When can babies eat dragon fruit?
You may introduce dragon fruit as soon as your baby is ready for solids, which is generally around 6 months old. Dragon fruit is soft and should be relatively easy for your baby to hold and eat.
Background and origins of dragon fruit
Dragon fruit is the edible flower of a cactus that is native to the Americas. Today dragon fruit is mainly cultivated in Florida, Southeast Asia, Australia, and the Caribbean. With thick, brightly-colored skin and a soft, white seedy interior, dragon fruit is most similar in texture to a kiwi—with a less distinct taste. Dragon fruit comes in purple, white, and yellow varieties.
Whatever the type, make sure to serve dragon fruit when you have time to clean up afterward. The seeds are clingy and tend to end up between baby’s fingers, in their hair, and everywhere else.
Is dragon fruit healthy for my baby?
Yes. While dragon fruit doesn’t have many calories, it contains a fair amount of antioxidants, carotene (for healthy eyes and immunity), calcium, iron, B-vitamins, and vitamin C—all critical nutrients for babies 6 months and up.
Is dragon fruit a common choking hazard for my baby?
Dragon fruit, if ripe and prepared in an age-appropriate way, should not pose a choking risk. As long as your baby is ready for solids and you are creating a safe feeding environment, your baby can eat dragon fruit.
Is dragon fruit a common allergen?
Allergies to dragon fruit are rare, though people who are allergic to kiwi, as well as people with Oral Allergy Syndrome (a food-related allergy that causes reactions to foods with similar protein structures to pollen) may be allergic to dragon fruit.
How do you prepare dragon fruit for babies with baby-led weaning?
Every baby develops on their own timeline, and the suggestions on how to cut or prepare particular foods are generalizations for a broad audience. Your child is an individual and may have needs or considerations beyond generally accepted practices. In determining the recommendations for size and shape of foods, we use the best available scientific information regarding gross, fine, and oral motor development to minimize choking risk. The preparation suggestions we offer are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for child-specific, one-on-one advice from your pediatric medical or health professional or provider. It is impossible to fully eliminate all risk of a baby or child choking on any liquid, puree, or food. We advise you to follow all safety protocols we suggest to create a safe eating environment and to make educated choices for your child regarding their specific needs. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen here.
6 to 12 months old: Serve dragon fruit, peel removed, in large half pieces or quarters. Once your baby develops a pincer grasp, cut up the dragon fruit into small pieces. Warning: dragon fruit seeds have a static cling-like ability and are very hard to clean up!
12 to 18 months old: Offer your toddler bite-size pieces of dragon fruit. This is a great time to practice with forks too.
18 to 24 months old: At this age you may notice your child is able to take accurate bites and to tear foods efficiently. If you feel ready, you can go back up in size and offer spears of dragon fruit or continue with bite-size pieces.
How often should you offer solids? See our sample feeding schedules for babies of every age.
Open and cut the dragon fruit in front of your babies. The skin’s vivid color and polka dot interior will surely fascinate them and may help stimulate their curiosity to taste it.
Recipe: Dragon Fruit Parfait
- Plain Greek yogurt (full-fat)
- Dragon fruit
- Flax oil
- Using a fork, vigorously mix a small dash (less than a teaspoon) of flax oil with the yogurt in your baby’s bowl.
- Wash the dragon fruit and cut it in half vertically. Bending back the outer thick skin, pop out the seedy interior flesh and dice it into small pieces.
- Slice the strawberries and banana. Mix the fruit together and serve on top of the yogurt.
Heads up that flax stimulates the bowels—which is great when your baby is constipated—but may not be desirable if your baby is regular!
Dragon fruit, which is quite bland on its own, nicely complements strawberries, bananas, pears, pineapples, and finely chopped mint.