Kiwi

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.
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Common Allergen: No
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A kiwi cut in half on a table before being prepared for babies starting solid food

When can babies eat kiwi?

Kiwi may be introduced as soon as your baby is ready to start solids, which is generally around 6 months of age. Note: Kiwi, along with other acidic fruits, can cause or worsen diaper rash so start small when introducing to your baby.

Background and origins of kiwi

When you purchase kiwis from your local store, chances are that they came from New Zealand, which exports $1 billion worth of the sweet fruit every year.1 In fact, kiwi is used as a nickname for the people of New Zealand—a reference not to the fruit, but to a national symbol: a long-beaked, flightless bird called the kiwi. Yet the fruit is actually native to China, where it is called mihoutao.2 The fuzzy berry became known internationally as “kiwi” in the late 20th century, after efforts by marketers like the late Frieda Caplan, who helped popularize the fruit with American consumers.

Amelia, 7 months, tastes kiwi for the first time.
Isar, 12 months, eats kiwi.
Adie, 16 months, eats kiwi.

Is kiwi healthy for babies?

Yes. Kiwi is a great pick for babies because it is lower in natural sugars than many other fruits, plus it contains lots of essential nutrients. Kiwi offers a good amount of vitamin C, which boosts immunity, powers organ functions, supports cell growth, and helps your baby’s body absorb iron. Kiwi also contains copper, fiber, and vitamins E and K, which promote healthy blood and immunity, respectively. An added bonus: kiwi contain additional properties that appear to help children with asthma symptoms, such as coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing.3

Is kiwi a common choking hazard for babies?

It can be. The sweet flesh of the kiwi can be firm and slippery—two qualities that increase the risk of choking. To reduce the risk, first make sure that you are serving ripe kiwi (it should give slightly when pressed) and it is prepared in an age-appropriate way. Never use a melon ball scooper to serve fruit for babies. Check out our suggestions on how to cut and serve.

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

Is kiwi a common allergen?

No. Kiwi allergies are rare, though individuals with Oral Allergy Syndrome (also known as food pollen allergy) may be sensitive to the fruit.4 Additionally, individuals with latex-fruit syndrome may react to kiwi.5

As you would when introducing any new food, start by serving a small quantity of kiwi on its own. If there is no adverse reaction, gradually increase the quantity over future servings.

How do you prepare kiwi for babies with baby-led weaning?

6 to 9 months old: Serve skinned kiwi halves or quarters to encourage your baby to pick up and suck on the fruit. You can also try mashing the kiwi and mixing it with Greek yogurt or ricotta cheese. To encourage self-feeding with mashed kiwi, serve it in a bowl that suctions to the table for hand scooping or pre-load a spoon and hand it in the air for your baby to grab.

9 to 12 months old: At this stage, your baby’s pincer grasp will develop, which enables them to pick up smaller, bite-sized pieces of food. If your baby is not able to pick up small pieces of food yet, try serving quarters of kiwi (fuzzy skin and pith removed).

12 to 24 months old: Offer bite-sized pieces as finger food and/or serve with a fork to encourage utensil practice. Treat kiwi as a sweet condiment on top of foods like oatmeal, quinoa, rice, or yogurt. It also adds interesting color and texture to a fruit salad.

For more information on how to cut food for babies, visit our page on Food Sizes & Shapes.

Let’s be real: green foods can be a tough sell. For those kiddos with, ahem, strong opinions: try mixing mashed kiwi into yogurt and serving it as a “yogurt swirl”—it’s amazing what a little rebrand will do!

Recipe: Kiwi Fruit Salad

chopped kiwi, raspberries and blueberries in a bowl

Age: 6 months+

Ingredients

  • Kiwi
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries

Directions

  1. Use a paring knife to peel the fuzzy skin and cut away the stem end. Slice the kiwi into bite-size pieces.
  2. Place the kiwi in a small mixing bowl, and add a handful of washed raspberries and some smashed or quartered blueberries.  Mix gently and serve.

If your baby is between 6 and 12 months old, serve this fruit salad in a bowl that suctions to the table to encourage hand scooping. For babies who are 12 months old and up, you can serve in any bowl or container and/or pre-load a fork to encourage utensil use. Go easy: using a fork can be exhausting for little ones. It’s okay if your baby ditches the fork and uses fingers. Embrace the mess!

Flavor Pairings

Kiwi is sweet and tart. Serve it as you would strawberries or pineapples: in smoothies, in salads, in dishes that need a tropical kick, or on its own as a refreshing snack. Kiwi pairs well with all sorts of fruits, from blueberries and raspberries, to bananas and papayas, plus its acidity and brightness balance heart-healthy fats like cashews, coconut, and yogurt. Try adding kiwi to some of your marinades for a little kick!

  1. United States Department of Agriculture. (2016). USDA Foreign Agricultural Service: Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) Report. Report No. NZ1601. Retrieved April 12, 2020
  2. Liu, K. (2017). This Kiwifruit Isn’t From New Zealand at All. It’s Chinese, and This Is How It Got Hijacked. TIME. Des Moines, IA: Meredith Corporation. Retrieved April 12, 2020
  3. Forastiere, F., Pistell,i R., Sestini, P., et al. (2000). Consumption of fresh fruit rich in vitamin C and wheezing symptoms in children. Thorax, 55(4), 283-288. DOI: 10.1136/thorax.55.4.283. Retrieved April 12, 2020
  4. Forastiere, F., Pistell,i R., Sestini, P., et al. (2000). Consumption of fresh fruit rich in vitamin C and wheezing symptoms in children. Thorax, 55(4), 283-288. DOI: 10.1136/thorax.55.4.283. Retrieved April 12, 2020
  5. Wagner, S., Breiteneder, H. (2002). The Latex-Fruit Syndrome. Biochemical Society Transactions, 30(6), 935-940. DOI: 10.1042/bst0300935. Retrieved April 12, 2020