When Can a Baby Have Blueberries?

Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on March 08, 2023
4 min read

In addition to being delicious, blueberries are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Blueberries are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that may protect against heart disease and cancer as well as boost your immune function and reduce inflammation. Later in life, blueberries may delay the effects of vascular dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Read on to learn when you can give blueberries to your baby and what safety precautions you should take. 

For the first 6 months of your baby's life, breastmilk is the ideal food. Around 6 months of age, your baby will start to need nutrition from other sources of food as well, though breastmilk or formula will continue to be the most important source of nutrition for your baby during their first year. Once your baby is developmentally ready to start solid foods, blueberries can be one of the first foods you give them. 

To make sure your baby is developmentally ready to start solids, they should:

  • Be able to hold their head up
  • Show interest in your food
  • Have doubled their birthweight or weigh at least 13 pounds
  • Be able to move food from a spoon to the back of their throat

There is no particular order that you need to follow regarding introducing new foods to your baby. For example, there is no research to suggest that babies who are introduced to fruits before vegetables will dislike vegetables. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing one mashed or pureed single-ingredient food at a time. You should wait 3 to 5 days before introducing another food to see if your baby has a reaction to the first food.  

Blueberries should be one of many early foods you introduce to your baby. To foster healthy eating habits, you should: 

  • Offer your baby a wide variety of foods. 
  • Let your baby take the lead in deciding how much to eat. Babies will often turn their heads away from food once they've had enough. 
  • Let your baby touch and explore their food. 
  • Make starting solids a fun, positive experience. 

Blueberries are one of the most nutrient-dense berries. They are a great source of:

  • Vitamin K
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin C
  • Fiber
  • Copper

They are also full of phytonutrients, which are nutrients found in plants. In particular, blueberries are one of the best sources of anthocyanin, a phytonutrient responsible for the dark blue color of blueberries. Early research suggests that anthocyanin can be associated with: 

  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Preventing cancer
  • Preventing heart disease
  • Controlling obesity
  • Controlling diabetes 

Blueberries can be pureed for younger babies. If your baby is a little older and has some experience with solids, you can mash blueberries for them instead. Make sure the berries are broken up, since the whole berry is a choking hazard. Additionally, don't add sugar, salt, or other seasonings to your baby's food. If you season your baby's food and they have a reaction to it, you won't know whether they're allergic to the seasoning or the food.    

Blueberries pair well with a wide range of other foods. Once you have established that your baby isn't allergic to each individual food, feel free to mix blueberries with other foods to add variety to their diet. Some ideas for foods to mix with blueberries include: 

  • Yogurt
  • Mangoes
  • Peaches
  • Oatmeal
  • Applesauce 
  • Chicken
  • Bananas 

As soon as your baby starts eating solids such as blueberries, make family meals part of your daily routine. Children who eat meals with their family are: 

  • Less likely to be obese
  • More likely to eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Less likely to be depressed
  • Less likely to display violent behavior
  • More likely to have higher grades in school
  • Less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol

There are some precautions you should take to make sure the blueberries your baby eats are safe. There are three common issues with food safety: 

Foodborne illness. Raw fruits and vegetables can contain germs that can make you sick such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria. To reduce your chances of getting sick, follow these guidelines: 

  • Buy produce that isn't damaged.
  • Separate fruits and vegetables from meat products. 
  • Keep pre-cut fruits and vegetables cold. 
  • Wash your hands and all surfaces and utensils that your blueberries will touch.
  • Wash your blueberries under running water. Do not use soap, bleach, or disinfectants. 
  • Discard any damaged blueberries. 
  • Refrigerate blueberries within 2 hours of preparing them. 

Choking hazards. Whole blueberries are a choking hazard. Puree blueberries when you first introduce them to your baby. Once your baby graduates to finger foods, either mash the blueberries or cut them into smaller pieces.   

Allergies. Fortunately, blueberry allergies are very rare, so it's unlikely that your baby will be allergic to them. However, when you give your baby their first blueberries, you should wait for 3 to 5 days before giving them another new food just to make sure they don't have a reaction.