Blueberries are very versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes from jellies and jams to snack foods to desserts (or in blueberry yogurt popsicles like I’m showing here!). You can usually find them in the grocery store year-round, but they are in season from May to August.
Blueberries are related to cranberries and huckleberries (1). They are native to North America and you can often find wild varieties growing in this region. There are a few things that can affect their seasonality such as climate, altitude, and latitude.
How to Serve Blueberries to Baby
If you are doing baby led weaning with your baby, you may find that blueberries are a tricky shape as your first starting out. They are round, so it is recommended to smash them or quarter them when serving them to young children, as they can be a choking hazard. Babies at 6 months are usually unable to pick up small pieces of food, like blueberries, so you may want to mix them into other foods or serve them on a preloaded utensil.
By around 9 months, whether you started with BLW or purees, it is recommended to advance your child to a wide variety of textures to help prevent picky eating. At this time, your baby will start to be able to pick up smaller pieces of food, like berries. Continue to smash or quarter them until your child has demonstrated that they can safely bite into the berry and chew it up.
Blueberries contain anthocyanins and various phytochemicals that are being researched for different health benefits. They seem to have positive effects, but many of the claims in the media may be overstated. Blueberries also have manganese, vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber.
Vitamin C can aid with iron absorption, so pairing blueberries with an iron containing food can help your baby meet their iron needs.
When purchasing blueberries, look for berries with smooth, unbroken skin. They should be relatively similar in size. You want the color to be really rich and vibrant, a reddish color can mean they aren’t fully ripened yet. Check for stains on the container. These can indicate that the fruit is bruised or damaged.
Tips for Storing
Store blueberries in the refrigerator. Wait to wash them until right before you eat them. Washing them and then storing them can cause them to mold more quickly. Try to use them within 5 days or so.
You can also freeze your blueberries in an airtight container to make them last longer. They can last up to a year in the freezer.
Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles
- 1 cup plain yogurt (full fat for young kids, Greek for extra protein)
- 6 oz blueberries
- 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional – added iron)
- Add the yogurt, berries, and chia seeds to a bowl and mix until combined.
- Spoon mixture into popsicle molds (or into an ice cube tray with toothpicks). Freeze overnight or until solid.
Krystyn Parks is a Registered Dietitian and Lactation Consultant who specializes in feeding children. She has a Master’s Degree in Nutritional Science from California State University Long Beach. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and has been registered with the Commission on Dietetic Registration since 2013.