Can I Give My Baby Kimchi?

A fun time of a baby’s life is around six-months-old. It is fun because it’s about six months when they begin to nibble on a variety of different foods. And nothing, I mean nothing is immune from being sampled.

Your baby is starting to ‘flex’ his or her learning abilities, and one of the first stops is their taste-buds. It’s almost side-splitting hysterically funny to watch their faces as they try something the first time. And you are very busy making mental notes about their likes and dislikes.

As you move through the different varieties on hand, your thoughts turn to more exotic flavors and textures. Then you just have to know. Does my baby like Kimchi?

While you may pause for concern about the pungent flavor of kimchi and how it’s made, your mind goes to work.

Is it okay to give baby kimchi? Will it harm my baby? Are there any benefits to feeding my baby kimchi? And so on.

As you prepare to try giving your baby some kimchi, pause for a bit, and read up on it. We have the inside information for you on giving babies kimchi right here!

What is kimchi?

Kimchi is a Korean dish consisting mostly of cabbage. It also contains red peppers to give it the hot and spicy flavor. It can be made with other vegetables, but in its original form is made from cabbage. The word ‘kimchi’ is Korean for “fermented vegetables.”

Traditional Korean Kimchi consists of cabbage, onions, scallions, garlic, and of course, large flakes of dried red pepper. Kimchi is also seasonal. In its springtime form, it is made the traditional way with fresh cabbage. In the winter months, it can be made with practically any available vegetable, but some favorites are eggplant, mustard leaves, and spinach.

Kimchi is eaten widely for lunch and dinner and is best known for the healthy probiotics it provides from the fermented vegetables.

Can my baby eat kimchi?

The short answer here is yes. Mentioned before were the probiotics found in kimchi. These probiotics are a much needed ‘booster shot’ for the microbiome of the intestines where the child’s immune system is maintained.

Kimchi is raw fermented vegetables. It is highly recommended it only be eaten under the supervision and in extreme moderation.

Due to its pungent and salty flavor, it is also recommended the kimchi should be rinsed well when first giving to a baby. This makes the dish a bit more palatable for the child.

Will my baby choke on kimchi?

For the most part, no. Then again, anyone can choke on any food given to them. Kimchi can be further chopped down to make the pieces smaller for a child to manage.

Is there a special way to prepare kimchi for babies?

Yes. Kimchi can be more finely chopped for a child to eat. Use the following ideas when preparing kimchi for a baby.

Six to Twelve Months

Shop around for the freshly made kimchi at your local supermarket or Korean food store. Choose the one with the lowest amount of sodium present in the dish. When back at home, thoroughly rinse the kimchi in a colander to remove salt and most of the spicy attributes. Finely chop the kimchi and serve as a side dish or added to other foods.

Twelve Months and Beyond

Prepare the kimchi as directed above. When you begin to chop the kimchi, increase the size of the pieces every time you serve it. As the child gets new teeth, kimchi is an excellent training food for biting, tearing, and even chewing.

Could my baby be allergic to kimchi?

Some kimchi is made with certain species of fish and other salty meats. Your child could have a fish related allergy, thereby eliminating kimchi from his or her ‘okay to eat’ lists. The primary vegetable, cabbage, is very rarely a cause of allergies.

If you are feeding your baby kimchi for the first time, start with a small pinch. If all goes according to plan, the amount can be increased every time kimchi is served.

How can I introduce kimchi to my baby for the first time?

So you have decided it’s okay for baby to have kimchi. For their first experience with Korean food, wait until at least the age of 6 to 7 months.

By waiting until 6 or 7 months, the baby’s digestive system will be a bit more on the established side. Therefore the roughage from the raw fermented veggies and the spiciness from the pepper will be tolerated better. You don’t want the baby to love kimchi and overeat and cause excessive gas and bloating.

Another idea is to introduce kimchi to them gently. Blend the food down to almost a puree and ‘envelope’ into other foods so it isn’t such a shock to the system. Bit by bit increase the amount you give them and let the texture get tougher each time as well.

A good rule of thumb when getting your baby to try new food is to give them small amounts. Increase the amount day by day until they are comfortable with a child-size serving. When all is well, move onto the next food item on the list. And as always, consult with the child’s doctor if any signs of an allergic reaction begin to form.

You can use the above method when introducing just about any food you might have on hand. Hopefully, the kimchi experiment went well, and you have yourself a tiny Korean food fan!

Conclusion

Korean food, Chinese, Italian, just thinking about all the new foods your baby is going to be trying makes me hungry! They have their whole life of foods ahead of them. Remember the first time you tried, (fill in the food) See what I mean? Delicious times indeed.

And afterward, celebrate with lots of love and affection.