Watermelon is one of the tastier fruits, and it also has a lot of health benefits. It is rich in plenty of vitamins as well as antioxidants, and it can refresh you like nothing else during a hot summer day.
This fruit has up to 93% water + 7% flesh, so it is perfect when you need to stay hydrated. With so many health benefits, it is only natural to want to give this delicious fruit to your little one.
However, before you do that, you need to make sure it is safe as babies need time to develop enough to process other foods but breastmilk and formula.
Watermelon is safe for babies that are between 8 and 10 months old. It is important not to introduce certain fruits such as watermelon too early because they might not be ready to chew and digest them.
In some cases, you might find that your baby is ready to eat watermelon even at 6 months, which is not the standard age, but we know that all babies are different.
A) Baby should be able to chew first
Your baby needs to have enough teeth to be able to chew the watermelon properly before swallowing it.
If they are not ready to chew it right, they might choke with it, which is one of the main risks you have to avoid.
If you want to add watermelon to their diet before they are ready to chew it correctly, you can make smoothies along with other fruits.
It is also critical to remove the seeds before giving this fruit to your baby as they can’t digest them, and they are dangerous if they choke with them.
Just like with any other new food you would introduce to your baby’s diet is essential to watch out for unusual reactions.
Even if watermelon rarely gives allergic reactions, this risk is present just like with any other food.
So, look for rashes or irritations on their body for the next 24 hours after you gave them watermelon.
If everything is fine, you can continue giving them this fruit. However, if you notice any rash, it is essential to talk to the pediatrician.
D) Health Benefits of Watermelons to Babies
Watermelon has plenty of health benefits that are important for your baby. Here are the main reasons why you should include watermelon in their diet as soon as they are ready for it!
Watermelon is 93% water. Thanks to this critical water intake, your baby will be hydrated, which is very important, especially during hot summer days. If your baby doesn’t like to drink water, giving them some watermelon can be the best alternative.
It is rich in Antioxidants. The high level of antioxidants, such as lycopene in watermelon, improves the development of the heart as well as the well-functioning of the immune system.
Plenty of carotenoids help keep your baby’s eyes healthy. Eye development is essential for babies, and watermelon is a fruit with many carotenoids that support this development. Carotenoids are also great for a healthy cardiovascular system.
Vitamin C for better immunity. Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin C. This vitamin will help your baby fight potential infections, and it will strengthen their immune system.
Calcium and magnesium for the bone system. As your baby is growing, they will need all the support they can get to have strong and healthy bones. Calcium and magnesium will help with this development, and they also build a stable muscle system.
One of the main concerns of parents when it comes to introducing watermelon to their baby’s diet is if it will affect their stool.
The good news is that you don’t have to worry about your baby’s stool after you feed them watermelon.
This fruit will not negatively affect their digestive system.
As a matter of fact, watermelon can help if your baby is constipated or they have problems digesting other foods.
As for the color of the stool, you might notice a reddish tint to it due to the color of the watermelon.
However, this is a normal effect of eating watermelon, as many foods can change the color of the stool.
Carrots, for instance, will cause your baby to have stools with an orange tint. But there is no reason for concern.
F) How to prepare watermelon for the baby?
Depending on your baby’s age but also their preferences, you can prepare watermelon in different ways.
If your baby is younger than 1 year, you will most likely prepare the watermelon as a smoothie.
For babies older than one year, you can give them small chunks of watermelon after you took the seeds out of each piece.
Making a delicious and healthy watermelon puree smoothie is very easy.
All you have to do is cut the watermelon in pieces after you eliminated the seeds and the peel.
Put the watermelon pieces in your blender and blend it for 15-20 seconds.
You can add vegetal milk such as soy milk, almond milk, or even cow milk unless your baby has an intolerance or allergy to any of these types of milk.
If you don’t want to add milk, you can simply blend the watermelon by itself as it is mostly water, and you shouldn’t need to add any liquid.
You can also add banana or avocado to give your smoothie a creamier texture. However, keep in mind that if you add more fruits to your smoothie, you might have to add water or milk to give it a waterier texture.