When can babies eat grapes?
Grapes are a common choking hazard for babies and children, and because you must quarter them to make them safe, it’s best to wait until your baby has fully developed a pincer grasp before serving them. (For most babies this will happen around 12 months of age.) Younger babies will likely have a hard time picking up quartered grapes and may get frustrated if hungry.
Are grapes healthy for babies?
Yes, if they are organic. Grapes regularly top the charts of produce with the most pesticides so if your budget allows, buy organic grapes to reduce the risk of toxic exposure.1
Nutritionally, grapes contain vitamins B2, C, and K as well as copper, which helps your baby’s body to absorb iron, a critical nutrient for babies 6 months and older. Many grape varieties also boast high levels of antioxidants.2 The downside (in addition to having to quarter them for safety) is that grapes quite high in sugar compared with other fruits, so consider grapes as an occasional treat rather than a regular snack.
Are grapes a choking hazard for babies?
Yes. Grapes are a top choking hazard for babies and children. To prepare grapes for a baby, you must cut them into quarters lengthwise (from stem to bottom) and remove any seeds prior to serving.
Are grapes a common allergen?
Nope! But in theory, one could be allergic to almost any food.
How do you prepare grapes for babies with baby-led weaning?
Every baby develops on their own timeline. The preparation suggestions below are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional, one-on-one advice from your pediatric medical or health professional, nutritionist or dietitian, or expert in pediatric feeding and eating. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen here.
6 to 9 months old: This is a tricky age for grapes and honestly, probably not worth the work. If you do want to try offering grapes, just be sure to cut them into quarters, vertically. Don’t be surprised if your baby mostly spits them out as the skin can be tough for babies to chew through.
9 to 18 months old: Grapes must be cut lengthwise in quarters to reduce the risk of choking. When cutting the grapes, make sure you are cutting from stem to bottom of each grape—not along the equator and always remove any remaining seeds.
18 to 24 months old: Continue to quarter grapes lengthwise to reduce the choking risk. You may, at your own risk, also introduce whole or halved grapes to challenge your child and work on oral development skills. If you do offer whole or halved grapes, be sure your child is in a safe eating environment and that you are educated on what to do if your child is choking.
For more information on how to cut food for your baby’s age, hop over to our section on Food Sizes & Shapes.
★Tip: There are many grape varieties in the United States, though it’s unlikely you’ll come across most of them at your local grocery store. If you are in an area that produces grapes, your local farmer’s market will likely have a nice selection of grapes at harvest time. If you see grapes at the farmer’s market, act fast. They are only available for a couple of weeks each year.
Recipe: Green Grape Salad
- Green grapes (organic, seedless)
- Cut the grapes lengthwise into quarters, remove any seeds, and place the cut fruit in a mixing bowl.
- Remove the strawberry stems and slice the fruit, then combine the slices with the quartered grapes.
- Prep the pineapple: Cut off the root and crown ends, then stand the fruit on a cutting board. Remove the pineapple skin in peels by cutting from top to bottom along the edge of the fruit, rotating and slicing until all of the rough exterior is removed. Now remove the core by slicing from top to bottom just outside of the pineapple’s center, creating large slabs of fruit. Cut each slab into ruler-thin slices, and then dice.
- Place the diced pineapple in the mixing bowl with the grapes and strawberries and stir to combine.
Melon, mint, and fresh basil pair well with these fruits. If you add fresh herbs, make sure you chop them finely to reduce risk of choking.
- Environmental Working Group, Dirty Dozen 2019. (website) Retrieved December 31, 2019.
- NCBI, Comparison of Antioxidant Activities of Different Grape Varieties. Retrieved September 27, 2019.