Serving baby apples is an affordable and delicious produce option that’s packed with Vitamin C and fiber. There are a few key steps to take to ensure that apples for babies are served safely. (Raw apple is a common choking hazard for babies.)

apple recipes for babies in grid

Baby Apples

With the wide range of apples available throughout the year and the fruit’s versatility, they’re a great option to share with the kids from the time they start solids. From apple puree and applesauce to baked apple slices and stewed apples, there are so many really easy ways to prepare this fruit for baby.

Apples are also not a common allergen, so they can make a wonderful early food when prepared safely.

Apples for Babies

The two most common ways to offer apples to babies is in a smooth apple puree or as a baby led weaning food in the form of a baked or sauteed apple slice. Both are delicious options with soft textures that are appropriate for babies aged 6-12 months.

From there, you can move to smaller pieces of soft-cooked apples to offer as a finger food for babies around 9 months, or when they’re able to pick up small pieces of food with their fingers.

Apples are a great source of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. They also have a mellow yet sweet flavor that’s usually quite appealing to kids of all ages.

TIP: Brush up on the basics of Grapes for Babies too.

apple-puree-in-teal-bowl-with-spoon

When can babies eat apples?

Babies can eat soft cooked apples soon after starting solids, which the American Academy of Pediatrics says happens around the 6-month mark. Apples at this age need to be offered in very soft forms.

It is not safe to offer a baby a whole raw apple or slices of raw apple.

raw apples for baby on purple plate

How to Reduce Choking Risk of Apples

The easiest way to ensure that apples for babies are safe to eat is to cook them until soft. This can be as a puree or applesauce or as a baked or sauteed apple.

Then, once baby is eating finger foods, you can offer:

  • Grated apples
  • Matchstick apples (usually 12 to 14+ months)
  • Very thinly sliced apples (usually 14 to 16+ months)

TIP: Read more on reducing common choking risks here.

grating and thinly slicing apples for babies on cutting board

How to Give Babies Raw Apple Step-by-Step

If you’re looking to try raw apples, here are ways to offer it for older babies and toddlers as safely as possible. Do not offer a whole raw apple or a thick slice of raw apple to a baby or a 1-year-old.

Grated apple (10 to 12+ months)

Cut off a side of an apple and grate it on a box grater. I leave the peel on. If this texture is too challenging for your 9-10 month baby, you can put grated apple into very hot water for 5 minutes to soften, then drain. This can be offered as an early finger food, with a small amount at a time. You do not need to peel these as the pieces of peel on any piece are very thin and small.

Matchstick apples (12 to 14+ months)

Cut off one side of an apple and place cut side down on a cutting board. Cut thin slices about 1/8-inch thick. Then cut lengthwise to make thin matchstick-size pieces.

Thin apple slices (14 to 16+ months)

Cut off one side of an apple and place cut side down on a cutting board. Cut thin slices about 1/8-inch thick.

TIP: From there, you can gradually offer thicker slices, but if your child regularly spits out the apple or has a hard time chewing it, back down to thinner slices.

peeled apple on cutting board

When can you give a child a whole apple?

Once a child is over age 2, they may be able to chew a whole apple—especially if you remove some of the peel to start. Using their teeth to scrape off the raw apple creates smaller pieces that are easier to chew than biting a thick apple slice.

You can also try it with the skin on (the skin does have extra nutrients) but keep an eye on how challenging the mixed textures are for your child.

Be sure the child is sitting down—which is a good goal for any meal or snack—and respond to them as they’re eating as needed (without interfering). Some kids may have an easier time with this than others and that’s totally fine!

TIP: Thick slices of apple may not be easy to chew until a child is well over 3 or even close to age 4.

baked apple slices on plate

How to Soften Apples for Baby-Led Weaning

If serving apples baby-led weaning style, you’ll want to cut the pieces to at least the size of a finger or two. You can always go larger. Then you’ll need to pick a method to cook them until soft.

I prefer to Bake Apple Slices, but you can also stew apples or saute them until soft when poked with a fork.

This texture allows baby to pick up the piece of apple from about 6 months and self-feed, but it’s soft enough for them to easy handle in their mouths.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which apple is best for baby?

You can use any variety of apple, as long as it’s prepared so it’s very soft and easy for baby to eat. Softer apples, such as Gala or Golden Delicious, are nice options to start with when it’s safe to offer raw apples grated or in thin matchstick slices.

Can I give my baby mashed apple?

Yes, if the apple is cooked until soft and then mashed smooth or chunky, according to where you are with baby food textures.

Are apples a common allergen?

No, apples are not a common allergen and are not one of the top 8. Apples can cause a minor reaction that causes itching to the lips and tongue, but it is rare.

How long does it take to boil apples for baby?

To boil apples for baby so they’re soft and easy to eat as a finger food, it usually takes about 10 minutes. To make them soft enough to mash into an applesauce, you may need a little more time than that.

stewed-apples-in-containers

Baby Apple Recipes to Try

Below are a few of our favorite easy apple recipes to share with baby. These work for babies—see each recipe for suggestions—and can be enjoyed by the rest of the family, too. I always love to make food that can please more than one person in the family to help avoid waste, so know I’ve tried to do that here, too.

apple-puree-on-red-baby-spoon

Baby Apple Puree

This is a simple apple recipe that’s a perfect early baby food.

Best Apple Puree (with Flavor Combinations + Storage Tips))
There’s no one right serving size for every child, so start with a smaller amount and offer more as indicated by baby. When they turn their head or close their mouth, end the meal—it’s usually pretty obvious when they want to be done!
Get the recipe
apple-puree-on-baby-spoon
instant-pot-applesauce

Baby Applesauce Recipe

I love this pressure cooker applesauce since it’s super quick to make and turns raw apples into a perfect soft mash.

Instant Pot Applesauce
You can peel or not peel the apples, depending on your preference.
Get the recipe
instant-pot-applesauce
ABC-muffins-with-produce

Baby Apple Muffins

Deliberately super moist and with three types of produce, these muffins are a great way to offer cooked apples.

ABC Baby Muffins (Apple, Banana and Carrot!)
These are deliberately very moist (and moister than regular muffins) to ensure they are easy for baby to chew and swallow, so expect that from the interior. If you’d like to make them sweeter for older kiddos, add ¼ cup sugar to the batter.
Get the recipe
mini-baby-muffins-with-ingredients
apple-sheet-pan-pancake-on-counter

Baby Apple Pancake

Grate fresh apples to add flavor and nutrition to this apple recipe that the whole family can enjoy. You can make them on a sheet pan or in a skillet and dice up for babies eating finger food.

Fresh Apple Pancakes
These apple pancakes are hearty and filled with freshly shredded apples and oats, so expect them to have a lot of texture!
Get the recipe
stack-of-apple-pancakes
stewed-apples-in-container

Baby Stewed Apple

Simmer fresh apples in liquid until just soft enough for a delicious and safe finger food.

Easy Stewed Apples, 3 Ways
Transform fresh apples into the most delicious snack or side dish to share with the whole family—babies and toddlers on up. With three flavor options.
Get the recipe
stewed-apples-in-containers
baked apple slices on plate

Baby Baked Apple

Sliced and baked apple slices are super quick and are delicious. (Older kids and parents may enjoy these, too!)

So Easy Sliced Baked Apples
We like these apples warm or cold out of the fridge, so see what your kids like best!
Get the recipe
baked apple slices on plate
sauteed-apples-in-stainless-container

Sauteed Apples for Baby

Once baby is eating finger foods, you can try small pieces of cooked apples like this recipe.

Simple Sauteed Apples with Cinnamon
You can use any type of apple you have or like, though generally tart cooking apples (like Granny Smith or Pink Lady) soften nicely without falling apart too quickly.
Get the recipe
sauteed-apples-in-stainless-container

Best Tips for Success

  • Offer Apple Puree or soft-baked or steamed apple slices to start. The slices are an option for baby-led weaning.
  • Try small pieces of soft-cooked apple as a finger food after about 9 months. You can stew, steam, saute, or bake the apples. They should be very soft.
  • To try raw apple with a baby over about 9-10 months, grate it on a box grater. If that texture is too challenging, place the grated apple into very hot water for 5 minutes to soften. Drain, then offer to baby.
  • Over about 12-14 months, you can cut raw apple into matchstick-size pieces.
  • Do not offer thick slices of raw apple to a child under about age 3 as they are a common choking hazard.

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apples-for-babies-featured

Apples for Baby (BLW, Puree, Finger Food Options)

Learn how to prepare apples for baby led weaning, purees, and as an easy finger food for older babies and toddlers. With tips to minimize choking risks.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Baby Food
Calories 95kcal
Servings 1 -2

Ingredients

  • 1 medium apple (any variety)
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter or coconut oil (optional)
  • Sprinkle cinnamon (optional)

Instructions

Baked Apple Slices (BLW)

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place 1 teaspoon butter or coconut oil into a pie plate or baking dish. Warm in the oven for a few minutes to melt. Remove from oven. Slice the apples into 1/2-inch slices and discard the cores. Place into the baking dish with the oil. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon and toss to combine. Bake for 28-34 minutes, or until tender when poked with a fork.

Apple Puree

  • Peel and remove the skin from the apple. Roughly dice the apple, discarding the core. Place into a steamer basket fitted into a medium pot filled with two inches of water. Cover and bring pot to a simmer over medium heat and steam the apple for 10-12 minutes or until very soft. Transfer to a blender. Blend until very smooth, adding 1 tablespoon water at a time until you reach the desired consistency. 

Stewed Apples (Finger food, 9+ months)

  • Peel the apple if desired. (We prefer to peel them for this recipe, but it's also find to leave them on.)Dice into 1-½ Inch pieces. Discard the cores. Place into a pot set over high heat. Add ¼ cup apple juice or water and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium so the liquid is just at a simmer. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the apple Is just soft when poked with a fork. Let cool slightly and serve.

Raw Apple (Finger food, 10+ months)

  • Cut off a side of an apple and grate it on a box grater. If this texture is too challenging for your 9-10 month baby, you can put grated apple into very hot water for 5 minutes to soften, then drain. This can be offered as an early finger food, with a small amount at a time.

Raw Apple (Finger food, 14+ months)

  • Cut off one side of an apple and place cut side down on a cutting board. Cut thin slices about 1/8-inch thick. Then cut lengthwise to make thin matchstick-size pieces. Offer a few at a time.

Notes

  • Store any cooked apple in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.
  • Offer apple puree or soft-baked or steamed apple slices to start. The slices are an option for baby-led weaning.
  • Try small pieces of soft-cooked apple as a finger food after about 9 months. You can stew, steam, saute, or bake the apples. They should be very soft.
  • To try raw apple with a baby over about 9-10 months, grate it on a box grater. If that texture is too challenging, place the grated apple into very hot water for 5 minutes to soften. Drain, then offer to baby.
  • Over about 12-14 months, you can cut raw apple into matchstick-size pieces.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25apple, Calories: 95kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 2mg, Potassium: 195mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 98IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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