Written by Ambili Kartha
When your little one grows up, it is common for all mothers to get curious about what kind of solids to introduce. When weaning-off starts slowly, it is essential to know and understand whether each of the solid foods you offer to your little one is safe for them to consume. Bacon for babies is one such food that can create curiosity on its safety and the right time to be introduced.
Bacon is a processed meat comprising pork belly, ribs, shoulders, loin, and cheeks. It is a significant source of lean protein. But is it safe for the babies to consume them? Parents must understand how and when to introduce Bacon and the benefits and side effects they can expect. This article will discuss everything you need to know. Let us get started.
In This Article
It is generally not advisable to introduce Bacon to kids who are less than 12 months of age. Even after, you need to consult a pediatrician before introducing them. Bacon comprises high saturated fat, sodium, and other food additives, including nitrates. Your little one is still growing, and their digestive system is not well developed to process these ingredients, which may adversely affect your baby.
However, it is essential to understand that several kinds of Bacon are available, and we need to consider the ingredients of each of them before offering them to the little ones.
Smoked Bacon is a complete no-no for babies. It contains high levels of sugar and is generally processed. Your little one’s gut cannot digest processed food so quickly. It’s better to avoid them until your little one turns two years.
Unsmoked Bacon has a little amount of salt and is not smoked. The flavor is much lighter and neutral, which suits babies. You can consider giving this type of bacon to your baby.
Fresh Bacon, also known as Pork belly, is raw and uncooked. This is the safest option to introduce to your little one. Remember to cook it well before feeding your baby.
The UK’s National Health Services (NHS) recommends waiting at least till your baby is six months old to offer well-cooked Bacon to their diet. But offering only well-cooked fresh Bacon and not smoked or processed ones is recommended.
Here is an age-wise list of bacons that you can introduce to your baby.
Babies between six to twelve months can be offered a significantly smaller portion of well-cooked fresh Bacon.
The best time to introduce unsmoked Bacon is twelve to eighteen months. Remember that their kidneys are still in the developing stage. So, offer very little and occasionally.
Once your little one turns 24 months, you can offer them smoked Bacon slowly and occasionally.
Other experts have recommended no specific time barriers to introducing Bacon. Bacon can be introduced any time after your little one turns 12 months of age. However, consult your pediatrician before introducing your little one’s diet.
Doctors and experts always recommend limiting the consumption of processed food before 24 months of age. Hence, it is advisable to check with your pediatrician or a nutritionist and determine the serving portion of Bacon for your little one.
When introducing Bacon to your little ones, giving it in the form best suitable for their age is essential. You can cut and give them in various forms, as below.
For babies six to twelve months, it is better to shred the Bacon, making it easier for them to grip the food. Shredding also reduces the risk of choking.
During this phase, your little one might have developed the art of chewing. You can now offer an entire strip of Bacon that has been cooked and fried. It enhances chewing and biting skills.
By two years, your baby might have mastered their eating skills. Now, you can offer them just as you would like them. You can also offer them bacon as a salad or hot dog topping.
Bacon has highly packed nutrition which aids in developing the immunity system of your little one. The following are the top benefits of Bacon for babies.
Though Bacon is a safe food option for your baby, it is essential to remember to offer them only occasionally. Regular bacon consumption by babies could have the following side effects on their health.
Bacon has a lot of nutrition to offer for your little one. That does not rule out the other options or alternatives that could give your little one the same levels of nutrition and health. Let us look at the alternatives to Bacon for your babies.
You can prepare vegetarian Bacon by substituting Bacon with vegetables, including carrots, eggplant, mushroom, and grains like wheat. Soy and Tempeh can also be used to prepare strips like bacon strips. It is essential to consult a pediatrician before introducing soy to your little one.
Chicken is one of the most common and best alternatives to Bacon. Babies can consume chicken in smaller quantities after six months of age. Offer fresh chicken meat, including breast, which contains high protein and less fat.
You can offer minced or pureed turkey to your little one once they are above six months. It is rich in iron and also has a considerable amount of protein.
Fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids and high-quality protein, which are suitable for toddlers who are two years of age.
Whether to include Bacon in your little one’s diet is an interesting question. Always remember every child is different, and each one’s digestive tract is also different. Though Bacon can be introduced in smaller quantities after six months, ensure your little one’s body can digest them. Always take the help of pediatricians and nutritionists to decide whether it is safe to offer Bacon to your little one. Happy parenting!
Yes. Crispy Bacon always has the risk of choking hazards for babies. It is essential to offer Bacon appropriate to the age and eating ability of your little one.
Yes. Bacon is difficult to digest, can stay for long in the digestive tract and cause gas in babies.
You can offer meat to babies once they turn six months. However, offering them smaller quantities is always recommended to help their gut system process the food.
White Noise For Babies – Is it Safe, Pros and Cons
Jet Lag in Babies – Signs and Tips to Cope
CHARGE Syndrome in Babies – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Puppet Play For Babies – How it Helps in Baby’s Development
Intersex Baby – How Common is It and How to Treat
Tips and Ideas for Selecting Baby’s First Birthday Dress for Girls