Can my baby eat sandwiches?
Some parents feel a twinge of sadness when their baby is ready to begin solid food. It is like the first sign that their sweet baby is growing up. When is it safe to give baby sandwiches? What types of sandwiches are best? There are so many things to consider now, can’t we just keep the baby tiny? Whether a parent is ready or not, there will come the time that your baby is ready for solid foods, including sandwiches. There are some things to be aware of, some tips to try with your baby. There are also plenty of not so good ideas that you need to know about
Ready Or Not
Generally speaking, if your baby can hold up their head, they are likely ready for solid foods, including sandwiches. Many babies are not able to chew the crust on bread. Many parents will cut the crust off for their little ones. Other things to consider before you begin sandwiches include Does the baby open his mouth when food comes towards him? Can the baby move food in his mouth to chew it? One of the best signs that your baby is ready for foods such as sandwiches would be when they have doubled their birth weight; this is typically around the four-month mark.
So you made yourself a sandwich with a nice thick slice of ham, do you share it with your baby? Probably not. The ham is likely too hard for the baby to chew. At this age, at the beginning of the solids, feeding softer type sandwiches are best. Stick with cream cheese mixed with pureed vegetables or baby food Using the cream cheese helps the flavor to stay on the bread and not soak in. No one likes to eat soggy bread with their sandwich. Other ideas include ground cooked meats mixed with cream cheese or a tiny bit of mayonnaise. Mayo is one of those not so good foods, so we do not want to use it too liberally in the babies foods. The ground meats could be anything from chicken to roast beef.
Before allowing your little one to have peanut butter or other nut butter, be sure there is no allergy to nuts. A gluten intolerance will be noticeable after the baby eats. They may experience an upset tummy or even have some nausea. Remember, babies may even be allergic to dairy.
Soft Is Best
At such a tender age, babies do not have a mouthful of teeth as of yet. All the foods that you feed them need to be soft and easy to swallow. The pieces that you put on the food tray should be cut into smaller pieces also, to prevent choking.
Flavor In Abundance
You may feel confused and baffled as to what type of sandwich you can give your little one. Let’s try this: what baby food does your baby love? For example, if your baby loves bananas, mash the banana, and spread it on bread. Why not? Even Elvis ate peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Go for nut butter and strawberry jelly, or another fruit jelly. Until your baby is a little older, I would avoid jams due to the chunky fruits in them. Your baby may not be able to chew them, or the chunk may be too big, causing a choking hazard. Mashed avocado with egg yolk is soft and super tasty. When mixing for chicken salad or another type of meat spread, you can mix the finely chopped meats with yogurt to give an extra boost of dairy and other nutrients.
Keep It Small
Yes, you could just cut the crust off and give it to the baby that way. However, babies do like to shove things in their mouths. It would be much better if you can cut the sandwich into smaller sizes to prevent the baby from putting too much in their mouth at one time. Use cookie cutters or other utensils to make cute shapes. Not only are they adorable, but you could also begin teaching your baby shapes early. To make strips, quickly pull out your pizza cutter. You will have strips of sandwich for the baby that are easy to pick up and fit in her mouth.
When you have finished assembling the sandwich, cutting it or designing it, smash the sandwich. Not only will this prevent the baby from tearing it apart, but it also fits in her mouth much better. It also smashes the toppings into the bread so that the whole piece of bread is flavorful, not just where the topping touches.
Not So Cold
Your baby may enjoy the feeling of warmth in her mouth. Make grilled cheese with any other topping that suits you. You will need to cool the sandwich somewhat so that your baby does not get a burn. Any type of grilled sandwich can be tried. Follow through just as you did with other sandwiches, cutting the crust off and smashing it into a flatter sandwich.
The French Had It Right
My children all had a favorite when they were younger. I would make french toast, using regular bread slices. I could then top it with a flat scrambled egg or mashed fruits. I would also spread some chopped meats mixed with yogurt or cream cheese on top. Yes, the all-time favorite in my household was turkey bacon and yogurt on top of french toast. As they grew older, this became Monte Cristo Sandwiches.
Keep in mind, not all babies like different foods. This is a trial and error time. Sandwiches make great meals because there can be such a wide variety of options. Do not be afraid to try new things for your baby; you may find that you like the combination too. To get added fiber and iron, try pureeing greens with the meats, and creating a spread for the baby and her sandwich.