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When Can a Baby Have Cheese?

Babies and cheeses. There are few things cute in life than babies experiencing new foods. A sweet task that every parent looks forward to is introducing a new taste and watching a cute little nose crinkle and eyes widen at how good this new experience is.

Something is just too sweet when sharing your favorite foods with your baby. Breast milk is sweet and creamy and often what a mom eats will depend on how her milk tastes.

If mom eats a lot of fruit, then her milk will have higher levels of sugar in it making it sweeter to those tiny taste buds.

If cheese is already a popular menu item that you feed your family, you can start introducing it around 6 to 8 months old your baby will be ready to start chewing or gumming all sorts of new types of food.

Cheese not only tastes amazing to young taste buds but is also very nutritious and loaded with proteins, calories, vitamin A, B12, and calcium. Cheese is also easily digestible for young tummies.

Allergy concerns

Your main concern when introducing new foods is if your baby might be allergic to them. The list of top allergenic foods does not include cheese on it. Either way, it is always best to check with your child’s Pediatrician before starting them on any new foods to make sure they are ready.

Start your baby with the traditional solids like cereal, oats, and pureed veggies or fruit. If your baby can eat those things without any type of allergic reaction and you don’t have a family history of food allergies, then The American Academy of Pediatrics says it is fine to start cheese.

The AAP has a few recommendations to start you with like when giving any new food. Make sure that you give the new food to your baby when you are home and don’t overstimulate their tiny tummies by introducing more than one new food every 5 days.

You want to be able to monitor their reaction to anything new before giving them something else new so you can pinpoint which foods your baby is allergic to.

Do not start cheese until given doctor approval if your baby already had severe eczema, a past immediate reaction to foods, or have been diagnosed with a common food allergy.

Signs of food allergies include a skin rash normally around the mouth and cheeks, facial swelling, puffy eyes, wheezy breathing, diarrhea, and vomiting. While a light skin rash is not an immediate cause for concern if your baby is having trouble breathing you should call 911 and get emergency help.

Introducing new foods

Whenever you introduce a new food to a baby you should make sure that they are gumming or chewing enough to get through the food. To help prevent choking though you can make sure you cut the pieces of cheese into tiny pieces the size of a pea.

As the baby gets used to the textures you can slowly make the pieces bigger and bigger. There are also types of cheese that you should avoid since they are pasteurized. It is easy to tell on the label whether a cheese is pasteurized or not.

Cheese that is made with unpasteurized or raw organic milk can be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes. Listeria monocytogenes or more commonly known as listeria is a form of bacteria that can cause a serious infection that if often fatal to babies.

Best cheeses to introduce to babies

Cottage cheese is one of the best forms of cheese to start with since the curds are so tiny and soft. Cottage cheese also lacks a high percent of lactose so it shouldn’t cause much of a tummy issue. Also, cottage cheese is also full of good proteins and fats.

Just make sure that it is made with whole milk and is full of fat. The low-fat version is full of fake sugars that are hard for a tiny tummy to digest. Baby might be a little taken back by the texture but just keep offering it and soon they will get used to it slowly but surely.

If baby still doesn’t enjoy cottage cheese you can try to mix it with fruits that your baby has already been introduced to and you know they enjoy it.

Mash up a banana and mix the cottage cheese with it. Or put the cottage cheese in a bowl and top with tiny pieces of peaches.

Shredded cheeses can be placed on a high chair tray for the baby to try and experiment with new robust flavors. After the baby has gotten accustomed to the taste and feel of chewing the shredded cheeses you can introduce the rest of common cheeses like:

  • Cheddar Parmesan
  • Colby jack
  • Swiss
  • Monetary jack
  • Provolone

Cheeses to avoid:

  • Camembert
  • Brie
  • Saga
  • Gorgonzola
  • Roquefort

Simple recipes to make

  • Cheese omelets

Break 2 eggs into a bowl and stir them with a whisk or fork. Butter a pan and pour the eggs into the pan when it is hot. Add shredded cheddar in the middle of the cooking eggs right before the omelet finishes cooking through. Fold the omelet in half and let it cool until you can cut it into tiny pieces for baby to eat.

  • Cheese and rice

Boil water and a pinch of salt in a pot. When water starts boiling pour in the rice and stirs consistently to keep rice separate. Cook until rice is fluffy and sticky. Add shredded Colby jack cheese on top and stir it in. Let cool completely before serving to baby.

  • Macaroni and cheese

In a large pot add in water and a pinch of salt and bring it to a hard rapid boil. Add the macaroni into the water and allow it to boil for 10 full minutes. Drain the pasta and in a bowl combine butter and cheese with your warm macaroni noodles. Cool completely and then you can lay it on a highchair table.

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