very juicy. Start with small chunks similar to their usual finger food size bites. If they can handle those size bites, great! If not, it is perfectly fine! Mashup the watermelon and stick it inside a fruit feeder pack. This would also feel great on our teething infant’s gums. A food processor or blender is always a choice to make it easier for your child to consume as well. There is watermelon juice available out there, but it is highly discouraged by the dentist because of the sugar content. Never leave your child or infant unattended while eating any food because of choking hazards.
Make Sure There Is No Allergy
Just like introducing any other kind of new food to your infant, make sure to watch for an allergic reaction. It may seem like an unlikely food allergy, but it is possible! Some vital signs that your child is having an allergic reaction to food are hives, swelling, and struggling to breathe. If you think your child has an allergic reaction, get them medical attention immediately. Remember, it is a new food that his or her body needs time to adjust to so there might be some change in their stool. Being that its composition is a majority of water, the adjustment shouldn’t be too difficult.