WATERMELON | 6 mos+ |🥇🌈

Updated: Aug 17


Watermelon is a sweet present of summer! Nutritionally, watermelon doesn't offer much in it other than water. However, this fruit provides a fair amount of Vitamin A and ascorbic acid. Vitamin A will help your baby develop a powerful vision, while vitamin C will promote their immune system (defense system) helping baby fight against infections and other diseases.


DISCLAIMER: Each child has their own development timeline and specific needs. The content below is general information and for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional one-on-one advice. You are responsible for supervising your child’s health and for evaluating the appropriateness of the information below for your child. Please consult your healthcare provider regarding support or advice for your child's well being and health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen here.

Contents

1.When can I give watermelon to my baby?

2. Is watermelon a healthy food for babies?

3. Is watermelon a safe food for babies?

4. Is watermelon a choking hazard for babies?

5. Is watermelon a top food allergen for babies?

6. How to buy watermelon for babies

6.2. When is watermelon in season?

7. How to store watermelon

8. How to prepare and offer watermelon to babies

8.1. Purees

8.2. Finger food 6 to 9 months old

8.3. Finger food 9 to 12 months old

8.4. Finger food 12+ months old

9. Watermelon meal ideas for babies

10. Recipes


When can I give watermelon to my baby?

Babies can eat watermelon as soon as they are ready to start eating solid foods, which is usually when they are around 6 months of age and have met all the readiness signs for solids, unless otherwise advised by your baby's healthcare provider. Watermelon can be a great first finger food, because it has a soft consistency, but babies can still pick it up.



​You can give your baby a safe start to solid foods! This on-demand workshop will provide you with the knowledge and confidence you need to wean well.


Is watermelon a healthy food for babies?

Watermelon is a sweet present of summer! Nutritionally, watermelon doesn't offer much in it other than water. However, this fruit provides a fair amount of Vitamin A and ascorbic acid. Vitamin A will help your baby develop a powerful vision, while vitamin C will promote their immune system (defense system) helping baby fight against infections and other diseases.

Watermelon is also a good source of B-complex vitamins, fiber, and the amino acid Arginine, which has been shown to boost metabolism. It contains rich supplies of potassium, which helps prevent sore muscles, and lycopene known for its antioxidant benefits.


This fruit is excellent for providing hydration on hot summer days. The best thing about watermelon is that it is made up of 93% water. If your baby is not a water drinker, watermelon can help them meet their daily water requirements in a fun and tasty way!


Fun Fact: Watermelon is native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa.


Is watermelon a safe food for babies?

Data collected by the EU suggests that pre-cut or ready-to-eat watermelon may contain Salmonella. The fruit might be contaminated during processing. Different safety measures are usually taken to avoid contamination.


Salmonella is bacteria that have been identified as a major root of foodborne illness in the United States and in other countries. It causes salmonellosis. The symptoms include fever, diarrhea, upset stomach, and body pain. Diarrhea makes the body lose too much water and minerals called electrolytes. That leads to dehydration. Babies can get dehydrated very quickly, within a day or two after diarrhea starts, and it can be very dangerous, especially in young babies.


The nutritional profile of watermelon changes due to processing. Fresh fruit is highly beneficial for babies as compared to processed fruits. Whenever possible, offer freshly cut watermelon to your baby instead of the pre-cut or ready-to-eat options.


See the sections "How to buy" and "How to prepare and offer" for more information about safely offering watermelon to babies.


Is watermelon a choking hazard for babies?

Watermelon is not listed on CDC's list of most common choking hazards for babies. But the seeds present in the flesh of watermelon may get stuck into the throat of the baby, so look for seedless watermelon to offer to your baby. Try removing any black seeds left behind, the white seeds should be fine. Some babies can have a fair amount of gagging from the juices. The best way to prevent choking, regardless of the food offered, is by always being with your baby as they eat, and by offering age appropriate food sizes and shapes. See “How to prepare and offer” section below for more details.


Fun Fact: Though seedless watermelons don't contain seeds, they must be grown from seed.


This workshop covers everything you need to know for dealing with gagging, reducing the risk of choking during mealtimes, and offering safe food sizes and shapes to your child.



Note: Keep in mind that any food can present a risk for choking if not prepared correctly. You are responsible for following age and food modification guidelines provided in order to reduce your baby’s risk for choking.

Is watermelon a top food allergen for babies?

Watermelon allergies in babies are uncommon, however, some babies may have a sensitivity to the acidic nature of watermelon. At times, watermelon may lead to acidity, as the fructose present in the fruit may not be entirely absorbed by the baby’s gastrointestinal system, which may cause symptoms like rashes, diarrhea, vomiting, and runny nose.


Whenever you give your baby watermelon (or any other food) for the first time, offer it in small quantities, and watch for any signs of a reaction. If your baby seems to tolerate the food well and you see no adverse reaction, then continue to gradually increase portion sizes when you offer it again to baby. If your baby shows any symptoms like diarrhea, skin hives, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, swelling of mouth, weakness, or dizziness after the consumption of parsnips, consult your healthcare provider. These symptoms can be a sign of allergy or intolerance.


If your baby shows a reaction to watermelon, keep an eye for possible reaction when offering other melon-like fruits, such as honeydew melons, cucumbers, and cantaloupes. Most babies outgrow their sensitivity to acidic foods as they approach their first birthday. Also, individuals with grass allergies or Oral Allergy Syndrome (also called “pollen-food” allergy syndrome) may be sensitive to watermelon.


Note: Always consult with your healthcare provider regarding introducing solid foods to your baby, and specifically discuss any foods that may pose allergy risks for your baby.

How to buy watermelon for babies


Choose ripe, juicy, seedless watermelon for your baby. Keep these things in mind while selecting a watermelon for your baby:

  • A fully grown watermelon is heavier. It should look smooth and a little dull on the top.

  • You can know if it is ripe by giving a good thump with your finger. A ripe watermelon should sound hollow when tapped. Whereas a dull sound shows under-ripe or overripe watermelon.

  • Check for cuts, bruises, sagging depressions and spots, which indicate rotten or over-ripened fruit.

  • Look for the yellow creamy spots. The spot shows that your watermelon is fully ripe.

  • Give preference to fresh watermelon. Avoid buying pre-cut watermelons for babies, as they have a high risk of contamination.

Round melons tend to be sweeter compared to elongated ones, which are more watery.



When is watermelon in season?


Watermelons are exceptional gifts of summer. They are in season mostly in the summer months (from May to September in the US). Their seasons vary slightly according to the geographical location.


In-season produce is fresher and tastes better, sweeter and perfectly ripe. They also tend to cost less compared to out-of-season produce. Seasonal produce in your area will vary by growing conditions and weather.