Tomatoes are delicious and full of wonderful nutrients. As new parents, we may get quite excited when it’s time to introduce new food (like Tomatoes) to our babies. However, it can also be stressful not knowing whether our babies can have Tomatoes and when is the right time to start introducing Tomatoes to our babies. If you’re wondering, “Can I give Tomato to my baby?” here’s the short answer first.
Can babies eat Tomatoes? Yes, babies can start eating Tomatoes when they are around 6 months of age. This is usually when your baby starts eating solid food and this is the perfect time to give them their first bite of Tomato. For parents that want to feed their babies Tomatoes as finger food and are using the baby-led weaning approach, it’s best that you wait until your babies are at least 6 months of age.
Tomatoes deserve a spot on your child’s plate, but only when it’s the right time. In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about babies and Tomatoes, including how to properly prepare Tomatoes for our babies, the proper way to serve them, and why Tomatoes are good for babies. It’s time to put that feeding bibs on our babies and let’s get started!
When can babies eat Tomatoes?
Babies can start eating Tomatoes when they are around 6 months old. The 6-month mark is generally when you can start introducing Tomatoes to your little munchers.
So if you’re wondering, “Can 6 month old eat Tomatoes?” the answer is yes, you can definitely start introducing Tomatoes to your babies when they are 6 months old, which is when they are ready to start solid food.
Even if you would like to serve Tomatoes as finger food to your babies using the baby-led weaning approach, it’s best to wait until your babies reach 6 months of age. Keep in mind that babies younger than 6 months old are not capable of self-feeding so they require your help.
Can babies have Tomatoes?
Yes, babies can have Tomatoes since they are packed full of vitamins, antioxidants, and water. When our babies consume Tomatoes, they will receive nutrients like provitamin A, vitamin C, antioxidants, and more!
Let’s quickly go over how these nutrients help benefit your babies.
Provitamin A in Tomatoes promotes a strong immune system and eyesight in babies
Provitamin A is a micronutrient that promotes strong and proper immune system function in babies. This is extremely helpful in keeping our mini munchers healthy. Provitamin A also assists in vision development so that your babies have good eyesight. This nutrient also helps with cellular growth in babies.
When our babies receive provitamin A carotenoids, their bodies convert them to vitamin A.
In fact, a fresh, medium-sized organic Tomato contains 51 micrograms (mcg) of provitamin A. If you have a 7 to 12-month-old baby, this is about 10 percent of his or her daily needs.
Vitamin C in Tomatoes helps with iron absorption in babies
There’s no doubt that Tomatoes are high in vitamin C. One medium-sized organic Tomato contains 16.9 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C and this satisfies about 34 percent of your baby’s (7 to 12 months) daily vitamin C requirement.
Vitamin C can help your babies absorb iron and help heal any cuts or wounds. Best of all, this nutrient also helps strengthen your baby’s immune system.
Antioxidants in Tomatoes fight against harmful free radicals in babies
The bright red Tomatoes we see are packed full of lycopene and carotenoids. Both of these are powerful antioxidants and they provide anti-inflammatory benefits to our babies’ bodies.
Our babies need food like Tomatoes because the antioxidants provided helps to fight against harmful free radicals, thereby minimizing oxidative stress in their bodies.
Tomatoes help to keep your babies hydrated
We all know that Tomatoes are very juicy. One bite of the Tomatoes and you can expect red Tomato juice to run down your hand and arm. That’s because Tomatoes contain 94 percent water which helps to keep your toddlers hydrated.
If your babies have jaundice or constipation, feeding them a few Tomatoes may help. But make sure your babies are at least 6 months old.
What age can babies eat Tomatoes?
Now that we know babies can start eating Tomatoes when they are around 6-months of age, let’s find out how to properly prepare Tomatoes for our little ones depending on how old they are starting from the 6-month mark.
How to prepare Tomatoes for babies with baby-led weaning?
All babies are different so they grow and develop at different rates, which is perfectly normal. If you’re ever concerned, we highly recommend that you speak with a pediatrician or a medical doctor for your infant.
Below, we’ve provided some suggestions on how to properly prepare Tomatoes for your little ones. Please note that this is for informational purposes only. The information below is not a substitute for professional advice from your babies’ pediatrician or nutritionist.
How to cut Tomato for baby led weaning
6 to 9 months old
With 1 medium-size organic Roma or Beefsteak Tomato, you’ll want to wedge-cut it into quarters. The Tomato will be in wedges and you can give one quarter wedge Tomato to your babies to suck and chomp on.
If you notice your baby is having a hard time with the Tomato skin, simply peel it off.
Note that it can get quite messy since the Tomato is both juicy and slippery. But this is completely normal and expected. If your infant is having a hard time gripping this fruit, go ahead and roll the Tomato in baby cereal so that it is easy for your babies to hold it.
Keep in mind that Tomato juice is quite acidic so when it comes into contact with your baby’s delicate skin, it can potentially cause a skin rash. If you see the juice on their skin, wipe it off as soon as you can.
Can Tomatoes cause diaper rash? Yes, Tomatoes can cause diaper rash. Avoid feeding your little one too many Tomatoes because your babies can easily get diaper rash from Tomatoes.
Alternatively, you can also give the whole medium-sized Tomato to your baby. As parents, it’s a good idea to keep our eyes on our babies when they’re eating to make sure they’re not choking from eating this fruit since it can be a choking hazard (scroll down to learn more about this).
If your babies don’t like the taste of raw Tomatoes or are sensitive to the acidic juice, you can cook the Tomato.
9 to 18 months old
Once your baby reaches 9 to 18 months old, you can start giving him or her quartered cherry Tomatoes. With the cherry Tomatoes, you’ll want to cut them into 4 equal size pieces so that they are bite-size and easy for your babies to eat.
Not only are quartered cherry Tomatoes easy to eat, but also they are a great finger food for babies.
When babies turn 12 months old, some parents may pre-load a fork with quartered cherry Tomatoes and feed them to their babies so that their mini munchers start learning how to eat from a fork and be comfortable with it.
If you feel comfortable, you can also start introducing forks to your young toddlers at 12 months old. It’s best to give them baby forks and have them practice picking up small quartered-size Tomato pieces with a fork.
If your little one is having a hard time chewing the Tomato skin, you can teach him or her to spit the skin out by sticking your tongue out. This will prompt your babies to do the same.
18 to 24 months old
Congratulations! Your little ones are now toddlers. You can continue to feed them quartered cherry Tomatoes! This is also the perfect age when you can introduce them to other solid foods like crunchy or raw vegetables.
If you prefer, you can also offer your toddler wedges of a large Tomato.
24 months old and up
Your toddlers can continue eating quartered cherry Tomatoes. At this age, you can also start introducing your toddlers to halved cherry Tomatoes. This size is a great next step before progressing to whole cherry Tomatoes.
Once your toddler has mastered halved cherry Tomatoes, we recommend serving them grape Tomatoes. These are the oval-shaped, long Tomatoes. With grape Tomatoes, your little munchers will learn and get into the habit of using their front teeth to bite only a small amount that can fit into their mouth rather than stuffing the whole thing in their mouth.
What parents can do in this case is to show this behavior to their toddlers. You can take a grape Tomato and take a small bite with your incisors or front teeth. You’ll want to demonstrate this slowly and hand them the other half of the grape Tomato so they see what you’re doing.
You’ll then hand them a second whole grape Tomato. Toddlers are naturally smart and they will take it and mimic what you just did. However, if your little one happens to stuff the whole Tomato into his mouth, be patient and calm. It’s not a good idea to yell.
Instead, in a normal tone, let your toddler know that they had a huge bite. You can say something like, “Sweetie, that’s a very big bite. Chew it like this” as you move your mouth to show the chewing.
Give it a few more tries and if your toddler is still struggling, don’t worry. Simply go back to giving them smaller halved or quartered size cherry Tomatoes.
However, at this age, most parents may be wondering when their children can start eating whole cherry Tomatoes.
Here’s how you’ll know:
- Your child knows how to take small bites with their teeth and not stuff food into his mouth.
- Your child is chewing thoroughly, is moving the Tomato to the side of his mouth when chewing, and then swallowing.
- Knowing when to spit out the food (Tomato skin, in this case) when they are hard to chew or difficult to swallow.
As you can see, once your child develops mature eating skills, they’ll be ready to start eating whole cherry Tomatoes. As always, you’ll want to sit with your toddler and coach them along when they’re eating whole cherry Tomatoes. Make sure your little one is sitting in a comfortable and supported seat.
Raw tomatoes can be a choking hazard in infants, so you need to feed them bigger cuts of tomatoes. Your little one can have grape or cherry tomatoes once she can pick up the small pieces, but children under the age of four should not be served whole fruits.