When can babies eat peaches?
Fresh peaches may be introduced as soon as your baby is ready to start solids, which is generally around 6 months of age. Friendly warning: if your baby is still clenching pieces of food with their full fist, count on some peaches shooting out across the room!
Background and origins of peaches
Peaches are an ancient fruit with great symbolism… and we’re not just talking about emojis. Native to Asia where they have been cultivated for thousands of years, peach fruit along with all parts of the tree on which it grows appear in art, literature, medicine, and religious beliefs for which they hold different meaning: immortality, love, longevity, unity, vitality, wealth, and more. Peaches also represent the peak of summer along with cherries, plums, and nectarines—the smooth-skinned sister of the fuzzy peach. When the weather is hot, there are hundreds of varieties to try, from flat peaches with rosy skin and yellow flesh, to perfectly round golden peaches with cream-colored flesh. The taste varies, too; some are tart, others are tangy, and many are sweet.
Are peaches healthy for babies?
Yes, though there are certainly other fruits and veggies that pack more of a nutritional punch. Fresh peaches offer a decent amount of fiber to help your baby’s bowels move things along, plus they contain a little vitamin A and vitamin C to promote immune health. Peach skin in particular is high in carotenoids—the beneficial nutrients that convert to vitamin A in our bodies and act as antioxidants that keep us healthy.1 If you can afford it, this is a good food to buy organic as peaches are among the top fruits with the most residue of pesticides at sale.2
Can’t get fresh peaches? Avoid canned peaches and opt for an alternative fresh fruit. While their nutrient profile is similar to fresh peaches, canned peaches are often preserved in syrups that add lots of sugar to baby’s diet.3
Are peaches a common choking hazard for babies?
They can be. Peaches are slippery, a quality that can increase the risk of choking, plus peach skin can cling to the back of the throat. To reduce the risk, serve peaches in thin slices or mashed into yogurt or warm cereal. Check out our age-appropriate serving suggestions.
Are peaches a common allergen?
No. Allergies to peaches are rare, though individuals with Oral Allergy Syndrome (or who are allergic to birch pollen or certain grasses) may be sensitive to peaches.4
As you would when introducing any new food, start by offering a small quantity on its own for the first couple of servings. If there is no adverse reaction, gradually increase the quantity over future meals.
How do you prepare peaches 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: Serve peach halves with the pit removed. If you are comfortable with it, leave the skin on, as the texture helps your baby’s grip. At this age, babies often suck and scrape the flesh and spit out any skin that gets in the mouth. If your baby eats a too-large piece of peach or peach skin, coach your child to spit it out by sticking out your own tongue and refrain from sticking your fingers in your baby’s mouth. If you are uncomfortable serving a peach half, simply mash the flesh and serve over something baby can scoop with their hands, such as Greek yogurt.
9 to 12 months old: Offer thin slices of peaches with the skin on or off, or, if you feel comfortable, offer large halves (skin on or off). Because peaches are so slippery, diced peaches may be too challenging for baby to pick up, plus the slippery little pieces can be more easily swallowed whole, so be wary of going too small in size as you cut up the fruit.
12 to 24 months old: Continue with sliced peaches, and when you feel comfortable and when you feel your toddler is ready, try moving back up in size to halved peaches for biting practice. Alternatively, offer diced peaches with a fork.
For more information on how to cut food for babies, visit our page on Food Sizes & Shapes.
Peaches are ready to eat when they’re soft, but that doesn’t mean you should pinch a peach to know if it’s ripe. Our fingertips bruise the fruit, so instead of pinching, hold a peach in your palm and give it the tiniest squeeze. If it’s soft, not rock hard, the peach is ready to eat. But if you’ve got a rock hard peach on your kitchen counter, place it near bananas, which omit a gas that ripens the fruit.
Recipe: Peaches & Cream
- 2 ripe peaches
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Pinch of cardamom
- Wash the peach, then slice into age-appropriate pieces (see suggestions above).
- Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and whisk until it forms stiff peaks.
- Scoop a dollop (or two!) of whipped cream into a bowl that suctions to the table. Arrange the peaches on top and dust lightly with cardamom for extra flavor.
Peaches pair exceptionally well with creamy products like cheese, cream, and yogurt and warm spices such as cardamom, cloves, and ginger. In salads and smoothies, their sweetness makes them a great balance to tannic fruits like blackberries, blueberries, and cherries and tangy fruits like mango, oranges, raspberries, and strawberries. Peaches also pair well with foods with heart-healthy fats like coconut, hazelnuts, and pistachios and lots of protein like white fish, pork, and poultry. Try serving peach with spicy foods like arugula or jalapenos and add herbs like mint, lemongrass, or rosemary for extra flavor!
- Gasparotto, J., Somensi, N., Bortolin, R. C., Moresco, K. S., Girardi, C. S., et al. (2014). Effects of different products of peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch) from a variety developed in southern Brazil on oxidative stress and inflammatory parameters in vitro and ex vivo. Journal of clinical biochemistry and nutrition, 55(2), 110–119. Retrieved July 10, 2020
- Environmental Working Group. EWG’s 2020 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Retrieved July 10, 2020
- Durst, R., Weaver, G. (2012). Nutritional content of fresh and canned peaches. Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture, 93(3): 593‐603. doi:10.1002/jsfa.5849 Retrieved July 10, 2020
- American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS) or Pollen Fruit Syndrome (PFS). Retrieved July 10, 2020