Dragon Fruit (Pitaya)

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.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Common Allergen: No
Jump to Recipe ↓
A dragon fruit cut in half before it has been prepared for a baby starting solid foods

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.

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 both purple and white varieties.

Kalani, 8 months, eats purple dragon fruit.
Adie, 15 months, eats dragon fruit.
Mahalia, 17 months, eats white dragon fruit.

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.

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

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?

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.

For more information on how to cut food for your baby’s age, hop over to our section on Food Sizes & Shapes.

★ Tip:

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

diced dragon fruit pieces with sliced strawberries and bananas atop Greek yogurt

Ingredients

  • Plain Greek yogurt (full-fat)
  • Dragon fruit
  • Strawberries
  • Banana
  • Flax oil

Directions

  1. Using a fork, vigorously mix a small dash (less than a teaspoon) of flax oil with the yogurt in your baby’s bowl.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Flavor Pairings

Dragon fruit, which is quite bland on its own, nicely complements strawberries, bananas, pears, pineapples, and finely chopped mint.