Beans For Babies – When to Introduce, Benefits and Precautions

7 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.

Beans For Babies

Eating healthy food is really vital for people of any age, especially for babies in their growth period. Babies, after 6 months, need to start consuming some common solid foods like vegetables, fruits, etc., since their nutritional requirements increase and their digestive system is capable of handling certain basic solids However, some new mothers usually panic about what and how to introduce their babies to solid foods. And this is because of a lack of knowledge and guidance. This article discusses various aspects of beans for babies.

Like any nutritious vegetables and fruits, beans are also an essential food for babies’ growth and development. They are rich in proteins and various vitamins that babies need for proper growth and development. Giving babies an excess amount of beans can cause digestive issues in babies. Parents must be careful and when and how to introduce this food in their baby’s diet.

In This Article

Are Beans Safe For Babies?

Beans and lentils are among the safest food you can introduce to your baby first. This rich-in fiber and nutrient solid is a powerhouse of various vitamins, minerals, and nutritional properties. Adding beans to your baby’s diet will improve their growth and overall health. Filled with goodness, Beans further ensure eliminating the chances of developing life-threatening diseases like cancer, diabetes, obesity, etc., in infants.

When Can You Introduce Beans to Your Baby?

Beans can be safely introduced once the baby is about 8 months old. 8 to 10 months of age is a good time to start giving your baby different types of beans. This food group can be hard to digest for babies and hence you must wait for a couple of months after starting solids before introducing beans. When in doubt, you can always talk to your baby’s pediatrician about the right time to introduce.

It is important to ensure that the beans are cooked well before giving them to infants. Also starting in small quantities and following the 3-day rule to check for any reactions are both important.

Which Beans Are Good For Babies?

When your junior develops the ability to handle solid foods (after 6 months generally), give them beans. However, you may find various sorts of beans with wholesome goodness. The following are some varieties suitable for kids of any age:

1. Pinto Beans

Rich in iron, Pinto beans are extremely beneficial for babies. They have a creamy texture, and babies may fall in love with the flavor.

2. Chickpeas

Another healthy, flavorful, and safe bean is Chickpeas, which have high folic acid and calcium content. Chickpeas are crucial for growing babies to strengthen their brain development, bone density, and blood formation.

3. Kidney Beans

If you want to give your infant something nourishing packed with protein, iron, and fiber, Kidney beans are the best! After boiling or cooking it, babies can chew Kidney beans easily due to their soft consistency.

4. Black Beans

One more nutritious bean variety is Black beans. It’s perfect for a baby’s meal. It has a high amount of essential minerals, vitamins, and fiber like iron, magnesium, calcium, etc. It benefits a baby’s health extensively.

Similarly, you can offer garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, and red lentils as well to your little champ.

Nutritional Value of Beans

Beans are a super source of essential nutrients required for growing infants. However, the nutritional profile differs from the variety of beans. The following chart provides the basic nutritional value of 1 cup of boiled beans that your baby can get.
Nutrients Value
Protein 15 g
Carbohydrate 45 g
Fat 1 g
Fiber 15 g
Calcium 8%
Potassium 21%
Iron 20%
Magnesium 21%
Phosphorus 25%
Folate 74%

Besides, a cup of beans can provide several vitamins like B1, B6, E, and K and minerals like selenium, zinc, copper, and manganese to a baby.

Amazing Top 5 Health Benefits of Beans For Babies

Health Benefits of Beans For Babies

There are several reasons for making beans a stable food for babies. It’s the most nutritious, accessible, and beneficial solid with the following health benefits:

1. Jam-Packed With Essential Nutrients

All varieties of beans are rich in various essential vitamins and minerals. These micronutrients are crucial for growing babies. From iron, calcium, and vitamins to protein, you can give all nutrition to your baby to energize them. Plus, the essential amino acid lysine in beans supports the development of infants, promoting regular growth and functioning of vital organs.

2. Support Regular Digestion

Enriched with dietary fibers, beans can promote the digestive system in babies. They are highly resistant to starch. Having beans reduces the chances of constipation and helps maintain healthy bowel movements.

3. Enhance Overall Immunity

All types of beans contain a massive portion of zinc and protein that support the immune system of growing infants. Further, beans are rich in vitamin C. Consuming beans maintains skin health, strengthens body immunity, and prevents cold, flu, and cough.

Also, beans have bioactive compounds, i.e., flavonoids, phenolic acids, anthocyanins, etc., that indicate anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and immunomodulatory properties. These help build the overall health of the baby.

[Read : How to Increase Immunity in Babies?]

4. Prevent Chronic Diseases

Due to a high level of antioxidants, fiber, and phytonutrients, beans reduce the risk of disease in the future. Hence, incorporating beans in the baby’s diet will lower the chances of diabetes, heart diseases etc..

5. Promote Heart Health

Lastly, feeding beans to your infant daily keeps their heart healthy and reduces the chance of any cardiovascular problem.

Precautions to Take While Introducing Beans to Babies

Introducing Beans to Babies

Like any other vegetables, you must take some precautions for beans as well. So, keep in mind the following points.

  • You can start introducing beans once your baby is about 8 months old.
  • Exercise moderation. Start with small quantities, maybe a teaspoon of the mash to begin with.
  • Boil the beans, mash them, or make the puree to give to younger babies. Giving the whole beans can cause a choking situation for infants.
  • Serve mashed beans or puree in small portions to your baby. It has high fiber and protein that can cause indigestion or gas issues in some cases.
  • Follow the three-day rule to check for any possible allergies.
  • Give the beans to your baby without pods until they develop the ability to chew.
  • Don’t offer canned beans or fermented beans to the younger kids. Always opt for natural, dried beans for maximum nutrition.
  • Also, ensure you monitor your baby’s eating habits to detect allergic reactions when you give beans to them first.

[Read : The 3-Day Wait Rule For Babies To Introduce Solids]

Are There Any Side Effects of Beans For Babies?

Beans do not have known allergens and may not cause any major side effects. However, some side effects are possible when you feed in excess.

  • Excess feeding can upset the stomach of infants due to the rich-in fiber portion.  Overfeeding beans can cause digestive issues such as diarrhea, gas, bloating and stomachache.
  • While there are no specific known reactions with eating beans, keep a watch out for allergic reactions such as redness, rashes, itching, hives, sneezing, cough, etc.

Top 5 Healthy And Tasty Bean Recipes For Babies

Black Bean Soup

Here are some flavorful recipes to incorporate beans into your infant’s diet.

1. Sweet Potato and Kidney Beans Puree

Soak a few kidney beans overnight. Drain water, rinse well, cook and drain the water once again. Allow it to cool. Peel off sweet potatoes, cut them into small pieces, and steam the pieces. Blend the sweet potato and cooked kidney beans into a puree. It’s very nutritious for babies.

2. Plain Mashed Beans Spread on Soft Bread

Boil the beans and mash them into a soft paste. Spread the paste into soft bread and give it to your baby. It’s a delicious breakfast for babies.

3. Beans Puree With Rice

Like lentils and potatoes, you need to wash thoroughly and boil both beans and rice precisely. Then, blend both to make a soft puree and feed your little one. This dish contains the nutritional value of both rice and beans.

4. Black Bean Soup

Use fresh black beans and wash them thoroughly. You can add some healthy vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and lentils with black beans and boil them. Blend all ingredients and add vegetable broth to it to make soup-like consistency. You can add a little salt if your baby is over a year old.

5. Spinach and Kidney Bean Puree

Another healthy and tasty meal for babies is Spinach and kidney bean puree. With the same recipe, wash, boil and blend, you can make this meal for your baby.

Beans are a very nutrient-dense solid food appropriate for developing babies. It’s a great supplement of protein, vitamins, and other nourishing components for your baby’s weaning diet. So, serve your baby of 6 months old or more a portion of beans in the diet to ensure they get the proper nutrients required at this age. Plus, it maintains their overall health benefits and fitness.

[Read : Infant Choking]

FAQ’s

1. How Do You Cook Beans For the Baby?

You can prepare beans in some simple forms: cook the beans, mash them or make a puree. You can mix other healthy vegetables with beans and offer your little bundle of joy.

2. Can You Give Your Baby Cooked Beans?

If the beans are soft in texture, which the younger babies can smoothly gulp and digest, you can serve them. Make sure the consistency is soft and smooth enough to prevent any chance of choking.

3. At What Age Can Babies Eat Beans?

If your baby is 8 months and older, you can feed them beans. Mothers don’t need to wait until their babies turn 1year of age. Beans have never caused harmful health effects on babies.

Read Also: Basil Leaf(Tulsi) For Babies – When to Introduce, Benefits and Precautions

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Aparna Hari,MBA in Marketing,P.G. Diploma in Human Resource Management from IGNOU Bachelor of Sciences (Home Science) from Nagarjuna University

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.

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