As one of the most enticing berries out there, strawberries are an ideal finger food for young babies. Read on to learn more about how to cut them safely for babies at different stages of development.
Strawberries are not a choking hazard but whole or big chunks can be hard for a baby to swallow, so they must be thinly sliced or pureed before serving them.
1. Offer Whole Strawberries
Strawberries are a great, naturally sweet treat for baby’s first foods. They are also a good source of vitamin C, which is essential for proper growth and development.
However, it is important to remember that strawberries are very soft and ripe, which makes them a choking hazard when offered to babies. They should be sliced, pureed or cut into small pieces before serving to avoid this risk.
Once a baby develops a pincer grasp (thumb and forefinger), you can offer a whole strawberry to them. It’s a fun food to explore, and they’ll suck, chew and gnaw on it.
2. Offer Quartered Strawberries
Strawberries are a delicious, nutritious fruit that can be served as a puree or cut into bite-sized pieces for baby-led weaning (or simply finger food for your 8 month old). They’re an easy-to-eat food and packed with good-for-you nutrients like vitamin C, folate, and potassium.
If you’re giving whole strawberries to your 8 month old, choose very large, soft and ripe berries that are bigger than a golf ball. If your child gnaws and chews them down to a size that can cause choking, remove the strawberry from their mouth and replace it with another large strawberry.
Strawberries are a choking hazard when served in small, round or firm forms, so they should always be thinly sliced or smashed to prevent swallowing them whole accidentally. This can be tricky, especially when babies are still learning to sit up on their own, so supervising them closely is important to ensure they don’t choke on a strawberry.
3. Offer Sliced Strawberries
When your baby starts baby-led weaning, you can offer strawberries as a puree (store-bought or homemade). Strawberries are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants and make a delicious addition to oatmeal, yogurt, or other foods.
If you’re concerned about choking, cut small strawberries into thin sheet-like pieces before serving them to your child. This will keep them from becoming a choking hazard, and you can always dust them with baby rice cereal to make them grippable.
Continue to cut strawberries in small cubes as your child’s biting skills improve. Once your toddler is ready, you can move on to whole strawberries. They are a delicious, nutritious, and easy-to-prepare food for your little one!
4. Offer Diced Strawberries
If your baby is 8 months old and ready to move from purees into finger food, offer strawberries cut in small cubes. Choose ripe strawberries so they are soft enough for your child to chew and hold onto with their fingers.
Alternatively, serve berries in strips that your child can grab with their palm. This will help them learn to use their pointer finger and thumb to pick up food.
Strawberries are a natural source of Vitamin C, which helps babies absorb plant-based forms of iron. They are also high in antioxidants, so they’re a healthy choice for your growing baby.
However, strawberries are a choking hazard, especially when served in small pieces. Large, soft, and ripe strawberries (much bigger than a golf ball) can be served whole as long as you supervise your baby closely while eating.