Pomegranate arils may be introduced as early as 6 months if flattened to reduce the choking risk. Check out our age-specific suggestions. Note that acidic foods like pomegranate seeds can cause or worsen diaper rash.
Pomegranates grow on beautiful, flowering trees and shrubs that are native to Southwest Asia. It is said that the finest pomegranates grow in Iran, where the fruit is a beloved snack and widely used to make juice, salsas, and syrups that are used in savory chicken, eggplant, and fish dishes. The fruit is also a terrific way to introduce tart, tannic flavors to your baby. Just be mindful of clothes and surroundings: while that gorgeous ruby color is sure to delight, it’s also guaranteed to stain whatever it touches!
Juliet Rose, 7 months, eats crushed pomegranate arils.
Broly, 10 months, eats pomegranate arils that have been flattened gently with a fork.
Bobbi, 18 months, picks out and eats pomegranate arils.
Yes! Pomegranate seeds are packed with goodness to support your baby’s development. They’ve got fiber; vitamins B, C, and K; zinc; and more than 150 antioxidants!
We recommend waiting to serve juice of any kind until age 2 to help avoid a preference for sweet drinks, so if you’re going to serve pomegranate juice, offer it as an occasional treat. The juice offers lots of beta-carotene, which our body converts to vitamin A to promote healthy eyes, immune system, and skin. But like all fruit juice, the pomegranate’s naturally occurring sugar gets super concentrated when the liquid is extracted from the seeds. Plus whenever a fruit is juiced, there is a loss of some of the beneficial effects of fiber and other plant compounds that help diversify our microbiome.
Yes. Pomegranate seeds, because they are round and hard, are a choking hazard for babies under 12 months of age. Don’t be fooled by their small size: just like corn kernels, whole pomegranate seeds can be easily swallowed by accident. To reduce the risk, flatten each seed with the back of a fork before serving, or wait to serve pomegranate seeds until your baby can pick up small pieces of food and chew and swallow with ease.
No. Pomegranate allergy is rare, though there have been some cases reported. Note, however, that individuals with Oral Allergy Syndrome may be sensitive to pomegranate.
Acidic fruits can also cause a rash wherever the skin comes into contact with it (typically this shows around the mouth, cheeks, and under the chin during the meal). If this happens, just pat the affected area with a cold washcloth (don’t rub) and it should dissipate after a few minutes.
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 mealtimes.
Every baby develops on their own timeline, and the suggestions on how to cut or prepare particular foods are generalizations for a broad audience.
Crush or flatten pomegranate seeds with the back of a spoon. Whole pomegranate seeds can be a choking hazard for babies up to age 12 months old.
At this age your can serve whole pomegranate seeds on their own. Be careful when adding whole seeds to other dishes, as your baby or toddler may not understand the need to chew pomegranate seeds when they’re added to smooth foods like yogurt, and as a result, they may accidentally swallow whole seeds. Bottom line: it’s safer to serve whole seeds on their own until your little one is accustomed to chewing and processing them.
Time to play! Serve pomegranate seeds on their own, incorporate them into savory dishes for added bite and tartness, and mix them to smoothies.
Want to remove pomegranate seeds from their rind without a big mess? Cut the fruit on the equator and hold one half cut-side down in your palm over a bowl in the sink. Holding a sturdy spoon in your other hand, gently tap the rind, rotating the half in your palm as you tap. The seeds will fall out of the rind and into the bowl in the skin. Wear an apron—juice may spritz on your torso as you tap!
For more information on how to cut food for babies, visit our page on Food Sizes & Shapes.
2 c (480 ml)
This recipe contains common allergens: dairy (yogurt) and sesame (tahini). Only serve to a child after these allergens have been safely introduced. Always check for potential allergens in ingredients listed on the labels of store-bought processed foods, such as yogurt. Added ingredients may also include honey, which should not be given to babies younger than 12 months.
Preheat the oven to 400 F (204 C).
Place the eggplant on a sheet tray. Use a fork to poke a couple of holes in it to let steam escape as they roast.
Roast until the whole eggplant has softened and its skin has browned and wrinkled, between 30 and 45 minutes. Cook time depends on the size of the eggplant.
While it is roasting, peel and finely chop the garlic, and zest and juice the lemon.
Place the roasted eggplant in a large mixing bowl. Halve it lengthwise (from stem to flower end), then use the knife to push the halves apart. Scrape away the flesh from the skins, then discard the skins. Eggplant seeds and flecks of charred skin are fine to leave in the bowl, but do remove any large pieces of skin.
Add the garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, tahini, oil, yogurt, and cumin. Mash and mix the baba ganoush until it reaches your desired consistency. A little texture is okay.
Set aside some baba ganoush for baby, then season the rest with salt to taste for yourself.
Prepare pomegranate arils in an age-appropriate way to sprinkle on top or offer on the side. Serve the pomegranate baba ganoush with resistive food teether that can be dipped, such as bell pepper spears, toasted bread, or whole green beans.
Serve the Baba Ganoush
Offer pomegranate baba ganoush to baby, then let the child self-feed.
If help is needed, swipe a baby spoon or a resistive food in the baba ganoush, then hold it in the air in front of baby and let the child grab it from you.
Eat some baba ganoush alongside baby to model how it’s done.
To Store: Pomegranate Baba Ganoush keeps in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days.
The sweet and tart flavor of pomegranate adds brightness to bitter, fatty, and earthy foods. Try serving pomegranate seeds with sautéed greens or fresh herbs (bitter); poached salmon or fresh cheese (fatty); and quinoa or farro (earthy). They also taste great with nuts like walnuts.
Pediatric registered dietitian & nutritionist
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