How to safely serve oranges to babies

Of the many fruits you can introduce to your baby on their weaning journey, oranges offer interesting new textures and flavours to their growing palate. Not only can your little one explore a number of vibrant colours with this fun fruit, but its flavours also range from bitter to sweet, providing a great opportunity for discovery in one simple fruit!

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

Like a number of fruits and vegetables, there are some risks associated with oranges. Segments, seeds and pips can be a choking hazard, so always remove the seeds and hard white parts of the orange for your baby. To ensure you’re serving oranges safely, here’s some ideas for the different ages and stages of weaning…
 
 
orange serving

6-9 months

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.

9-12 months

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!

12-18 months

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.

18-24 months

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.

oranges 24 months

Please note…

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.

 

For more recipes and ideas for your young child, subscribe to the eco rascals YouTube channel and browse our weaning recipes on the eco rascals website.

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