Can Babies Eat Pickles – When and How to Introduce

6 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

Babies Eating Pickles

Pickles are rich in nutrients, crunchy as well as tangy. They are helpful in digestion, good for the gut, and liked by many. Pickles are great for snacking as well as a side dish. They are popular in Indian households. Pickles have unique flavors and aroma too. But can babies eat pickles? They are a great choice for babies as they help in building immunity. They are a safe choice for babies but you will need to be careful of how you feed and the fact they are high in sodium content.

Pickles are very good sources of antioxidants and probiotics. But excessive intake may be unsafe for babies. It is important to understand the right time to introduce pickles to babies, how and how much to give, and when not to give. pregnancy pillow

In This Article

What Are Pickles?

Pickles are preserved vegetables that are steeped in brine solution or a solution with a mix of various spices. In the Indian context, pickles are cut vegetables preserved in an emulsion of oil, salt, and spice powders. The preparation method ensures that the vegetables stay fresh for longer.

Pickling was one of the important preservation methods in ancient civilization where there were no refrigerators or other equipment that could preserve fruits or vegetables. Produce was picked during the peak season and different methods were applied to improve their shelf life and use them later.

Pickles have a variety of functions. They add flavor to a meal, can be snacked on, and may even have nutritional value. Indian pickles are believed to have probiotics that can aid in digestion. But can babies eat pickles?  Yes, they can, but homemade and in moderation.

How to Introduce Pickles in Your Baby’s Diet?

How to Introduce Pickles to Baby

Introducing pickles to your baby may not be as simple as introducing other foods. This is because pickles are high in salts and spices which may not be safe for very young babies.  Here is how you can let your baby taste their first pickled veggies.

  • The best way to introduce pickles to the baby is by giving them very small pieces so that they can get the taste by licking them.
  • Not all babies have the same taste buds, some might not like it as well.
  • It is ideal to give the baby pickled vegetables during their teething phase so that they can chew as well as nibble. Using vegetables also soothes the gums and helps with easing the pain.
  • Do not leave the baby alone with the pickles piece as it can choke the baby as well.
  • It is also important to choose pickles with low sodium content.
  • Giving pickles rarely and in smaller quantities is better for babies.
  • Indian pickles should not be introduced to babies until they are at least a year old since they are high in spice levels.

When to Introduce Pickles to Your Baby’s Diet?

When to Introduce Pickles to Baby

It is best to introduce pickles to the baby around the time when they start with solid foods. Babies start with finger food at 6 months. According to a publication by the American Association of Pediatrics, some signs that indicate that the baby is ready for finger foods are

  • The baby starts sitting upright
  • Can hold up the head
  • Shows interest in foods near him
  • The birth weight gets doubled

Spear pickles are not a great choice as the first finger food for the baby. This must be given when they are ready for solid foods and have a better hold. 

Dice or chopped pickles are a great choice for babies at 9 months. This is the time when the baby’s princely holds develop. Always give your baby the flesh to eat and not the outer skin as as the skin can act as a choking hazard.

Can An Infant Be Allergic to Pickles?

Pickles are acidic and can cause allergies in babies at times. As per an article published by the Harvard Medical Society, the preservatives present in pickles may cause allergies. 

Some of the  preservatives that help in preparing pickles but may not be good for babies are

  • Vinegar
  • Spices such as garlic, cloves, cinnamon, red chili.
  • Sodium Sulphite and its combinations.

Besides preservatives, some vegetables also cause allergies in infants. They are:

  • Green Beans
  • Cucumber
  • Mushrooms
  • Asparagus
  • Bell Pepper 

[Read : Food Allergies in Babies]

Amazing Top Four Benefits of Pickles For Babies

Pickles are not a great choice for babies as they have high sodium content and are acidic in nature. Yet, there are many health benefits that the baby gets when they consume pickles once a week or so.

Here are some of the benefits of pickles for babies.

1. Boost Gut Health

Pickle preparation involves the process of fermentation. This fermentation process results in the production of probiotics. The probiotics protect the lining of the gut, encourage the development of beneficial bacteria and promote gut health in babies.

2. Promote Immunity

Pickles are rich in pickles, potassium, and phosphorus. These elements play a vital role in boosting immunity in babies. In addition, the probiotics also help in improving immunity in babies.

3. Great For Teething

Teething is a difficult phase for babies. Pain and inflammation can be troublesome and babies get constantly irritated and cranky. Pickles help to soothe this pain and irritation and offer a cooling sensation to the soreness of the gums.

4. Improve Pincer Grasp

Older babies can slowly pick food and eat on their own. Self-feeding skills are something vital for babies to learn. Pickles, due to their unique shapes and textures encourage babies to hold and eat and also help improve their pincer grasp.

[Read : When Will My Baby Develop The Pincer Grasp?]

Side Effects and Health Concerns of Feeding Pickles to Babies

Side effects of pickle for babies

The packed pickles are high in sodium and are not good for the baby’s health. A few side-effects of pickles for babies are

1. Addictive

Pickles can be highly addictive due to their high salt content. Salt intake is not good for babies. Excessive salt intake can cause health issues. Hence it is important to limit pickle intake for babies

[Read : Is It Safe To Add Salt To Baby Food?]

2. Stress on Kidneys

The high salt content present in pickles can cause overload on the kidneys, especially with excessive intake.

3. Rashes and Allergies

Pickles have lactonic acid that converts the pickle to acid. This can lead to skin irritation and result in rashes and boils near buttocks, lips as well as mouth.

4. Health Issues

The high salt content can cause kidney and heart-related ailments. In addition, excessive intake of pickles can also result in diseases like obesity, diabetes, cancer, and asthma.

5. Stomach Aches and Acid Reflux

Some babies can develop digestion issues from pickle brine. This can result in an upset tummy making the baby sick. High acid content can cause acid reflux. Some babies may even end up with bloating and flatulence.

So, to sum up, can babies eat pickles?  Yes, they definitely can. But homemade pickles must always be preferred over commercial ones. Preparing pickles at home in small batches and serving them fresh will be beneficial. This way, you will have control over the ingredients. Limit your baby’s pickle intake and talk to your pediatrician before giving pickles to your munchkin.


1. Can Pickles Cause Gas in Babies?

Yes, the composition of pickles can trigger gas, acidity, and other digestion-related issues in babies. Pickles contain good bacteria but excess of these bacteria can trigger gas and acidity. Also, fermented foods, especially when taken in excess can cause gas and bloating in babies.

2. Are Pickles Too Spicy For Babies?

This will wholly depend on the type of pickle you are serving to your baby and the ingredients present in it. It is important to remember that babies’ taste buds are not fully mature. It is always a good idea to start your baby on mild homemade pickles with minimal spices.

Read Also: When Can Your Baby Start Having Spicy Food?

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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