Can my baby eat crackers?
Baby feeding issues are common, especially among first-time parents. At the time of the introduction of solid foods, the questions start to arise and create real some real dilemmas. One of the parent uncertainties is about cookies and when to give your baby their first crackers.
When introducing new foods into the baby’s eating routine, many moms find that their children’s food diversification is not a process that always goes smoothly. Keeping your baby health in mind, here is a list of considerations to introduce crackers in your baby diet.
The first six months
Most pediatricians recommend for babies to only drink milk, either breast milk or formula, until they are six months old. Although their stomachs are ready to accept other foods from 4-5 months, it has been proven that bringing the introduction of foods other than milk ahead of time does not have any benefits, while continuing exclusive breastfeeding until six months. These first months are critical to the formation of a sane digestive system, and the introduction of food might be counterproductive for the babies’ development.
The cookie and babies
The image of the baby in the advertising spots, which, with all the joy, gnaws his cookie while smiling, is very familiar to everybody. And, somehow, when it reaches us naturally, this image promotes a feeling of tranquility, as if it assures us that there is no problem in introducing this food into the child’s dietary routine after the diversification of food started at six months.
Still, as a mother’s heart is never 100% reassured about how some foods can be harmful to babies, it is not uncommon for questions about crackers and how they should be introduced in the child’s diet.
Prepare your baby
As soon as the pediatrician recommends it, around seven months, he begins to give the baby small amounts of cereals with gluten (wheat, oats, or rye) to see how he reacts. If the baby tolerates it well and does not have any allergic reaction, at eight months, you can start giving him pieces of bread and cookies. As for the bread, remove the crumb. And the crackers must be sugar and chocolate free.
Give him a piece and let him suck it, bite it, taste it. Crackers are usually very well accepted food for babies and the right way to review eating bites. Besides, they are a perfect complement for breakfasts and snacks and provide the baby with fiber, vitamin B, iron, zinc, among others. Essential nutrients for their development and to avoid constipation, very common in babies. But remember to offer them sugar and chocolate-free cookies (up to twelve months) and, if possible, make them homemade cookies.
However, there is not a consensus.
The voices that rise to talk about crackers are not consensual. For instance, Maria cookies, which we will focus on because they are usually the first to be presented to babies, are an example of this. Presenting themselves as sweet cookies, with vanilla essence, which integrates wheat flour, oil, and sugar in their composition; these have 106 calories and are primarily made up of carbohydrates (72%), lipids (20%), and proteins (8%).
These tendencies are pleasant to the palate, these cookies are not discouraged, but they raise arguments for and against their consumption by babies.
Arguments in favor
As long as there are no dangerous components in the cookie, crackers are a functional food supplement. There is no problem inherent in its consumption. These are, in their arguments, nutritious and, being a cereal-based product, they can have positive effects as a food supplement. However, it is always essential to make sure crackers do not contain harmful ingredients for the baby, such as chemical pigments or food preservatives.
Babies’ first comfort food
Moreover, as it is a rigid food, it may provide some comfort to the child in the phase of the rupture of their first teeth, helping to relieve pressure on the gums and reducing their discomfort.
Many of the sources who say that you can give cookies to your baby argue that, although Maria cookies are the most common, the best option is for parents to make the cookies themselves to avoid processed products and reduce (or remove) the sugar in this food.
The arguments against
Although babies can be given cookies as long as they are not gluten intolerant, many people believe that doing so could be a mistake, especially until the child is one year old, due to the presence of sugars. As we have already mentioned, sugar is one of the avoidable foods for babies until the age of one year. More important, for some specialists, sugars should even be avoided until the child is two years old. Excessive consumption of sugars can create health problems in the medium and long term, being harmful to the child.
Ultra-processed food elements
Besides, as advocates argue that cookies should not be given to the baby, the current market offers a variety of dangerous foods, as, in addition to sugar, these often include dyes, preservatives, enhancers, and also artificial sweeteners and sweeteners. Most of those ingredients also might generate addicting habits. It would be better to offer natural products, such as vegetables or fruits, to your baby, to generate better diet habits.
There is an organic alternative.
Having considered all the options, the problem with crackers are the ingredients. As long as the ingredients are natural and consistent with you, baby age crackers should be fine. Therefore, if you want to introduce your baby to the cookies world, the best option would be buying organic crackers with few ingredients. In this case, the simple the cracker, the better for your baby’s health.
In conclusion, knowing the arguments for and against the consumption of crackers by babies, it may be simpler to make a decision on this question, which is so debatable and ambiguous. Still, regardless of what you decide, you must remember that the key to healthy eating is balance and moderation.