Pistachio

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: Yes (
  • Nut
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May cause allergic reactions.

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A pile of pistachio nuts before they have been prepared for a baby starting solid foods

When can babies eat pistachios?

Pistachios may be introduced as soon as your baby is ready to start solids (generally around 6 months old) if the nuts are finely ground or blended to form a butter and then thinned out with yogurt or applesauce to reduce the choking risk. Always purchase unsalted nuts, as sodium can make your baby very sick.

Amelia, 10 months, eats finely ground pistachio with yogurt. If you are introducing pistachio or tree nuts for the first time, take care to start with a small quantity as they are common allergens.
Zuri, 13 months, eats finely ground pistachios on a wheat farina cereal.
Adie, 16 months, tastes ground pistachios for the first time.

Are pistachios healthy for babies?

Yes. Unsalted pistachios are an excellent source of healthy fats, fiber, and plant-based protein, including all essential amino acids that your baby needs to build new cells and tissues. Pistachios are also high in B vitamins and contain iron and most essential minerals. Fun fact: pistachios have more potassium per serving than any other nut!

Are pistachios a common choking hazard for babies?

Yes. Whole nuts, nut pieces, and nut butters are choking hazards for babies and children under the age of five. To prepare nuts safely, you can either finely grind them and serve atop yogurt or roll foods like avocado or mango in them, or serve as a nut butter thinned out with yogurt, applesauce, breast milk, or formula.

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

Are pistachios a common allergen?

Yes. Pistachios are tree nuts, and all tree nuts (almond, Brazil nuts, cashew, hazelnut, macadamia, pecans, walnuts, etc.) are common food allergens. Note, however, that only 1% of the American population is allergic to tree nuts.1

For those children who are allergic to tree nuts, unfortunately they are likely to have it for life: only 9% of children with tree nut allergies will outgrow them.2 Further, 25-40% of children who are allergic to peanuts are also allergic to one or more tree nuts.3

Some tree nuts and foods share similar protein structures, so be careful if your baby has a tree nut allergy. For example, cashews, mangos, and pistachios are botanically related. If your child is allergic to one, it’s quite possible the other will be a problem as well.4

To introduce pistachios, you’ll want to start in small amounts, such as ⅛ teaspoon of ground nuts sprinkled on your baby’s meal, and watch for any adverse reaction. If there is no reaction, gradually increase the amount, working your way up to 1 teaspoon of ground nuts sprinkled on other foods.

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

6 to 12 months old: Purchase smooth pistachio butter or finely grind pistachios 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 on yogurt, rice, quinoa, squash, or warm cereal.

12 to 24 months old: Continue serving pistachio butter thinned out with yogurt (applesauce works too but is not as easy to self-feed) or sprinkling ground pistachio on other dishes and foods. At this age, your baby 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 your baby’s age, hop over to our section on Food Sizes & Shapes.

★ Tip:

Save yourself time by making a big batch of ground pistachios to keep on hand in the fridge. That way, you have the ground nuts ready to sprinkle on your baby’s meal in a pinch.

Recipe: Apricot Pistachio Salad

Ingredients

  • Fresh Apricot
  • Goat Cheese
  • Ground Pistachios

Directions

  1. Wash the apricot. Cut in in half and remove the inner pit.
  2. Thinly slice the fruit, and set it in a small bowl.
  3. Crumble goat cheese into the bowl and sprinkle the ground pistachios on top. You can serve this dish as a finger food or with a baby fork. To encourage self-feeding, help your baby pierce the fruit and cheese with the fork and then let them take it from there.

Flavor Pairings

Pistachio pairs well with apricots, cranberries, goat cheese, pesto, quinoa, sweet potato, tofu, and zucchini.

  1. Facts and Statistics. Food Allergy Research & Education. Retrieved October 21, 2019 from: https://www.foodallergy.org/life-with-food-allergies/food-allergy-101/facts-and-statistics
  2. Peanut Allergy. Food Allergy Research & Education. Retrieved October 21, 2019
  3. Peanut Allergy. Food Allergy Research & Education. Retrieved October 21, 2019
  4. Kim, J. Introducing Solid Food? Watch Out for Allergy Risk. RadioMD.com. Retrieved April 18, 2020