Babies and toddlers may not drink large glasses of water like adults. They tend to be hydrated mainly through drinking milk and eating hydrating foods. We wanted to share more information about hydrating foods for babies and toddlers.
Babies meet most of their hydration needs through milk in their first year of life. Then, around six months, when you start introducing solid foods, you can offer 1 oz of water with solids, but they don’t need to drink water. So you are offering water to teach them to drink water, which may take them a few months.
Toddlers can drink as much water as they like. It is recommended to offer water freely throughout the day and with meals. There is no need to measure how much water your toddler is consuming unless you are instructed to by your medical provider. Toddlers meet their fluid needs through drinking water, milk, and eating foods that contain water.
Here are some hydrating meal ideas you can offer your baby or toddler:
- Fruit and veggie purees like apple sauce, pear sauce, or mango puree
- Yogurt with mashed fruits
- Vegetable or broth-based soups
- Smoothie bowl with fresh fruits to dip
- Veggies to dip in hummus
Here are some popular foods for babies and toddlers that contain a high amount of water:
Bell Peppers: for younger babies (6-9 months), steam and remove the skin. You can start offering thin strips of raw bell peppers for babies and toddlers > 9 months.
Blueberries: always quarter blueberries for babies under the age of 12 months. Once they are able to chew and pace themselves, you can stop cutting blueberries for your toddler.
Broccoli: offer cooked whole or mashed broccoli to babies 6-12 months old. Make sure it is soft enough to be easily squished between your fingers. Toddlers can have small pieces of raw broccoli once they are able to chew and pace well.
Cantaloupe and honeydew: cut thin strips of translucent cantaloupe for babies 6-12 months old. If your toddler can chew and pace themselves well, then you can start to offer small chunks of cantaloupe.
Carrots: carrots are a common choking hazard for babies and toddlers. Only offer raw grated carrots or well-cooked cut carrots to babies and toddlers. Avoid serving carrots that have not been cut down the middle and well cooked.
Cucumber: babies and toddlers can safely eat raw cucumbers as long as they have been cut in half, into spears or moon shapes, or shredded.
Grapes: grapes should always be cut for babies and toddlers until the age of 4.
Pears: offer pears that have been pureed, shredded, or cooked in strips to babies 6-12 months. You can start offering soft ripe pears cut into small pieces to toddlers when they are able to chew and pace effectively.
Pineapple: you can offer spears of soft pineapple or pureed pineapple to babies 6-9 months. At months you can cut the pineapple into small pieces. Make sure to cut out the core for babies and toddlers, as it can be too tough for them to chew.
Strawberries: babies and toddlers can safely eat whole raw strawberries; you can cut or puree as well if you wish.
Tomatoes: you can cut whole tomatoes in wedges or offer pureed tomatoes to babies 6-9 months old. You have to cut cherry tomatoes into quarters for babies and toddlers since they can be a choking hazard.
Yogurt: babies and toddlers can enjoy yogurt from 6 months on.
Watermelon: cut watermelon into thin strips for babies 6-9 months old. For babies older than nine months, you can cut it into small pieces.
Zucchini: zucchini can be safely offered raw or cooked to babies and toddlers. Zucchini can be shredded or pureed and added to baked goods or oatmeal or baked or fried.
If you found this helpful, check out Pegah's tips for introducing dairy to your baby!