Fruit & veg – in season
What are the benefits of providing your baby with seasonal fruits and vegetables instead of those available year-round? 

If you’ve started your baby on solids you know the nutritional benefits of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, such as butternut, carrots, strawberries, bananas, etc – they’re packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients that your baby’s growing body needs. Because of the wide variety of large supermarkets and chain stores, we’re often able to get these fruits and vegetables whenever we like and don’t have to rely on what’s seasonally available. However, this isn’t necessarily a good thing.

A matter of distance

While it is very convenient to have a large variety of produce to hand regardless of the season, chances are that they were grown halfway around the world, picked while not quite ripe and shipped over here. Thanks to advances in transport methods and global commerce, those raspberries you just ate may have been farmed in Chile – half a world away in South America.

This adds up to large amounts of energy (and carbon emissions) needed to transport the food we eat, and many times we end up paying a premium price on this produce as a result. Adds registered dietician Tammy Wolhuter, “We should bear in mind that the closer to the place you live that your food has been grown, the less time it has spent on a boat, plane or truck and the more nutrients it is likely to have retained since being picked. Vitamins (especially vitamin C) degrade over time, as well as with storage, so the fresher the better.”

What is seasonal eating?

Seasonal eating is exactly as it sounds – eating fruits and vegetables that are available seasonally and grown locally. Because these foods don’t have to be transported over large distances, the likelihood that they’ve retained their nutrients is greater. Buying these foods also supports local farming, and the economy. Eating what’s seasonally available also ensures a variety in your and your baby’s diet.

Tammy says, “Sticking to foods in season as opposed to foods that are always available in supermarkets will ensure more variety of foods in your baby’s diet, and hence a greater range of nutrients consumed. Eating seasonably is a changeable diet that is more beneficial than sticking to the same foods time and again.” If you think about it, eating seasonally is a way of taking advantage of nature’s bounty and its nutrients.

A guide to what’s available seasonally in South Africa:





September to October

Grapefruit, avocado, peaches, nectarines, grapes, oranges, naartjies, mandarins, pineapples, strawberries.

Onions, potatoes


November to March

Apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, pears, apples, naartjies, litchis, avocado, mango, pinapple, passion fruit, rasberries, blueberries, strawberries, melons, figs.

Onions, carrots, butternut, potatoes, sweet potatoes


April to May

Plums, grapes, pears, apples, persimmons, naartjies, manderines, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, avocado, litchis, pineapples, passion fruit, figs, pomegranates. 

Onions, carrots, butternut, potatoes, sweet potatoes


June to August Pears, apples, kiwi, persimmons, naartjies, mandarine, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, avocado, pineapple, passion fruit. Onions, carrots, butternut, potatoes, sweet potatoes

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