When can my baby eat dried fruit?

Q: When can I start giving my baby raisins and dried fruit?

A: Raisins and dried fruits are sticky and hard to chew, so they can be a choking hazard for babies and young children. But if raisins and dried fruits are cut up into small pieces, most doctors say they're okay once your baby becomes proficient at chewing other softer, solid foods, after about 9 to 12 months.

Once your child is ready to snack on dried fruits, keep in mind that they may not great for his pearly whites, since the gummy texture clings to teeth. However, recent research has found that certain chemicals found in raisins may actually help prevent cavities. But until we know more, be sure to help your child brush his teeth or at least rinse his mouth with water after eating these and any other sticky foods. You may be better off giving your child fresh fruit.

Copyright 2009 Meredith Corporation.

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