15 Super Healthy Baby Foods That Taste Just Like Summer

Jacqueline Burt Cote | Jun 21, 2017 Baby

 

mom feeding baby jar food
iStock.com/PIKSEL

One of the best parts of summer is the incredible array of colorful fruits and veggies that are finally in season, so this is the perfect time to introduce baby to some of mother nature's most delicious and nutritious offerings.

Whether your baby is still in the puree phase or you've moved on to self-feeding, adding these items to your grocery list is an ideal way to add more vitamins, antioxidants, and other crucial nutrients to his diet.

Stock up while the sun is still shining -- these all-natural treats just taste better in the summer!

  • Blackberries

    1

    Not only are blackberries delicious, but they're packed with fiber, nearly every vitamin you can think of (A, C, K, E, and B), and antioxidants. Try blending them into a puree with kale and apples or, for toddlers eating finger foods, serve them straight up (just be sure to cut them into smaller pieces). 

  • Nectarines

    2

    Like a fuzz-free version of a peach (but with a tang all its own), a nectarine has some pretty impressive credentials: vitamin C, fiber, and even protein! Nectarines are perfect on their own in puree form or bite-sized skin-free chunks for toddlers; they're also great mixed into yogurt or cereal!

  • Strawberries

    3

    Another great source of fiber and vitamin C, strawberries are the quintessential summer fruit. Opinions as to when strawberries can be introduced to baby's diet vary (some experts say 8 months, others say wait until 12 months because they can be allergenic -- though cooking reduces this risk). When you're ready, try blending them into applesauce -- yum! Choose organic when possible -- strawberries are one of the foods with the highest pesticide residue.

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  • Peaches

    4

    Thought to be an ideal first food, peaches are easily digestible and not highly allergenic. They're also high in beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Peel and puree them (or simply mash very ripe peaches for older babies) and you're good to go -- though peaches also make a lovely addition to veggie and even meat purees.

  • Tomatoes

    5

    Because tomatoes are highly acidic, they're not typically recommended for introduction until the ages of 10 and 12 months (they can sometimes cause an upset tummy or a rash around the mouth). But because they're so nutritious (especially high in vitamin C and lycopene), you should definitely serve them up when the time is right -- and tomato sauce is one of the best ways, because cooking them reduces the acid content. (And pasta is a great finger food!)

  • Cantaloupe

    6

    No fruit salad would be complete without cantaloupe, and that's a good thing: It's loaded with beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium. No need to cook cantaloupe; just put it in a blender or slice it into very small pieces.

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  • Carrots

    7

    Speaking of beta carotene, you can't beat carrots as a source of this vital nutrient (which turns into vitamin A in the body and supports the immune system and good vision). That said, it'll be a long time before your toothless wonder can chomp on a raw carrot, so you'll have to start out with cooked (and either pureed or chopped versions). Try roasting instead of steaming to make them even sweeter!

  • Zucchini

    8

    With its mild, slightly sweet flavor, zucchini is generally an easy sell for little ones (plus, when it's steamed or roasted, it's soft and easy to chew). It's also got plenty of folate, vitamin C, potassium, and beta carotene! Add this to virtually any puree and your baby might not even notice.

  • Beets

    9

    The list of all the good stuff in beets goes on and on (magnesium, potassium, protein, phosphorus, zinc, fiber, vitamin B6, copper, manganese), and because they're sweet, little ones usually like them. One word of warning: Cooking beets can be a messy affair (but a worthy endeavor)!

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  • Blueberries

    10

    Known for being rich in antioxidants (plus fiber and vitamins C and A), blueberries definitely deserve their "superfood" status. Plus, they're an instant finger food! For babies who haven't yet mastered the art of chewing, however, be sure to mash or puree them first. A great addition to oatmeal!

  • Plums

    11

    Plums (like their dried counterparts, prunes) are excellent for digestion, and they're also a good source of vitamins A and C. Peel and puree, or dice plums (without the skin) into small pieces for older babies. 

  • Honeydew Melon

    12

    As sweet as a popsicle but so much healthier, honeydew melon has a high water content so it can help to rehydrate on hot summer days; it's also high in vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin B-6. As with cantaloupe, there's no need to cook honeydew -- just toss it in a blender or dice it (the riper the melon, the better!). 

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  • Peas

    13

    These little green veggies are a surprisingly good source of protein, as well as calcium and iron -- and peas are like nature's perfect finger food! Most of the year, you might rely on frozen or jarred, but make the most of the season and steam up some fresh ones if you can (then puree them for younger babies).

  • Cherries

    14

    Who doesn't love cherries? They're one of the top antioxidant-rich foods, and studies have linked eating cherries to better heart health and even more regular sleep (and of course, like most other fruits, they've got lots of vitamin C and vitamin A, too). Cherries can also make a great finger food, but don't forget to take out the pits and chop them up small; they're also delicious pureed and mixed with other fruits like apples and pears. 

  • Apricots

    15

    Another fruit that's widely considered to be a perfect first food, apricots can be introduced as early as 6 months and, like tomatoes, are high in lycopene (plus beta carotene and vitamin C). Steam and puree apricots for little ones if you like, or serve as a finger food for older babies -- just be sure to remove the pits and possibly the skin. (Apricot skin is generally easier to chew than the peaches or nectarines, but it depends on how well your baby gums solids -- and whether or not he or she likes fuzz!)

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