Delicate in flavour, gentle on the digestive system, pears make an ideal first food for baby at about 6 months of age. It is best to cook pears – by gently steaming – before the age of 8 months, to aid an immature digestive system with the breakdown of sugars and fibres. Later, pears may be served uncooked.
Pears are good for baby (and you):
Fibre-rich pears can help relieve constipation naturally, and ease reflux symptoms – even the skins are easy to digest! They’re valuable for lessening the risks of some cancers and helping to maintain good cholesterol levels for heart health.
Pears are higher in nutrients than in calories, with good amounts of vitamin C and minerals – especially potassium, which is important for healthy growth and heart function, and muscle and nerve development.
Hints on buying and storing:
- Buying organic is not necessary – pears are not among the ‘dirty dozen’, so pesticide contamination risk is very low.
- Pears are harvested un-ripe, and ripen from the inside – they should be fairly firm when bought.
- If the fruit is soft when pressed gently, it is probably past its best.
- At home, leave in the fruit bowl, or place in a brown paper bag to fully ripen.
- The Bartlett variety will change colour as it ripens.
Tips on cooking:
- Cooking is not necessary – except for a baby under 8 months old.
- Steam gently, then cool, de-seed and mash or puree.
- Wash, peel and de-seed raw pears, to slice or mash.
- Skins are easy to digest so leave on when pureeing, if preferred.
Ideas for ways of including pears in your baby’s meals:
- Add mashed raw or cooked pear to apple, banana, mango, peach, blueberries, or avocado.
- Combine with cooked sweet potato.
- Add to cooked chicken dishes.
- Stir pear puree or dice into yogurt.
Please remember: Always consult your baby’s paediatrician or doctor about introducing new foods.
This information presented to you acts as a guide which contains researched information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.
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