Cheeses are usually soft, delicious, and often contain minerals and vitamins like protein and calcium. Whether brie, cheddar, of string cheese, it is a favorite for children and adults alike. But many parents of young infants wonder if they should give cream cheese to the baby. According to experts, the answer is probably, but the parents should check with a pediatrician first. It isn’t uncommon for babies to be allergic to cheese.
Cream cheese is a unique type of cheese that hasn’t had the opportunity to age and harden properly. Because of this, it is very soft and much more liquid-like than most other cheeses. These properties have made it a favorite for sandwiches, where it can easily spread across the bread. In fact, it is one of the most common cheeses used in the United States of America today! Part of what makes the cheese so delicious is the high-fat content. It usually is about one-third pure fat, although this can be decreased by using low or no-fat variations. Despite the fat, cream cheese isn’t a completely unhealthy food. It contains calcium and protein, which helps bones develop strong.
Some cheese, like pasteurized cheeses, is usually safe for babies six months and older.
Infants can start having cheese around six months of age. There is common parenting wisdom that advises parents to feed their kids cheese or other dairy products before their first birthday. The logic behind this is the belief that it will help prevent the child from becoming allergic to dairy products by introducing them while their immune system is still developing. Experts advise parents to stick to pasteurized cheeses, which include cottage cheese, cream cheese, mild cheddar cheese, and more. Children shouldn’t be fed cheeses that have been ripened by mold, like blue-veined cheese, brie, ripened goats’ milk cheese, or Camembert. Babies should avoid these cheeses because they have the potential to carry a bacteria called listeria, which can be deadly. Cheese labels will state if they are from pasteurized milk or not.
Add cheese to the diet slowly before letting them jump into the deep end.
Instead of immediately feeding their child cheese, parents should slowly ease into it. Parents can start by mixing a small amount into mashed vegetables. If the baby responds well, parents can start adding more to their diet until the baby is happy eating just cheese! Parents should ensure they cut up cheeses enough that the baby won’t run a choking risk after putting it in their mouths. Even string cheese could pose a choking hazard if not properly cut.
It is safe to eat cream cheese while pregnant, although expecting mothers shouldn’t overdo it.
There is nothing in a cream cheese that would make it unsafe for expecting mothers to eat while pregnant. Due to its nutritional content, it could even be beneficial and help expecting mothers to keep their strength. However, expert dietitians recommend that expecting mothers don’t overdo it, as the often high-fat content can cause weight gain. A large amount of weight gain during pregnancy can be very unhealthy for the baby. A large weight gain and development of unhealthy eating habits can also be very detrimental to the mother’s health, both during the pregnancy and afterward.
Parents should stick to low or nonfat variants of cream cheese to feed infants.
Babies have such small bodies and don’t move around nearly as much as adults, so their nutritional needs are very low compared to most other humans. This is one reason that it is very important for parents not to overfeed their unhealthy baby foods. It can more easily cause the body harm. Children shouldn’t eat lots of fatty foods, and cream cheese is very fatty. By purchasing and using the low or no-fat version of cream cheese, children will avoid needlessly unhealthy food full of saturated fat.
Cream cheese can be healthy for growing babies.
It isn’t advised to feed cream cheese or any other type of cheese to babies to early. But cream cheese and other cheeses can be incorporated as an important part of a healthy diet. As they are growing so much, children often require very nutritious diets. This includes diets that have lots of calcium and protein. Calcium helps bones and teeth grow strong and remains that way in old age. Cheeses, like cream cheese specifically, have lots of vitamins and minerals. Cream cheese is specially packed with lots of good nutrients for growing kids.
Cheeses like cream cheese are the perfect snack for babies.
With just gums or a few teeth to work with, chewing is usually hard for babies. The wonderful thing about cheeses, especially the smooth and quite liquidy cream cheese, is that they are easy to chew. This makes cream cheese the perfect snack for infants and tired parents. Cream cheese can pair well with other snacks like cut-up fruit. Some common favorites for infants are oranges, cantaloupe, banana, watermelon, kiwi, peaches, mangoes, and honeydew. For a more nutritious meal, cheese can be paired or stirred into tender or mushed vegetables. Some of the most common favorites for infants are peas, butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, or avocados. Some other treats that would go well with cheese are tofu, bread, or pasta.
After the age of six months, it is usually safe for babies to eat pasteurized cheeses like cream cheese. Although experts often suggest parents ask their pediatrician before proceeding, as there is a risk of babies having an allergy to cheese or other dairy products. Parents should avoid giving their child cheeses that might have deadly bacteria. This includes cheeses like feta, brie, and others. Low fat or no-fat cream cheese is a perfect food for babies because it is high in protein, calcium, and other nutrients while being easy to chew and safe to swallow. Not only that, but it goes well with lots of other foods that babies can enjoy. This includes bread, pasta, veggies, fruit, or tofu.