Strawberry

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.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Poop Friendly:Whether a food has qualities that help baby poop. Yes
Common Allergen: No
Jump to Recipe ↓
A pile of pA pile of strawberries before they have been prepared for a baby starting solid foods

When can babies eat strawberries?

Strawberries may be introduced as soon as a baby is ready for solids, which is generally around 6 months of age.

Need more ideas for baby’s first solid foods? Check out our guides.

Strawberry varieties

Strawberries grow in temperate regions worldwide, and humans have been harvesting wild strawberries and learning to cultivate the fruit for centuries. There are tons of varieties to try – some the size of your fingernail, others the size of your hand; some red or pink, others purple or white; some deliciously sweet, others tart like pineapple. From the delicate Alpine strawberry to the hefty Fragaria Chandler, there are many varieties to explore.

Strawberries ripen on their runners, and unlike bananas, they do not continue to ripen after they are picked. Those plump, heart-shaped berries in plastic shells at American grocery stores? These strawberries are grown to maximize productivity and harvested early so that they can be packaged and shipped from California or Florida, the top strawberry-producing regions in the United States. They can taste very different from strawberries that are grown near your home or found in the wild.

Ronan, 7 months, munches on whole strawberries.
Caden, 7 months, munches on a whole strawberry.
Max, 12 months, eats sliced strawberries.

Are strawberries healthy for babies?

Yes. Strawberries are packed with vitamin C, which strengthens immunity and helps baby’s body absorb iron from plant-based foods.1 The fruit also contains fiber, which promotes a healthy gut, as well as folate that fuels a baby’s metabolism, cell energy, and antioxidant activity. The seeds even contain some omega-3 fatty acids to power a baby’s vision, nervous system, and brain development.2 The best part about strawberries: the fruit contains more than 50 polyphenols, which are plant compounds that act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents to keep a baby’s cells and whole body healthy.3

Strawberries are commonly sprayed with pesticides.4 To minimize exposure, thoroughly wash strawberries before serving them and if your budget allows for it, buy organic fresh or frozen strawberries.5

★Tip: Love strawberry jam? It would be wise to hold off on serving jam until after the 2nd birthday because it is packed with added sugar.6 Instead, simply mash strawberries to make a fresh jam that can be stirred into oatmeal or yogurt, thickened with chia seeds, or served on its own.

Why are strawberries sometimes very tart and other times very sweet?

The flavor depends on the variety of strawberry – some types are more acidic, while others are sweeter. The flavor also depends on how the fruit was grown and harvested.

Are strawberries a choking hazard for babies?

Yes. Strawberries are a potential choking hazard, especially when the fruit is firm, round, and small (grape size or smaller). To minimize the risk, first choose soft and ripe berries. Large strawberries (bigger than a golf ball) can be served whole as long as you supervise baby closely. Small, round, and firm strawberries should be quartered vertically, thinly sliced, or smashed. As always, make sure to create a safe eating environment, stay within arm’s reach of baby at mealtime, and check out our age-appropriate serving suggestions.

For more information on choking, visit our sections on gagging and choking and familiarize yourself with the list of common choking hazards.

Are strawberries a common allergen?

No. Strawberry is not considered to be a common allergen, although allergenic proteins in the strawberry fruit have been identified.7 Interestingly, the strawberry proteins that cause allergic reactions are less likely to be found in white strawberries. What’s more common than allergy is a harmless skin reaction around the mouth from the acidity of the fruit. Although not an allergic reaction, strawberries and other acidic fruits can also cause or worsen diaper rash when consumed in excess. If this occurs, apply a thick barrier cream or ointment to the diaper area and limit prolonged contact with a wet/dirty diaper.

Individuals with Oral Allergy Syndrome (also known as pollen food allergy syndrome), particularly those who are allergic to birch pollen, may be sensitive to strawberries. Oral Allergy Syndrome typically causes mild, temporary itching, tingling, or burning in the mouth, which usually resolves on its own.8 9 Cooking the fruit can minimize the reaction.10

Strawberry is a part of the Rosaceae family, and individuals who are sensitive to other plants in this family (such as almonds, apples, and plums) may have a similar experience with strawberries.11

As you would when introducing any new food, start by offering a small quantity at first. If there is no adverse reaction, gradually increase the amount served over future meals.

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

infographic showing how to cut strawberries for babies by age. Whole strawberries with the hull removed for 6-9 month olds, quartered strawberries cut vertically for 9 months+, and whole strawberries for 18 months+

6 to 9 months old: If your strawberries are big and ripe, offer a whole strawberry to baby. Should a piece break off as baby munches, give the child a chance to work with it independently. If your strawberries are small, mash or slice the fruit before serving. To help baby consume more mashed strawberries, stir the fruit into yogurt or warm cereal.

9 to 12 months old: If baby’s pincer grasp has developed, offer quartered strawberries, cut vertically from top to bottom. If your strawberries are really big, you can cut the fruit into eighths. Alternatively, continue to offer a large whole berry if you feel comfortable with the size and the child’s eating abilities.

12 to 24 months old: Offer small, bite-sized pieces of strawberries for the child to pick up. At this stage, you can also try offering an age-appropriate fork. When you feel the toddler is ready, move back up in size and offer large whole or quartered strawberries. The more ripe and soft the berry, the lower the risk.

hand holding a single large, whole strawberry
Large, whole strawberry for babies 6 to 9 months old
hand holding four bite size pieces of strawberry
Bite size pieces of strawberries for babies 9 months+

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

Recipe: Strawberry Oatmeal

a square bowl filled with oatmeal, cut strawberries, and one whole strawberry inside, and two strawberries outside the bowl for babies starting solids

Yield: 1 ½ cup (365 grams)
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Age: 6 months+

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (40 grams) dry instant oatmeal or rolled oats
  • 1 cup (250 milliliters) water or milk of choice
  • ½ cup (75 grams) fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1 pinch ground cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, or spice of choice (optional)
  • 1 pinch ground almond or nut of choice (optional)

This recipe contains optional ingredients that are common allergens: almond (tree nut) and milk (dairy). Only serve to a child after these allergens have been introduced safely.

Directions

  1. Combine the oatmeal and water in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a bare simmer.
  2. Cook, stirring frequently, until the oatmeal thickens, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and let cool.
  4. Wash and dry the strawberries. Mash half of the strawberries, then stir into the oatmeal. Cut the other half of the strawberries into age-appropriate sizes – see our suggestions.
  5. If you like, stir the spice into the oatmeal and sprinkle ground almond on top.
  6. Scoop some strawberry oatmeal into the child’s bowl. Exact serving size is variable. Let a child’s appetite determine how much is eaten.
  7. Serve the strawberry oatmeal with the cut-up berries on top or on the side. Let the child self-feed by scooping with hands. If you’d like to encourage the use of a utensil, simply pre-load a spoon and rest it next to the bowl for the child to pick up. Alternatively, pass the pre-loaded spoon in the air for the child to grab from you.

To Store: Strawberry oatmeal keeps in an air-tight container in the fridge for 1 week. Cut strawberry keeps in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3 days.

If you could use some more recipe ideas, check out our breakfast guide to make your mornings just a bit easier.

Flavor Pairings

Strawberries have a tart-sweet flavor (some sweeter than others!) that pairs well with grassy vegetables like artichoke, asparagus, or rhubarb; leafy greens like kale and spinach; fresh beans like fava beans, garden peas, green beans, snap peas, and snow peas; and earthy nuts and grains like almond, amaranth seed, and quinoa. Try enhancing a strawberry’s flavor with lemon, lime, orange, and other citrus; warm seasonings like cardamom, cinnamon, orange water, rose water, or vanilla; or pungent herbs like basil or mint. Strawberries taste delicious with similarly sweet-tart fruits like blueberry, kiwi, or pineapple and creamy foods like coconut, goat’s cheese, mascarpone cheese, ricotta cheese, and yogurt.

Reviewed by

J. Truppi, MSN, CNS

V. Kalami, MNSP, RD

K. Rappaport, OTR/L, MS, SCFES, IBCLC

K. Grenawitzke, OTD, OTR/L, SCFES, IBCLC, CNT

S. Bajowala, MD, FAAAAI. Board-Certified Allergist & Immunologist (allergy section)

R. Ruiz, MD Board-Certified General Pediatrician and Pediatric Gastroenterologist

  1. Friel, J., Qasem, W., & Cai, C. (2018). Iron and the Breastfed InfantAntioxidants, 7(4), 54. DOI:10.3390/antiox7040054. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  2. Jurgoński, A., Fotschki, B., Juśkiewicz, J. (2015). Dietary strawberry seed oil affects metabolite formation in the distal rt intestine and ameliorates lipid metabolism in rats fed an obesogenic dietFood & nutrition research, 59, 26104. DOI:10.3402/fnr.v59.26104. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  3. Gasperotti M, Masuero D, Mattivi F, et al. (2015). Overall dietary polyphenol intake in a bowl of strawberries: The influence of Fragaria spp. in nutritional studies. Journal of Functional Foods, 18(B), 1057-1069. DOI:10.1016/j.jff.2014.08.013. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  4. Lozowicka B, Jankowska M, Hrynko I, Kaczynski P. (2016). Removal of 16 pesticide residues from strawberries by washing with tap and ozone water, ultrasonic cleaning and boiling. Environ Monit Assess, 188(1):51. DOI:10.1007/s10661-015-4850-6. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  5. Lozowicka B, Jankowska M, Hrynko I, Kaczynski P. (2016). Removal of 16 pesticide residues from strawberries by washing with tap and ozone water, ultrasonic cleaning and boiling. Environ Monit Assess, 188(1):51. DOI:10.1007/s10661-015-4850-6. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  6. Fidler Mis, N., Braegger, C., Bronsky, J., Campoy, C., Domellöf, et al. (2017). Sugar in Infants, Children and Adolescents: A Position Paper of the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Committee on NutritionJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition, 65(6), 681–696. DOI:10.1097/MPG.0000000000001733. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  7. Cabrera-Freitag, P., Bermejo Becerro, A., Abreu Ramírez, M. G., Álvarez-Perea, A., Infante Herrero, S., et al. (2020). Allergy to Strawberry in Children From the Mediterranean Area: Is It Really Allergy? Journal of investigational allergology & clinical immunology, 30(4), 283–285. DOI:10.18176/jiaci.0491. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  8. Muluk, N.B., Cingi, C. (2018). Oral allergy syndromeAmerican journal of rhinology & allergy, 32(1), 27–30. DOI: 10.2500/ajra.2018.32.4489. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  9. Worm, M., Jappe, U., Kleine-Tebbe, J., Schäfer, C., Reese, I., et al. (2014). Food allergies resulting from immunological cross-reactivity with inhalant allergens: Guidelines from the German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology (DGAKI), the German Dermatology Society (DDG), the Association of German Allergologists (AeDA) and the Society for Pediatric Allergology and Environmental Medicine (GPA)Allergo journal international, 23(1), 1–16. DOI:10.1007/s40629-014-0004-6. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  10. Nowak-Wegrzyn, A. (2021). Patient Education: Oral Allergy Syndrome (Beyond the Basics). Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  11. Rodriguez, J., Crespo, J. F., Lopez-Rubio, A., De La Cruz-Bertolo, J., Ferrando-Vivas, P., et al. (2000). Clinical cross-reactivity among foods of the Rosaceae familyThe Journal of allergy and clinical immunology, 106(1 Pt 1), 183–189. DOI:10.1067/mai.2000.106927. Retrieved May 25, 2021.