How to Introduce Persimmons to Toddlers
Growing up in a military family meant I traveled a lot as a kiddo. I spent most of my younger years in Japan, where I was exposed to Japanese culture and cuisine. The persimmon is Japan's national fruit and (as you can imagine) I ate A LOT of them as a kid. Today, I use the yummy flavor of a juicy persimmon to bring me back to those days!
Aside from decorations, nothing screams “holiday season” to me more than persimmons! They serve as a wonderful ingredient for holiday food art and they are a nutritious fruit to add to your toddler’s diet. Here are a few tips on how to introduce persimmons to toddlers.
Hachiya: There are two types of persimmons, astringent and non-astringent varieties. Astringent persimmons, like the Hachiya, are shaped like an acorn and can have a long lasting bitter taste in the mouth. If not fully ripened, this type of persimmon can make even the most adventurous eater gag! I caution parents to hold off on serving this type of persimmon to toddlers, especially if they are picky about fruit. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the fruit and discover the perfect level of ripeness before introducing it to your little one.
Fuyu: The Fuyu persimmon is of the non-astringent variety. It is a light orange-colored fruit that is squat and round in shape. The flesh is firm, crisp and sweet so it can be eaten just like an apple. I tend to use the Fuyu in feeding therapy since it can be easily introduced to kids who enjoy a sweet taste and crunchy texture. Kids think it is delicious!
How to Introduce: Choose persimmons that are ripe and sweet. They are in season from September through late December, which makes them a perfect fruit for the holidays! Try introducing persimmons by adding them to salads, cheese plates or fruit medleys. You can even sprinkle them on ice-cream or simply wash and eat them raw as an on-the-go snack!
However, my favorite way to introduce them to toddlers is by serving up my famous ‘Persimmon and Honey Sandwich.’
Persimmon and Honey Sandwich Recipe
First, have your child spread room temperature cream cheese over a cracker. Next, use a cookie cutter (I used a star-shaped cutter) to cut a slice of persimmon and place on top of the cracker. Lastly, drizzle honey and sprinkle cinnamon on top. That’s it!
*Note - when you slice a persimmon sideways, you’ll find a beautiful ‘star’ shape in the center (pictured). Kids love this naturally festive star and it makes for easy food art as well!
Once your child has acquired the taste of persimmon, you can remove the cracker from the recipe and use the persimmon slice as the base for this snack.
I hope you and your toddler learn to love persimmons as much as I do. Make sure to tag us if you post a pic of your persimmon adventures! #ezpzfun #persimmon
Dawn Winkelmann (M.S, CCC-SLP) is ezpz’s Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Feeding Specialist. She has 26 years of experience teaching parents and medical professionals how to start babies on solids safely and encourage toddlers to overcome picky eating. In addition, “Ms. Dawn” is the designer of our award-winning Tiny Cup & Tiny Spoon (for infants) and the Mini Cup + Straw Training System & Mini Utensils (for toddlers).