Why feed oranges to your baby?
Naturally, citrus fruits are full of nutritious goodness for your little one. Teeming with vitamin C, oranges are great for baby’s immune system, and can aid in the absorption of iron from certain foods. They also contain fibre to promote gut health, as well as B-vitamins, antioxidants, and much more.
Though your baby is likely to benefit from oranges in their diet, some varieties may interact with certain medications – talk to a healthcare professional if you have any worries or concerns.
How to serve oranges to your child in an age-appropriate way
Beginning the weaning journey is an exciting time where you get to witness your baby’s first tastes of a variety of different foods. They’re learning how to grab with their hands and bring food to their mouths, and will be eating soft, squishy textures.
The best way to serve oranges at this early stage is to keep them on the rind so your little one has something to hold as they eat. Slice the oranges into thick wedges and let your baby suck on the orange flesh. Remember to remove the membrane as this will be too difficult for them to chew.
Depending on how quickly your baby is ready to move on, around 9 to 12 months you can introduce more bite-sized pieces of fruit. Instead of sucking on a wedge, your little one can have a go at chewing very small chunks of soft orange.
Remove the peel and membrane for this serving. Taking an orange segment, cut a few bite-sized pieces, removing any pips or seeds before offering them to your baby. To help them learn how to use cutlery, you can encourage your baby to eat these with a fork!
At 12 months, the NHS suggests that your child should be having three meals per day, perhaps with one or two healthy snacks in between. What better way to fill the void between meals than with a healthy piece of fruit?
Moving on from bite-sized pieces, you can now serve up some orange wedges to your little food explorer. Cut along the membranes and separate the orange from the peel for a safer and easier snack.
By this stage, your little one will probably be eating similar meals to you. To ensure they’re still getting their five-a-day, try quartering an orange and serving it to them with the peels still on. If you think they’re having difficulties, you can take a step back to peeled wedges until they’re ready.
24 months +
Once your toddler is confident with their orange-eating abilities, you can start to really have fun with your snacking styles. Have a go at making these yummy orange wheels – with the peel removed, simply slice your orange into circles and serve up on a plate.
You should always supervise your child when they’re eating.
The age ranges provided are a loose indication of the different stages your baby will go through when weaning, but every child is different. Your baby will show signs that they’re ready to take the next step. For example, if they’re struggling to eat the oranges, they may not be ready for that style yet.