Apricot

Food Type:
Age Suggestion: 6 months +
Nutrition Rating:How nutritious a food is with a focus on the specific nutrients babies need for optimal growth. The more nutritious a food, the more stars it will have.
Prep Time:How much time a food takes to prepare safely for a baby. The more time-consuming a food is to prepare safely, the more clocks it will have.
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Common Allergen: No
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3 apricots before being prepared for babies starting solid food

When can babies eat apricot?

Apricots may be introduced as soon as baby is ready to start solids, which is generally around 6 months of age. Eating apricots can have a laxative effect, so while this fruit can be a terrific food when baby is constipated, take care to not overdo it.

Kaia, 5.5 months, works with an apricot cut in half.
Kalani, 7 months, eats a halved apricot.
Max, 11 months, eats sliced apricots.

Are apricots healthy for babies?

Yes. Apricots contain plant compounds called carotenoids, some of which the body converts to vitamin A to support healthy eyes, immunity, and skin. The stone fruit also offers small amounts of essential nutrients (iron and zinc), antioxidants, and both soluble and insoluble fiber, which help diversify the microbiome, support digestion, and relieve constipation. Eating apricots can also cause abdominal bloating and gas, so while this fruit can be a terrific food when baby is constipated, take care to not overdo it.

Many apricots are sprayed heavily with pesticides.1 To minimize exposure, wash the fruit well before serving to children and if it’s possible for your budget, consider buying organic for this particular food. Frozen organic apricots can be an economical option.

In general, aim to choose fresh or frozen apricots over canned. If fresh or frozen apricots are not available, look for canned apricots packed in water or natural juices and do your best to avoid apricots in syrups, which are typically high in added sugars. Only have canned apricots in syrup? Try draining the apricots of their syrup and rinsing them before serving to remove excess sugar.2

★Tip: When shopping, smell apricots: sweet fragrance is a sign of ripeness. The deeper the aroma, the riper the fruit.

Can babies eat dried apricots?

No. Dried fruit is a choking hazard as it is tough to chew and is also a form of condensed fruit sugar. If a recipe or dish you’d like to share with baby calls for dried fruit, try rehydrating the fruit in warm water and then mincing the rehydrated fruit and folding it into the dish.

Are apricots a choking hazard for babies?

No. Fresh, ripe apricots are not a common choking hazard though dried apricot certainly poses a risk. Apricots also contain a hard pit that should be removed before serving babies and toddlers, as the pit can be a choking risk. As always, make sure to create a safe eating environment and stay within arm’s reach of baby at mealtime. For more information on choking, visit our sections on gagging and choking and familiarize yourself with the list of common choking hazards.

Are apricots a common allergen?

No. Although serious allergic reactions to apricot have been reported, apricot is not considered to be a common food allergen.3 4 A history of severe reactions to other stone fruits in the absence of pollen allergy may increase the risk of serious apricot allergy. Individuals who are allergic to almonds and other fruit in the Rosaceae family (apple, pear, cherry, nectarine, and peach), or who have Oral Allergy Syndrome (also called pollen food allergy syndrome) may also be sensitive to apricots.5 6 7 Oral Allergy Syndrome typically results in short-lived itching, tingling, or burning in the mouth; it is unlikely to result in a dangerous reaction. Cooking and peeling the fruit may help reduce reactions for those who are sensitive.

As you would do when introducing any new food, start by offering a small amount during the first few of servings. If there is no adverse reaction, gradually increase the amount served over future meals.

How do you prepare apricots for babies with baby-led weaning?

6 to 9 months old: Stew larger varieties of fresh or frozen apricots (at least 2 inches in diameter) cut in half with the pit and skin removed. If you like, leave the skin on to aid baby’s grip, but if the skin becomes bothersome while baby is eating, gently take away the apricot halves and peel the skin, then pass the fruit back to baby. Stewed apricot can also be mashed and mixed into scoopable foods like oatmeal, porridge, ricotta cheese, or yogurt. If you’d like to serve fresh apricot, go for it and be sure to offer a larger variety (at least two inches in diameter) that is pitted, halved, and so ripe that the fruit smushes between your fingers. Finally, if you’d like to serve dried apricots, rehydrate the fruit in hot water for 15 minutes then purée it and fold a small amount (a small spoonful) into a scoopable food like porridge or yogurt.

9 to 12 months old: At this age, babies develop the pincer grasp (where the thumb and forefinger meet), which enables them to pick up smaller pieces of food. Try serving pitted apricot cut into thin slices or bite-sized pieces with the skin on or off. Rolling the fresh fruit in finely ground nut, almond flour, breadcrumbs, or finely shredded coconut can aid self-feeding by adding grip to the slippery food. If you’d like to continue with stewed apricot halves (with the pits removed) or a small amount of rehydrated apricots that have been pureed, minced, and mixed into a scoopable food, by all means do so.

12 to 18 months old: Offer slices or bite-sized pieces of ripe pitted apricot with the skin on or off. If you’d like to continue with stewed apricot halves, by all means do so. Expect some too-big bites to happen and for the toddler to fumble a bit as they figure out how to take manageable bites.

18 to 24 months old: At this age, many toddlers are ready to go back up in size to stewed apricot halves or halves of fresh apricots. Keep the skin on or peel it if you like – just be sure to remove the pits before serving. You can also try serving a whole dried apricot (pit removed) if you feel the child has developed the biting, tearing, chewing and swallowing skills needed to eat dried fruit. Dried fruit is a choking hazard so trust your gut and wait to serve whole dried apricot until you feel your child is ready and coach your child on how to take bites from each piece.

24 months and up: When you feel the child is ready and understands instructions, try offering a whole apricot and model how to eat around the pit by eating an apricot alongside the child. Be sure to stay within arm’s reach in case your child needs more help avoiding the pit. If you feel the child is not ready for whole fruit with pits, continue to offer apricot halves or bite-sized pieces of a fresh apricot that is soft and ripe.

a hand holding one thin slice and three bite-sized pieces of fresh apricot for babies starting solids
Apricot sliced and cut into bite-sized pieces for babies 9 to 18 months old
a hand holding an apricot half, skinned and pitted, and a thick slice of apricot for babies starting solids
An apricot half and an apricot slice, for toddlers 18 to 24 months old

Our starting solids video library answers all your questions about introducing babies to solid food.

Culinary uses of apricot

Sun-kissed harbingers of warmer weather to come, apricot is one of the first stone fruits of the growing season to show up at markets. There are so many kinds of apricot to try, some golden and spotted with pink freckles, others deep orange and blushed red on the side of the fruit that faced the sun. Unlike other stone fruit, apricot’s sweetness is balanced with a hint of acidity, a flavor combination that shines in savory cooking like Moroccan tagine or Pakistani biryani and adds nuance to sweets like Armenian doshab and Greek baklava.

Recipe: Apricots Halves Dusted with Pistachio

slices of apricot dusted with finely ground pistachios, sitting on a countertop

Yield: 1 cup (180 grams)
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Age: 6 months+

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized apricot (50 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) ground pistachio

This recipe contains a common allergen: tree nut (pistachio). Only serve to a child after this allergen have been safely introduced.

Directions

  1. Wash and dry the apricot. Cut the fruit in half. Remove and discard the pit.
  2. Cut the apricot into age-appropriate sizes.
  3. Sprinkle the ground pistachio on the fruit.
  4. Serve and let the child self-feed by scooping with hands. If you’d like to encourage the use of a utensil, simply pre-load an age-appropriate fork or spoon and rest it next to the food for the child to pick up. Alternatively, try passing the pre-loaded utensil in the air for the child to grab from you.

To Store: Cut apricot keeps in an air-tight container in the fridge for 2 days.

Flavor Pairings

Apricot pairs well with hearty meats like brisket, chicken, duck, lamb, and pork; earthy nuts like almond, hazelnut, and pistachio; and nutty grains like freekeh, Khorasan wheat, quinoa, and rice. Seasoning from bold spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger and assertive fresh herbs like basil, chives, and mint bring out the sweet-tart flavor of apricot. Don’t forget cheese—apricots and cheese are a classic pairing!

Reviewed by

E. Cerda, MSN, CNS, LDN

A. Gilbaugh, RD, CNSC

K. Grenawitzke, OTD, OTR/L, SCFES, IBCLC, CNT

S. Bajowala, MD, FAAAAI. Board-Certified Allergist & Immunologist (allergy section)

R. Ruiz, MD, FAAP. Board-Certified General Pediatrician & Pediatric Gastroenterologist

  1. Cámara, M. A., Cermeño, S., Martínez, G., & Oliva, J. (2020). Removal residues of pesticides in apricot, peach and orange processed and dietary exposure assessment. Food Chemistry, 325, 126936. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.126936. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  2. Fresh, Frozen or Canned Fruits and Vegetables: All Can Be Healthy Choices! (n.d.). Www.Heart.Org. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  3. Marzban G, Herndl A, Kolarich D, Maghuly F, Mansfeld A, Hemmer W, Katinger H, Laimer M. Identification of four IgE-reactive proteins in raspberry (Rubus ideaeus L.). Mol Nutr Food Res 2008;52(12):1497-506. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  4. Karakaya G, Kalyoncu AF. Allergy to grapes. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2000;84(2):265.
  5. Inomata, N. (2020). Gibberellin-regulated protein allergy: Clinical features and cross-reactivity. Allergology International, 69(1), 11–18. DOI: 10.1016/j.alit.2019.10.007. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  6. Jiang, N., Yin, J., Mak, P., & Wen, L. (2015). Occupational Allergy to Peach (Prunus persica) Tree Pollen and Potential Cross-Reactivity between Rosaceae Family Pollens. Iranian Journal of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, 14(5), 483–492. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  7. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS) or Pollen Fruit Syndrome (PFS). Retrieved September 15, 2020.