When Can Infants Eat Citrus Fruits?

As infants grow, their diets expand beyond breast milk or formula. Parents gradually introduce solid foods to their babies, being careful to watch for allergic reactions or other signs of trouble. Because citrus fruits have been known to upset some infants’ stomachs, physicians recommend waiting to introduce them until the infants are older.

Age Recommendation

Physicians recommend waiting until an infant is 12 months old to offer tangerines, oranges, grapefruits and other citrus fruits. The recommendation also applies to juices made from citrus fruits.

Digestive System Maturity

Very acidic foods like citrus fruits can cause stomach upset or diarrhea in babies before their first birthday, because their digestive systems are not yet developed enough to handle the acid.

Juice Dilution

Even after age 1, physicians and nutritionists recommend diluting fruit juices so that they’re one part water to three parts juice. Children who drink too much juice are sometimes obese or malnourished.

Choking Prevention

Parents who offer citrus fruits to their infants older than 12 months need to remove any seeds, membrane and rind first and offer small pieces, so that the child doesn’t choke.

Other Foods at 12 Months

Physicians also recommend that parents wait until their babies reach age 1 to introduce eggs, cow’s milk or honey.

As infants grow