When can babies eat hazelnuts?
Nuts may be introduced to your baby once they turn 6 months old as long as they’re introduced as a nut butter thinned with yogurt or pulverized into a fine texture. Whole nuts and nut pieces are a common cause of choking for children up to age five.
Like all tree nuts, hazelnuts (also called “filberts”) are a common food allergen. Introduce hazelnuts in small amounts (such as a ¼ teaspoon of finely-ground nuts added to yogurt) to watch for any adverse reactions.
Are hazelnuts healthy for babies?
Hazelnuts, like many nuts, are a rich source of healthy fats that protect cell structure, fiber, and plant-based protein. They also contain most vitamins and minerals, making them an excellent food for baby’s growth. Hazelnuts are particularly high in antioxidants, especially vitamin E and copper, and they have decent amounts of vitamin C, zinc, and selenium. Hazelnuts are one of the best sources of manganese, an essential nutrient for bone and tissue growth.
Are hazelnuts a common choking hazard for babies?
All nuts and nut butters are choking hazards for babies and children under the age of five. To safely serve hazelnuts to a baby, purchase pure, raw, and unsalted hazelnut butter and thin it out with yogurt, formula, or breast milk until it’s a non-sticky consistency. You may also finely grind the nuts with a mortar and pestle (or food processor for larger batches) and add to other foods, such as yogurt, rice, quinoa, squash, or warm cereal. Finely-ground nuts are also great to sprinkle on avocado slices and other slippery foods as the texture makes it easier for your baby to grab and hang on to.
Are hazelnuts a common allergen?
Yes. Hazelnuts are tree nuts, and all tree nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, and more) are common food allergens. Note, however, that only one percent of the American population is allergic to tree nuts.1
Unfortunately, babies with tree nut allergies are likely to have a lifelong allergy: only 9% of children with tree nut allergies will outgrow them.2
Because tree nuts are a common food allergen, it is wise to introduce them in small amounts, such as ⅛ teaspoon of finely ground nut mixed into yogurt or warm cereal. If your baby has no adverse reaction to it, gradually increase the amount, working your way up to a full teaspoon of finely-ground nuts.
How to prepare hazelnuts 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 12 months old: Purchase smooth hazelnut butter or finely grind hazelnuts in a powerful food processor until completely fine and no pieces remain. (You may also pound the nuts in a mortar and pestle until completely ground.) If using the butter form, thin it with breast milk, formula, or yogurt to reduce the choking risk before serving. If using the ground nut, sprinkle a little in warm cereal or on fruit.
12 to 24 months old: Continue serving hazelnut butter thinned out with yogurt or sprinkling ground hazelnut on other dishes and foods. At this age your toddler is ready to try nut butter on toast as well. To serve toast with nut butter to a baby, make sure the butter is very thinly spread and that no clumps remain.
For more information on how to cut food for babies, visit our page on Food Sizes & Shapes.
Pulse nuts in a food processor in big batches and save in your refrigerator so you can easily add a teaspoon of ground nuts to your baby’s meal anytime.
Recipe: Avocado-Hazelnut Fingers
- Hazelnuts (finely ground)
Avocados are one of those perfect foods for babies because they are rich in good fats and omegas and soft on your baby’s gums. But they’re oh so slippery! Rolling avocado slices in finely ground nuts, breadcrumbs, or even crushed cereal can be a great way to help your baby keep ahold of the slippery little suckers—and boost nutrition at the same time.
- Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit.
- Leaving the avocado in its skin, make four vertical slices in each half. Then, scoop the avocado flesh out with a water glass to preserve the shape of the pieces. (This trick works well with mango, too.)
- Sprinkle each avocado piece in the finely ground hazelnut, then serve. If you are introducing hazelnuts for the first time, start with very small quantities—such as ¼ teaspoon or less—until you are sure your baby is not allergic to them.
- Food Allergy Research & Education. Facts and Statistics. Retrieved October 11, 2019
- Food Allergy Research & Education. Peanut Allergy. Retrieved October 11, 2019.