Pear

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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Poop Friendly:Whether a food has qualities that help baby poop. Yes
Common Allergen: No
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a whole pear before being prepared for babies starting solid food

When can babies eat pears?

Raw pear can be a choking hazard because the fruit is slippery and firm. That said, if you steam or cook pears until they are soft, or slice them very thinly, pears may be introduced as soon as your baby is ready to start solids, which is generally around 6 months old.

Warning

Pears are a potential choking hazard, so keep reading to learn how to serve safely to babies.

Juliet Rose, 6 months, eats soft slices of pear with ground walnut.
Amelia, 7 months, eats a soft, ripe pear cut in a wide slice.
Max, 12 months, eats pieces of thinly sliced pear.

Are pears healthy for babies?

Yes. Pears contain a whole host of vitamins and minerals, including copper (which aids iron absorption), vitamin C and other antioxidants (which power a healthy immune system), and vitamin K (which promotes healthy blood). Pears are known for containing a high level of fiber—the majority of which can be found in the skin. A pear’s skin color indicates the variety’s unique plant compounds and, thus, different beneficial nutrients to the human body. For example, red-skinned pears contain beta-carotene, which is essential for healthy vision, skin and immune function.

Are pears a common choking hazard for babies?

Yes. Raw pears and dried pear pieces can be choking hazards. To reduce the risk, you can steam, poach, or cook pears until completely soft. Alternatively, you can offer your baby paper-thin slices of raw pear when they are old enough to hold on to them.

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

Are pears a common allergen?

No. True allergies to pears are rare. However, individuals with Oral Allergy Syndrome (also known as pollen-food allergy) may be sensitive to pears, though cooking the fruit can minimize the reaction.1


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

an infographic with the header "how to cut pear for babies": a cooked pear cut in half for 6 months+, bite-sized pieces for babies 9 months+, and a whole, ripe, soft pear for toddlers 12 months

6 to 9 months old: Cook pear halves (core removed, skin on or off) until soft. Offer the pear half to baby in the air and see if they will grab it from you. For very ripe, soft pears, you can skip cooking and slice. Large, round, thin slices will be the easiest shape for baby to hold.

9 to 12 months old: Once baby has developed their pincer grasp, offer bite-sized pieces of ripe, soft pear. You may also continue to offer thin slices of soft, ripe pear, or continue cooking and offering halves or bite-sized pieces of cooked pear.

12 to 24 months old: For ripe, soft pears, pretty much anything goes at this age. Offer quartered pears with the core and seeds removed, bite-sized pieces, and when you feel the child is ready, the whole fruit with the skin. Expect your toddler to spit much of the skin out when eating–this is normal and will subside closer to 18 to 24 months when toddlers get the hang of grinding fruit and vegetable skins with their molars.

a hand holding a cooked pear half for babies starting solids
A cooked pear half (with skin still on) for babies 6 months+
hand holding eight bite size pieces of pear
Bite-sized pieces of pear for toddlers 12 months+
How to prepare a pear for cooking.
How to decide whether to leave the skin on a cooked pear.

Learn about more safe, healthy first foods for baby in our guide, Top 15 Foods for Babies Starting Solids.

Recipe: Poached Pears

5 slices of poached pear

Ingredients

  • Pears
  • Cardamom (optional)
  • Unsalted butter or ghee (optional)

Directions

  1. Peel, core, and quarter 1 to 2 pears.
  2. Place in a small pot and cover with water. Add a dash of ground cardamom or a whole cardamom pod if you like.
  3. Cover and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until the pears are completely soft, about 7 minutes. Cool completely.

Flavor Pairings

Pears are versatile. They taste delicious with almond, apple, banana, beef, cheese (especially goat cheese!), chestnut, chicken, hazelnut, pork, and walnuts, as well as with spices like cardamom and cinnamon.

  1. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS) or Pollen Fruit Syndrome (PFS). Retrieved January 9, 2020.