As babies and toddlers begin their journeys of trying first foods, parents want to keep the options given to them as healthy as possible. Because of this, first foods like bananas, avocados, berries, bits of meat, yogurt, and more are given to not only help babies thrive but to introduce their pallets to a variety of flavors. And with oranges being filled with flavor in every bite, they seem like a great option for babies to try. However, the age that babies should try oranges is slightly older than that of other foods.
Consuming oranges is one of the healthiest things that people can do for their bodies. According to WebMD, eating oranges helps the skin to look radiant, helps the body to fight anemia, boosts the immune system, protects the cells of the body from damage, and more. And when things such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber are factored in, oranges make for a wonderful addition to just about any diet. That is if the person being given the citrus is old enough to eat it.
Here is the age when babies should eat oranges.
Age When Oranges Should Be Introduced
Parents begin to introduce new foods to their babies starting around six months of age. For those who use the baby-led wearing method of feeding, offering foods that babies can practice the pincer grasp with are key to successful eating. And while oranges fit that bill, they are not a good choice as a food for babies to try until they are a bit older in age.
Depending upon the publication that parents read, the recommendation is to give babies oranges sometime between eight months of age through one-year-old. The majority, including Healthlinesuggest that 12 months old is a good time to let babies try citrus, including oranges as a result of the texture and acidity of the fruit.
How To Introduce Oranges To Babies
There are several ways that babies can be served oranges from leaving the membrane on so that the juice can only be extracted from the orange to cutting the orange into small pieces. It depends upon the eating abilities of babies that make the right decision on how to prepare oranges.
According to BabyCenter, oranges need to be cut into small pieces to keep babies from choking. The seeds should be removed as well.
Some little ones do just fine eating the oranges this way. Others find the membrane to be difficult to eat. And when this happens, per the publication, the membrane should be removed completely from the orange so that babies have the easiest time possible eating their orange.
Oranges Causing Allergies
While eating oranges is generally not a source of food allergens, in babies, they can cause an allergic reaction. And this has to do with the acidity in the orange itself.
According to Wholesome Baby Food, when babies younger than one-year-old are given citrus, they can develop diaper rashes or even rashes around the mouth due to the amount of acid that is found in the fruit.
While it would not be known if babies are allergic to citrus until they try it, if babies have shown sensitivities to other fruits or vegetables, per publication, they may be more apt to the rashes than babies who did not have food sensitivities. Therefore, this information should be weighed before giving babies oranges. And if it appears that little ones are at risk for rashes, they may need to wait until they turn one to try the citrus fruit.
Oranges & Orange Juice Are Not The Same
Because oranges are a nutritious option to give to older babies, parents may be under the assumption that oranges and orange juice are cut from the same cloth. However, this is not the case. And orange juice should not be provided to babies as a first food.
According to Solid Starts, orange juice contains sugars and additives that oranges do not contain. With its taste, orange juice can make babies’ pallets desire only those foods that tend to be on the sweeter side versus being willing to try a variety of foods. As a result, per publication, if juice is given to babies, it should be no more than four ounces per day. And that four ounces should be watered down to decrease the amount of sugar given at one time.
Therefore, the best source of juice is the orange itself. With the vitamins and minerals that it contains, it is a solid food for babies to enjoy.
Source: WebMD, Healthline, BabyCenter, Wholesome Baby Food, Solid Starts