Can I Give Cheese to My Baby?
Doctors say that baby can be introduced to cheese at around 8 months old i.e. when he has already tried and digested other first solid foods well and ready to digest cheese like dairy foods.
These are the most important 2 things you must consider before introducing cheese for your baby?
Before You Introduce Cheese Make Sure:
1. Is your baby able to chew?
Most of the babies are ready to chew the solid foods when they are around 8 to 9 months old. The process starts as soon as they are able to feel the texture of the toys, fingers etc. in their mouth. When they are used to with gumming or chewing, you can introduce solid foods to them. Make sure the size of the cheese is not bigger than the baby’s fingertips. You can also chop the cheese for easy feeding and digestion.
2. Does baby have any dairy allergy?
Many babies are allergic to dairy products and cheese also falls in this category. Before introducing cheese to your baby, make sure he doesn’t have an allergy to dairy products or has chronic eczema. Always consult your doctor before giving cheese to your baby.
Recommended Read: Can I give curd to my baby?
3. At what age can you try the cheese?
Babies between the ages of 8-10 months with no allergic reaction are usually given cheese. As soon as you introduce solid foods or baby’s first food to your infant and they show no allergic reaction to the first foods, you can give cheese to them. If the baby is capable of eating other solid foods like cheese even after having the issues like asthma, mild eczema or any other food allergy with a family history, he or she can be given cheese as well.
Always follow the 3-days-rule in introducing cheese to your baby. Observe for any allergic reaction for a day and if everything goes right, continue this till the next two days. This is the elementary rule for introducing any food to your baby for the first time.
FAQ: Introducing Cheese to your baby
1. When to introduce Paneer to a baby?
Yes, like other plain types of cheese, Paneer AKA cottage cheese is also safe for babies (Provided no lactose intolerance)
2. If Cow’s milk not to be introduced before baby turns 12 months, then how come ghee, cheese and curd are ok?
It’s not necessary that if a baby is not ready for cow’s milk will surely not digest cheese and yogurt. Though these two foods comprise of cow’s milk, they are different in structure in comparison to other dairy products. The broken-down lactose in the form of tiny protein molecules makes it digestion-friendly for your baby. However, breast milk can’t be replaced by yogurt, cheese or any other dairy products.
To be on the safe side, till your baby turns 12 months, try to avoid giving any dairy product to them if they have lactose intolerance or they are allergic to dairy products. Though few research and experts’ opinions say that cheese and yogurt are safe as they are easy-to-digest but as a new mom you may not want to take a risk and avoid nuisances later.
What kind of cheese is healthy for baby below 12months?
Homemade Panner which is also known as Indian cottage cheese is the best option for your baby. Even if you are buying Paneer from a vendor, make sure the vendor is reputed and trust-worthy and the Paneer is fresh and hygienic. However, there are other fresh cheese options that you can consider including Mozzarella, Goat Cheese, Crème Fraîche and Cream Cheese.
Which Cheese Brand in India is Safe for Babies?
In India, Amul, Mother dairy, Goverdhan are trusted brands, but due to bad transportation and non-supportive weathers, many times cheese catch fungus in storage. So every time you open the cheese packing even the small cube packing, eat one small bite yourself.
How much cheese can I give my Baby?
A baby between 8-10 months age can’t eat a huge amount of solid food even if it is healthy and easy-to-digest. So, you can start with a couple of small cubes of Paneer and as the baby grows, you can add to the diet with 3-4 Paneer cubes. Starting with a little amount of food helps you observe any reaction and even if some reactions occur, the amount of food is too less to affect the health severely.
Cheese Addiction in kids
Please note nearly 90% of the kids love cheese and if they are addicted they keep demanding cheese in every meal. Try to control the intake as anything in excess is unhealthy. Also according to Dr. Shama Kulkarni (Pediatric Dieticien) the fats developed in kids bodies are difficult to get rid of as they are stubborn, and cheese addiction is one of major reason of obesity in kids. The origin to such issues will be at such an early stage, hence keep a watch.
Cheese for healthy teeth
Cheese left on teeth while sleeping actually neutralises the harmful sugars, so in case your baby dint brush their early teeth buds, the cheese may be given as your baby’s teeth protector.
Read here more: Our post on cheese and teeth.