Can My Baby Eat Pizza?
It can be tempting to feed your baby the same thing that you are having for lunch.
The recommendation that babies get introduced to new foods one at a time has changed over time.
Nowadays, the rules have now grown more relaxed. New studies show that introducing a wide variety of foods helps to reduce allergies and create adventurous eaters.
Perhaps your baby is eyeing your food or trying to grab it. A baby showing interest in what you have and being ready to eat are to separate things.
Should you be giving your baby pizza? The answers are a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no.
When thinking of handing over your slice of pizza to your baby, there are a few factors to consider:
1. How old is your baby?
A baby should not start eating any solid foods until they are around six months of age.
At six months, your baby should be able to sit by themselves. They also have a better mouth and tongue coordination.
If you want to stick a slice of pizza up in the food processor and offer it to the baby, you could try it. It is recommended to wait until the baby is one year old before giving your baby pizza.
At one year of age, the baby can start eating finger foods. At this age, the baby can eat the same types of food that you eat as long as it is cut up to pea-size or smaller.
The one-year-old still might have some trouble chewing, and might choke if given larger pieces. Before giving your baby pizza, you need to consider the pizza’s complexity.
2. What are the ingredients?
There is a new way some people are feeding their baby called baby-led weaning.
These parents give their six months old whatever they are eating instead of feeding them the pureed food recommended.
Should you be giving your baby pizza if you are trying this technique?
The foods given to a baby should still be soft to prevent the baby from choking. A baby’s kidneys are also not ready to handle much sugar or salt.
It is best to make your pizza if you want to give your baby pizza. The pizza from stores and restaurants might be too complex for your baby to handle.
Make homemade pizza sauce that is light in seasonings and better for your baby’s stomach.
Make the crust of the pizza soft (like a tortilla) and keep the toppings light.
3. Where did you get the pizza?
A simple cheese and sauce pizza cut up can be a healthy meal for a one-year-old. You might want to think twice before giving your baby pizza ordered at a restaurant.
Pizza is often too complex of food for the baby to have. It’s a combination of several different foods and flavors.
While tasty, this combination can prove too powerful for your baby’s digestive system.
To understand if it’s ok to be giving your baby pizza, we need to break down the components that go into a pizza.
The main components of a pizza are:
The sauce is typically made from tomatoes and can be too acidic for a baby. The acidity of the sauce can give your child heartburn or indigestion.
The meat toppings on a pizza can also upset a baby’s stomach. They are often greasy or too spicy for babies.
The vegetables on a pizza are less likely to cause a problem for your baby to eat. Ensure they are cut up into small pieces.
Your baby can eat the cheese on a pizza. Pasteurized cheese is a healthy option for a one-year-old.
Be warned! Eating a lot of cheese can lead to constipation. Giving your baby a pizza slice is not enough to cause concern.
If your baby has shown signs of milk allergies, wait until they are two or older to introduce cheese.
Pizzas made at restaurants are often heavily spiced. The sauce, meat, and even the crust may be seasoned. These spices might upset your baby’s stomach.
When giving your baby pizza, homemade pizza is a better option because you can control the amount of seasoning involved.
4. Can your baby handle pizza crust?
It might not be a good idea to give your baby pizza, but can they at least chew on the pizza crust?
Well, the crust is just bread. You might have also heard that a pizza crust is good for the baby if they are teething.
Remember: there is a difference between teething biscuits and regular bread.
Teething biscuits are made to dissolve in the baby’s mouth, but pizza crust is not. The pizza crust might fall apart in the baby’s mouth and pose a choking hazard.
So, should you be giving your baby pizza? No!
Pizza is not recommended, especially if it’s not homemade.
Why? Pizza is just too complex of food for a baby to handle. Babies need soft, bland foods until their bodies are ready for complex food.
Homemade pizza, however, may be cautiously introduced as a treat when our baby is old enough. A homemade pizza should consist of a very soft crust, like a tortilla.
The sauce must not be too seasoned or spicy. A baby is not ready for a lot of toppings on their pizza, so it’s best to keep it a plain cheese pizza.
A baby does not have the coordination required to eat without your help until they are at least six months old. Keep that in mind.