Meat is an excellent source of protein as well as a variety of different nutrients. It is also known to have a distinctly appealing taste, which makes many parents eager to introduce their babies to this particular food item. One of the most pressing questions at hand is regarding the right time to introduce babies to meat.
Most doctors say that generally six-month-old babies can be given food that has meat in it, however, many parents give their little ones meat after they hit the nine-month mark. We researched with the hope that it would give you a better idea of when is the right time to give your precious baby food with meat in it.
Can Babies Eat Meat?
Giving babies the right nutrition, especially in the early stages of their life is essential to their development. Giving them meat too early could harm and even hurt them as their body is not equipped to deal with the meat, and it can cause them indigestion, or even get stuck in the airways.
Babies are able to eat meat after six to nine months of their development, which is the time that marks when they can consume solid foods.
Iron stores present in babies are used up between four to six months of age, which means that there is a need for babies to have an iron intake from other sources. Iron is essential as it helps in the development process by forming the hemoglobin that is necessary for oxygen transport in the body.
Meat from poultry, seafood, and even red meat sources are rich in Heme iron which can be absorbed with ease by the baby. Moreover, red meat contains high levels of fats, proteins, zinc, and vitamin B12 which is vital for a healthy baby.
Check if your baby is ready for Meat
After your baby turns six months old, you may be wondering about what is the right time to introduce your child to meat. There are some things that you can check which can help you determine if your child can handle baby food that contains meat.
- Sitting Ability: if your baby is able to sit in a high chair, it means that they have good neck and head control, thus feeding them solid food such as meat would be significantly easier.
- Tongue-Thrust Reflex: one of the most vital things is to check if the tongue-thrust reflex is fading. This refers to the tendency of babies to use their tongue to push food out of their mouths.
If your child has stopped doing that, it means that his/ her body is ready to receive solid foods. The fading of this reflex is an indication of the development of the ability for the baby to swallow.
What Meat is Good Enough?
Familiarizing your baby with meat can be exciting. It helps to expose your baby to a variety of different meats, so they can develop their palates as well as their preferences. It is essential to remember that meat for baby has to be cooked well and is not too spicy. Moreover, it shouldn’t be too big as to cause choking.
It is important to understand babies and their dietary needs in order to keep them healthy and happy and ensure that they grow and develop properly. Research has shown that babies can be fed meat after they are six to nine months of age, at which point they can slowly be weaned towards solid food.
Parents should however remember, that though babies can eat meat after a certain point, the kind of meat they consume should be tailored to their digestive requirements in taste and size.