Fruits and vegetables are a key part of a balanced diet all year, but opting for produce that’s grown in-season can provide even more nutrients and vitamins. Seasonal produce is harvested at the peak of freshness, so it retains more nutrients and of course, more flavor! Adults often make the decision to eat seasonally for themselves, but including fresh fruits and veggies in your baby’s diet is just as important.
In the summer, the abundance of in-season fruits includes strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, melons, apricots, nectarines, mangos, tomatoes, and peaches. In terms of summer vegetables, think carrots, corn, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and peppers. As a parent, it can be tricky to figure out how to incorporate these foods into your baby’s diet, but introducing healthy foods to your baby early can lead to healthier habits as your child grows.
Here are five easy ways to incorporate summer produce into your baby’s diet.
- Berry and yogurt smoothies. Berries are one of my Eleven Foundational Foods, and they are best eaten in the summer. In-season berries are rich with Vitamin C and other antioxidants, which are important for a developing baby’s vision and brain development. Mix fresh berries with Stonyfield® YoBaby®—the #1 Pediatrician Recommended organic yogurt for babies 6 months to 2 years – and serve as a smoothie or a mash, for a full of nutrition meal or snack containing probiotics, calcium, and protein.
- Sweet Summer Corn and Cauliflower Purée. Sweet corn is at its peak in the summer, but I find it to be a little too sweet on its own. Mixed with cauliflower, this combo tastes great and is packed with Vitamin B and fiber. Boil corn and remove it from the cob, and blend together with steamed cauliflower florets. You can even freeze in cubes for great seasonal produce down the road.
- Stonyfield YoBaby Peach & Pear. Taste the flavors of summer with Stonyfield YoBaby Peach & Pear. Yogurt is a great food for babies starting at 6 months of age as it provides protein, calcium, vitamin D and of course, probiotics. In fact, Stonyfield YoBaby has added BB-12® to help support digestive health, and it’s the organic yogurt brand I recommend to my patients. Blend in fresh peaches for a healthy summer smoothie or serve the yogurt alone!
- Puréed Mangos. Ripe summer mangos are a great source of Vitamin C, and the natural sweetness makes for delicious purées. Simply place sliced mango in a blender or food processor and add water until you reach a desired consistency. This easy puree can even be mixed with other fruits to create a variety of flavor combinations. My go-to combination is mango-blueberry, as blueberries are packed with antioxidants and other nutrients and the combo tastes delicious!
- Summer Squash Purée. They are rich in fiber, potassium, and antioxidants and pair perfectly with other produce. If you’re grilling for the rest of your family, toss the summer squash on the grill, scoop out the inside, add a little water and puree to the right consistency for your little one. Summer Squash purée is nutritious, tastes great and can be mixed with many other delicious and nutritious vegetables and other foods as well. Sweet Potato and carrot are other favorites to roast and puree for many infants and older kids too! You can also try Stonyfield YoBaby Purple Carrot & Sweet Potato yogurt to help introduce new veggie flavors to your baby.
I hope this gives you some fresh and fun ideas to incorporate into your family’s diet, as early as 6 months of age. And if you’re finding it challenging to find specific fresh fruit and veggies in your area, substitute with what is available where you live, or try frozen fruit and veggies (also great when what you desire is out of season). Frozen fruit and veggies are picked when most ripe and chock full of nutrients, perfect for when you want a cold snack or smoothie mix-in.
BB-12® is a registered trademark of Chr. Hansen.
 YoBaby® is the #1 pediatrician recommended yogurt for babies 6 months – 2 years among refrigerated yogurts (IQVIA ProVoice Survey, September 1, 2018 to August 31, 2019)