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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Poop Friendly:Whether a food has qualities that help baby poop. Yes
Common Allergen: No
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a cantaloupe cut in half before being prepared for babies starting solids

When can babies eat cantaloupe?

Cantaloupe may be introduced as soon as your baby is ready to start solids, which is generally around 6 months of age. Note: Melons are notorious for carrying bacteria from the ground as well as for causing diarrhea in babies, so wash well and start with small serving sizes.


Cantaloupe, especially in the form of melon balls, is a choking hazard, so keep reading to learn how to serve this fruit safely.

Background and origins of cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is a type of muskmelon—a family of melons with roots in Iran that has grown to include many varieties, including canary, casaba, cavallion, crenshaw, crown, honeydew, winter melons, and more. Cantaloupe goes by different names depending on where you are in the world: rock melon in Southeast Asia and Australia, spanspek in South Africa, and in North America, the name is commonly used for a muskmelon variety that has a grey, net-like rind and sweet orange flesh. Meanwhile in Europe, cantaloupes can sometimes have a smooth white rind with green ribbing and a sweeter orange flesh. Color, shape, and size differ depending on the variety, but all share a key characteristic: sweetness!

Like all muskmelons, you’ll get a great deal by purchasing whole cantaloupe versus pre-cut. There’s also a hidden benefit to whole melons: they are less likely to contain harmful bacteria than pre-cut melon pieces.1

Kalani, 7 months, eats cantaloupe in the shape of a thin, wide rectangle.
Max, 12 months, eats cantaloupe in the form of a crescent moon.
Leila, 17 months, eats a large wedge of cantaloupe with the rind left intact. Always wash the rind well before serving.

Is cantaloupe healthy for babies?

Yes. While cantaloupe doesn’t top the nutrition charts, it contains vitamins A and C—two powerful antioxidants that support cellular repair, eyesight, and immunity. Compared to its popular sister the honeydew melon, cantaloupes offer almost twice as much vitamin C and about 67% more beta-carotene, which gives the melon’s flesh its bright orange color. In addition to offering essential nutrients, cantaloupe can also alleviate constipation in babies because they are mostly water, which helps move things along in their little digestive systems. (And often a bit too helpful!)

Is cantaloupe a common choking hazard for babies?

Yes. Cantaloupe is firm and slippery—two qualities that can increase the risk of choking. The risk is even greater when cantaloupe is served as melon balls; never use a melon ball scooper when preparing foods for babies. It’s easy to prepare cantaloupes in a safe way for babies of all ages. Check out our age-specific preparation ideas!

For more information, visit our section on gagging and choking and familiarize yourself with common choking hazards.

Is cantaloupe a common allergen?

No, allergies to cantaloupes are rare. However, individuals with Oral Allergy Syndrome (also called food-pollen allergy syndrome) may be sensitive to cantaloupe.2 As you would when introducing any new food, start by offering a small quantity on its own for the first couple of servings. If there is no adverse reaction, gradually increase the quantity over future meals.

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

a Solid Starts infographic with the header "How to Cut Cantaloupe for Babies": a thin slice for 6 and 9 months+, and a slice on the rind for 18 mos+

6 to 12 months old: Wash the rind of the cantaloupe well before cutting. Cut the pieces into large but thin rectangles. To encourage self-feeding, hand a piece in the air for your baby to grab.

12 to 18 months old: Ruler thin slices or crescent half-moons are the way to go. At this age babies tend to shovel food into their mouths as they get confident and thin, long pieces help slow things down and encourage them to take bites. Remember: never use a melon ball scooper when preparing food for babies or toddlers.

18 to 24 months old: At this age, many toddlers are ready to handle large wedges of melon, with the rind on. Just make sure to wash the outside rind before cutting into the melon and remove any lingering seeds.

a hand holding a thin slice of cantaloupe for babies
A thin slice of cantaloupe for babies 6 mos+
a hand holding a thin slice of cantaloupe to demonstrate the thinness of the slice
A thin slice of cantaloupe for babies 6 months+
How to prepare a cantaloupe for babies 6 months+
How to prepare a cantaloupe for babies 9 months+

For more information on how to cut food for babies, visit our page on Food Sizes & Shapes.

Recipe: Cantaloupe-Coconut Bites

five wide, thin slices of cantaloupe dusted with finely shredded coconut


  • 1 whole cantaloupe
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut


  1. Wash the melon rind and pat it dry. Cut the melon in half and scoop out the seeds. Slice one half again to cut the desired amount and wrap the other half in plastic wrap or place in a sealed container and store in the fridge for future meals.

  2. Cut the other half into age-appropriate sizes (see suggestions above) and transfer to your baby’s serving plate or bowl.

  3. Sprinkle the shredded coconut on the cantaloupe, which will not only add some grip to make it easier for babies to hold, it will also boost the nutritional value of the meal.

Note: This recipe contains coconut, which is classified as an allergen by some institutions. Only offer to your baby after coconut has been safely introduced and allergy ruled out.

Flavor Pairings

The sweet muskiness of cantaloupe pairs well with savory foods like almonds, cashews, chicken, and fish. It also balances tart fruits like citrus, green grapes, or strawberries. Try pairing cantaloupe with its cousins in the gourd family: cucumber and other muskmelons like honeydew. Adding layers of flavor like freshly grated ginger or herbs like basil, lemongrass, or mint will lend complexity to the dish.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Food Safety Alert: Salmonella Infections Linked to Pre-Cut Melon. Retrieved June 15, 2020
  2. Figueredo, E., Cuesta-Herranz, J., De-Miguel, J., Lázaro, M., Sastre, J., et al.  (2003). Clinical characteristics of melon (Cucumis melo) allergy. Annals of allergy, asthma & immunology: official publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, 91(3), 303–308. doi: 10.1016/s1081-1206(10)63534-x Retrieved June 15, 2020