This tomato and mozzarella salad is prepared with babies in mind, and makes a perfect finger food / baby led weaning dish. If you are looking to introduce raw tomato to your baby in the right way, this salad is the perfect first step.
Caprese salad might not be your first thought when brainstorming lunch ideas for your baby, but it actually makes a lot of sense. Sweet, soft tomatoes and milky, melt in the mouth fresh mozzarella? So much here for babies to love!
To make this baby friendly, the tomatoes are peeled and deseeded to make them easier to chew and suck on. They’re cut into strips to make them easy for little fists to hold.
Suitable from 6 months +
This preparation is suitable to offer from 6 months, when giving larger pieces of finger foods that babies can suck and gum on is more appropriate.
It’s also great for the older baby learning to use cutlery. The pieces of tomato and mozzarella are easy to grab with little forks.
A baby with a pincer grasp could manage this with the tomatoes and mozzarella cut into pea-sized chunks. Different babies would prefer different methods.
Introducing Tomatoes to Your Baby
This recipe is the perfect start when you’re looking to introduce raw tomatoes to your baby.
Tomatoes can be introduced from 6 months, though some parents prefer to wait longer and linger on more gentle foods for a while. Since tomatoes are acidic, it’s probably wise to hold off for a while if your baby suffers reflux. Otherwise, as long as they are managing other foods well, there is no need to think that tomatoes would be problematic for them.
Choosing the right ingredients
The right tomato
Not just any tomatoes will do here! It needs to be:
a) A “meaty” one. Something like a beefsteak or oxhart is perfect. Because we’re going to take out all the seeds and the peel, the fleshy element of the tomato needs to be substantial.
b) High quality, fresh and perfectly ripe. If it doesn’t have an amazing sweet, juicy taste, your baby is probably not going to embrace it.
The right mozzarella
It needs to be a fresh, soft mozzarella ball. The kind that comes suspended in water. NOT cooking mozzarella, which is too firm.
This will be easy for your baby to eat, and the milkiness of mozzarella is likely to appeal. I wouldn’t feel the need to go too highbrow with your selection though. Store brand is fine. Save your money for the good tomatoes.
How to Make it – in Pictures
A full, printable recipe card is coming right up, but here’s a rundown of the process for you in photos.
As you can see, you get a decent yield from this recipe. You can either keep some in the fridge (it won’t freeze well) or just share it with your baby and eat the rest for your own lunch!
Tomato & Mozzarella Salad for Babies
- 1 medium to large tomato, needs to be a “meaty” tomato such as beefsteak
- 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, 125g or 4.4oz
- 1 basil leaf
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Chop the basil into tiny pieces, and add to the olive oil. Set aside.
- Prepare your tomato. Cut a criss-cross through the skin of the tomato and submerge in boiling water for 1-2 minutes (this will make the skin really easy to peel off). Take the tomato out, peel off the skin and then slice open. Scoop out the seeds and slice the tomato "flesh" into strips.
- Slice the mozzarella ball into strips and add to the tomatoes.
- Pour the olive oil and basil on top and mix to combine.