Peeling Fruits and Vegetables When Making Homemade Baby Food – Should You Peel?
We all know that the peels of many fruits and vegetables contain valuable nutrients. It is often a good idea to leave the peels and skins on fruits and vegetables to take full advantage of those nutrients that are found in the peels and skins.
When making fruit or vegetable baby foods, it may be a good idea to remove the peels and skins; the reasons for this are found below.
Why do you suggest peeling fruits and vegetables when making homemade baby food recipes?
Peeling fruits and vegetables for use in homemade baby food is a typical recommendation because leaving the peel on fruits & vegetables may give your baby tummy upsets.
The peels and skins may cause issues if your baby is prone to digestive upsets or has a delicate tummy.
Is there a big nutrient loss if I am peeling fruits & vegetables for homemade baby food?
While nutrients may be lost when you peel fruits and/or vegetables, peeling fruits and vegetables for use in homemade baby food will not take away a significant amount of nutrients.
Benefits of peeling fruits and vegetables for use in homemade baby food
Peeling fruits and vegetables will help decrease pesticide residue when making homemade baby food. If you are not purchasing organic fruits and veggies, please either peel or thoroughly cleanse the foods with a fruit & veggie wash. Always cleanse any produce you purchase, even if it is organic.
Peeling the skins from fruits and vegetables helps to ensure that there are no choking hazards due to large pieces of peel being in the homemade baby food puree.
Peeling fruits and vegetables also helps to stave off digestive upsets.
There are of course some veggies and fruits, like acorn squash and avocado, that must be peeled because the peel is really inedible.
Is it bad to not peel fruits and vegetables for homemade baby food, my baby eats homemade baby food with the peels on – should I start to peel?
First, all babies are different and some babies will be able to tolerate the peels or skins in homemade baby food without any difficulty. You should rely on your baby to let you know if he/she will tolerate skin or peel on fruits and vegetables. Use your own judgment about leaving on the peels and skins. If your baby has been prone to tummy upsets, then you should consider peeling fruits and veggies until his tummy is more mature and settled. It is also important that you discuss this with your pediatrician as there may be issues whereby your pediatrician would prefer you to remove skin/peel.
There are many babies who are happily eating fruit and veggie puree with the skin and peel right from the very beginning of solid food feeding. Others cannot tolerate the peel and must have their fruits and veggies peeled until 12 months or later.
Pediatrician recommendations for peeling fruits and vegetables for baby food
Most pediatricians will recommend peeling until an infant is around 7-8 months old and there are also an equal number who will say just puree the fruit or vegetable as it is. Again, should you decide to use the peel(s), simply ensure that you thoroughly cleanse the food with a fruit/vegetable wash.
Please do be sure that the food you are preparing contains no large pieces that may pose a choking hazard. Further, watch for any indications that the peel is not sitting well in the tummy.