If there is one food item that I will miss more than others as Summer slips into Fall, it is the availability of in-season fresh fruits. The blueberries are beginning to look rather tired and the luscious peaches will be disappearing from the grocery store soon. Watermelon is one of those ubiquitous fruits that never seems to be affected by the seasons and is always tasty and refreshing no matter what season we are in. Of course, no one really wants refreshing and tasty watermelon when they are smack in the throes of a harsh New England winter! Whenever possible, during what is left of summer in New England, we will be eating fruits aplenty and making fruit salads too. It is just something that has to be done; needs to be done. If your baby is eating solid foods, let her partake of the bounty that is a summer fruit salad. Peaches, blueberries and watermelon make a simple combination that bursts with flavor as well as "super food" qualities. Blueberries (particularly wild blueberries) are considered a "super fruit". Cultivated and wild blueberries have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are being shown to help protect against diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Did you know that with a high level of manganese, blueberries also help to strengthen and build our bones? Blueberries are truly amazing little super fruits and you should try to incorporate them into your baby's diet as often as possible. A simple way to offer up blueberries is to make a fruit salad for the whole family that includes blueberries and mash, chop or puree a portion for your tiniest little diner. With blueberries, most of the amazing nutrients are in the skin. It is important to keep in mind that in such small pieces, there should be no need to worry about your baby choking. Mind the diaper however, blueberries have been known to cause baby's bowel movements to take on a gray-ish tinge. The peaches in this fruity dish are considered a great beginner baby food for babies who are 4 months of age but keep in mind that beginning solids at 6 months is optimal. The other fruits are better served around 8 months of age so do consider serving blueberries (and melons) to your baby when he is around 7 or 8 months of age. Now please, go forth and get your fruit salad on, while summer is still with us.
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