Acai bowls are a delicious and fun way to serve acai berries with other nutritious fruits, including blueberries and bananas. However, are acai bowls, berries, and powders safe to feed to your infant?
Acai bowls are safe to feed to your baby as long as they are blended until smooth and any juice or milk added in is pasteurized. Avoid adding unnecessary sweeteners, as they may contribute to excess weight gain.
Acai is a beloved fruit rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It’s even known as a “superfood,” due to its many health benefits. Let’s dive further into how to make your favorite acai bowl safe for your baby.
Is Acai Safe for Babies?
Acai berries, whether in the form of bowls, berries, or powders, are rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, and more.
Antioxidants help protect the cells in the body from harmful free radicals that are naturally produced in the body (source: Harvard Medical School). Additionally, fiber helps regulate the gastrointestinal tract, including decreasing symptoms of constipation, diarrhea, and more.
Let’s first talk about some of the precautions to take when you are considering feeding acai berries to your baby.
Acai berries, in their complete and whole form, can be a choking hazard for a young baby. Cut each acai berry into quarters to minimize choking risk (source: National Health Service). You can also cook the acai berries to soften them more.
Always monitor your child while they are eating to ensure they do not choke. Be sure to thoroughly wash the berries under running water before feeding them to your baby.
It is important to note that infants with pollen and tree allergies might have an increased risk of developing an allergy to acai (source: Michigan State University).
An acai bowl, on the other hand, is essentially a smoothie bowl in which the base is acai and a liquid. Acai puree or acai powder mix is blended with a liquid, such as milk or fruit juice.
Other fruits can be added to the mixture, including strawberries, bananas, and more. Acai puree and acai powders are typically found at health food and specialty stores.
When using milk or fruit juice as the liquid base in the acai bowl, ensure the liquid is pasteurized, which means it has been heated to extremely high temperatures to kill any potential bacteria.
Finally, it is essential to note that adding too much excess sugar in your baby’s acai bowl, from sweeteners and fruit juices, can cause unsafe weight gain and can be detrimental to your child’s overall health (source: Cleveland Clinic).
Since the fruit in the acai bowl is already quite sweet, avoid sweetening your baby’s Acai bowl further with any sugar or other sweeteners. Instead, swap out the fruit juice with unsweetened dairy or milk.
Many acai bowls include whole fruit on top and maybe even some other crunchy toppings like granola or coconut. It’s best to skip these toppings for your baby as they may be a choking hazard.
Finally, never sweeten an acai bowl with raw or processed honey when your child is younger than 12 months old, due to the risk of botulism (source: Cleveland Clinic).
Acai bowls are a fun and colorful way to get more fruits in your baby’s diet. You can also add vegetables such as spinach, carrots (cooked or minced very small), and more!
I hope you found this article helpful in unpacking the safety of acai bowls and berries for your baby.