Canary Melon and Strawberry Puree for Baby

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In the summertime, I love to pair melons with other fruits in simple fruit salads, smoothies and ice pops. The summer season in my house means there will be an abundance of melons. Melon can be a wonderful food/fruit to serve to babies. Many parents overlook the humble melon as a food for baby and I hope this post will help change that!

Melons are a bit tricky to prepare and serve as a baby food. If your baby is still eating purees, pureeing a melon may result in melon juice. If you are going to puree melon, please be sure to keep a close watch on the texture you are creating. One too many pulses of the food processor and you will have melon juice.

For this deliciously pink puree, I chose the very tasty and luscious canary melon and blended in fresh ripe strawberries. If you have never purchased a canary melon, your family is in for a treat. A canary melon has bright yellow rind and a vanilla cream colored flesh that has a little hue of pink towards the middle. The flesh is a bit "wet" and squishy like a pear I find the canary melon to be a bit sweeter than a honeydew or cantaloupe melon and it also has a tangy taste. This is what it looks like:

canary melon

For babies, melons may be served around 8 months of age, and of course, only with your pediatrician's consult. Some babies do experience rashes from melons; these rashes may appear on the bottom and around the mouth and are rarely due to an actual allergy. One of my twins could not eat melon without getting a rash until he was almost 2 years old!

As for strawberries, they are a known allergen so please be sure to ask your pediatrician about the appropriate age to introduce them to your baby. Many of the old rules regarding waiting until baby is 12 months or older to introduce foods that are known allergens are being relaxed. Studies conducted from 2008 and onward have shown that holding off on allergenic foods really does not help to stop or hinder an eventual food allergy. I am sure that opinions will vary depending on your child so listen to your pediatrician.

Baby's Fresh Taste of Summer Puree

Ingredients:

• 1 cup cubed canary melon (rind and seeds removed)
• fresh strawberries (tops removed and cut in half)

Method:

Puree both fruit in a blender or food processor until strawberries are reduced enough so that no choking hazards are present. Over pureeing will give you a very watery puree so resist the urge to keep at it. This recipe freezes well but may thaw to a watery and gritty texture due to the melon. Melons are best frozen in cubes and then pureed when needed if you want to serve them alone.

Serve plain or mixed into baby's cereal or yogurt. Blends and mixes well with sweet potato, applesauce, pear sauce or even peaches and bananas. Enjoy!