Honeydew melon may be introduced as soon as baby is ready to start solids, which is generally around 6 months of age.
Honeydew melon, especially in the form of melon balls, is a choking hazard, so keep reading to learn how to serve this fruit safely. In addition, the melon’s rind can carry pathogenic bacteria from the soil in which it grows, so make sure to wash the honeydew melon’s rind before serving.
Honeydew melons are a type of muskmelon—a family of melons that includes many varieties, including canary, cantaloupes, casaba, cavallion, crenshaw, winter melons, and more. While the fruit’s exact origins are unknown, there are records of honeydew melons being cultivated in parts of Northern and Western Africa dating back thousands of years. Today, the melons are grown in hot, dry climates worldwide, including in China, where the beloved fruit is known as the bailan melon, among other names.
Juliet Rose, 6 months, munches on a ruler-thin slice of honeydew melon.
Kalani, 10 months, eats honeydew melon.
Isar, 14 months, eats honeydew melon.
Yes. Honeydew melon is rich in potassium, folate, and vitamins B6 and C. Plus, it’s packed with antioxidants, phenolic compounds, and flavonoids. Together, these nutrients support baby’s hydration, electrolyte balance, nervous system, metabolism, immunity, and overall bodily resilience.
It is important to wash and prepare honeydew melon and all melons with a little extra care. The melon’s rind can carry pathogenic bacteria picked up from the soil it grows in. Immediately before serving melon, thoroughly wash and scrub the rind, then pat it dry. Washing with water works just fine; there is no need to use any special produce wash or detergent.
★Tip: Choose honeydew melon that feels heavy for its size and appears free of soft spots and mold. Note that honeydew melon is quite perishable; it is best consumed within a day or two after it has ripened. To tell if the melon is ripe, smell it: the fruit will smell floral, musky, and sweet.
Yes. Honeydew melon is firm and slippery—two qualities that can increase the risk of choking. The risk is even greater when the melon is cut into melon balls or large chunks, or when it is underripe and even more firm. To reduce the risk, cut ripe honeydew melon into thin pieces. As always, make sure you create a safe eating environment and stay within an arm’s reach of baby during meals. For more information on choking, visit our sections on gagging and choking and familiarize yourself with the list of common choking hazards.
No, muskmelons like honeydew are not a common food allergen. Individuals with Oral Allergy Syndrome (also known as pollen food allergy syndrome), especially those who are allergic to ragweed pollen, may be sensitive to muskmelon. Oral Allergy Syndrome typically results in short-lived itching, tingling, or burning in the mouth and is unlikely to result in a dangerous reaction. Cooking muskmelon can help minimize or even eliminate the reaction. If baby experiences Oral Allergy Syndrome, contact rashes may occur on the hands or face after handling or eating the melon. Washing hands immediately after handling muskmelon and applying a barrier ointment (such as pure petroleum jelly or a plant-based oil/wax combination) to baby’s face before eating can help to prevent such rashes.
As you would when introducing any new food, start by offering a small quantity for the first few servings. If there is no adverse reaction, gradually increase the quantity over future meals.
Yes. Honeydew melon contains fiber and water, which help to support healthy gut bacteria, bulk up poop, and hydrate the intestines for healthy digestion and bowel movements. Remember that pooping patterns can vary significantly from baby to baby. If you have concerns about baby’s pooping and digestive function, talk to your pediatric healthcare provider.
Every baby develops on their own timeline, and the suggestions on how to cut or prepare particular foods are generalizations for a broad audience.
Wash the rind before cutting into the melon. Remove the rind and seeds, then cut the melon into thin crescent moon or thin rectangular shapes about the size of two adult fingers pressed together. To encourage self-feeding, hold a piece in the air in front of baby and let the child grab it from you and bring it to the mouth on their own. At this age, do not serve melon balls or large chunks of honeydew melon because the firm, slippery consistency poses a high risk of choking.
Wash the rind before cutting into the melon. Remove the rind and seeds, then cut the melon into thin crescent moons or thin rectangular strips about the size of two adult fingers pressed together. If the child is consistently taking big bites, cut the thin slices of melon into smaller bite-sized pieces. After the first birthday, offer an age-appropriate utensil for practice picking up the bite-sized pieces. Just take care to avoid offering melon balls or large chunks of honeydew melon because the firm slipper consistency poses a high risk of choking.
At this age, many toddlers are ready to handle large wedges of melon with the rind still attached. Just make sure to wash the rind before cutting into the melon and remove any lingering seeds.
At about 3 years of age, a child may be ready to start taking bites of melon chunks, as often sold in containers of pre-cut fruit. Chunks of honeydew can pose a choking risk because they are slippery. Oftentimes, melon chunks can be about the size of a toddler’s mouth, increasing the risk that the child will attempt to place the entire fruit in their mouth instead of taking a manageable bite. If the child is able to eat and swallow a variety of soft, easy-to-chew foods using the following skills, they may be ready to try chunks of melon:
Bites into food to break off smaller pieces
Moves food to the side of the mouth (to the molars) with the tongue
Chews food and breaks it down before swallowing
Manages food when it breaks apart in the mouth and spit out food when necessary
Before offering a melon chunk to a child at this age, we suggest demonstrating how to safely take a bite and show how you move the piece to your molars to chew. You may want to hold the chunk of melon for the child to practice biting—hold at the corner of the mouth and allow the child to close their teeth on the food. Coach the child to thoroughly chew the chunk of melon before swallowing. You can demonstrate this by chewing with your mouth open to show how your molars have mashed the fruit so that it is safe to swallow.
For our favorite first foods, see our guide, 50 Fantastic First Foods for Babies.
Pediatrician & pediatric gastroenterologist
Pediatrician & pediatric allergist/immunologist
Pediatric occupational therapist, feeding & swallowing specialist, international board-certified lactation consultant
Speech-language pathologist, feeding & swallowing specialist
Pediatric registered dietitian & nutritionist
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