Muffins For Babies – When to Introduce, Benefits and Side Effects

8 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.

muffin for babies

Babies love to eat different types of food, especially those that are sweet. Muffins are one such food that babies really enjoy. These delectable baked goodies are rich in vitamins depending on the ingredients in it. The versatility of muffins lies in the fact that you can make them using a range of fruits. But having said that we may wonder if muffins for babies are safe.

The main source of worry lies in the basic ingredients used to bake muffins, such as flour, eggs, milk, and sometimes even nuts. All these ingredients are known allergens and if your baby is prone to allergies, they may suffer a number of side effects. In addition, store-bought muffins can have preservatives in them which may not be very safe for your munchkin. In this article, we take you through how you can prepare muffins easily at home using healthy ingredients when you can introduce them to your babies and various other important facts.

In This Article

What Are Muffins?

Muffins are baked products. These can be baked as small cupcakes or into individual molds to form muffins.  While eggs, milk, sugar, and flour are the key ingredients, you can also add fruits such as bananas and different nuts in the recipe to improve the nutrition quotient. Since most babies love muffins, adding nutritious ingredients into the recipe is an excellent way to keep your baby healthy and at the same time allow them to explore new food and develop an interest in what they are eating.

As we mentioned earlier, do consider the presence of allergens in muffins before introducing them to your baby. If you suspect your baby is allergic to any one of the ingredients, you may need to consult a pediatrician before starting your baby on these baked goods.

When Can You Introduce Muffins to Your Baby?

Introduce Muffins to Your Baby

Babies can be offered muffins just like they can be given any other baby food that is made of different types of ingredients. Babies can start having a taste of muffins when they are six months or more or the time when the taste buds start ticking and they like to keep their hands on to everything on the table.

To be on the safe side, you can offer muffins to your baby at around the 10th month. By this time, they are already used to eating a wide variety of foods and their digestive system gets capable enough of handling foods like muffins which are made with many ingredients.

Top 8 Benefits of Muffins For Babies

Benefits of Muffins For Babies

Muffins are a multi-ingredient food and good for babies. Due to the look, feel and flavor, muffins are well-loved by most babies. But did you know that muffins have health benefits too? Here are some of them.

  1. Muffins are an excellent source of carbohydrates as they are made with oats, and whole wheat flour, and this gives good energy to babies.
  2. Flour has fiber which helps to prevent constipation and aids in digestion.
  3. The grains used in the preparation of muffins offer minerals and vitamins like magnesium, iron, Vitamin B etc.
  4. Muffins are a great way to add nutrition to the diet of the baby.
  5. If the muffins are made of pumpkin or mashed potato, it offers Vitamin A.
  6. Also, if made from spinach, it gives them iron.
  7. Muffins made from berries also provide your baby’s supply of antioxidants.
  8. To avoid choking hazards from dry fruits, try adding almond butter, flax seeds, peanut butter, and mashed avocado. These ingredients add to the overall nutrition.

How to Prepare Muffins For Your Baby?

While baking muffins at home, you can choose the ingredients, the vegetables, fruits, dry fruits, toppings etc. by their choice. Though making homemade muffins does take some time yet the result is safer and more appetizing. Muffins made at home can be made in different sizes as well as tastes. These can be made fresh or even frozen, thawed and used for small snacks.

Mini muffins are easy to grab by the small little hands and enough for their tiny stomach as well. Since all babies are different their appetites differ as well.

The muffin size can be adjusted as per the baby’s age and appetite. One baby might take two mini-size muffins while another might consume less or more. But they have to be given after cutting them into age-appropriate size and shape.

Store-bought muffins should be avoided at all costs since they may contain preservatives and high levels of salt and sugar, all of which are unhealthy for babies.

Easy Tips For Making Yummy Muffins For Babies

ingredients

Following certain tips as below helps the parents to assess how to offer muffins to babies at different stages of their lives. It is also important to keep in mind that all babies have different development path. In case of having any issues with chewing or swallowing skills, always consult a doctor for the same. The tips to help in making a yummy muffin for the little one are given below:

1. Prefer Whole Grain Flour Over Refined Flour

Refined flours are of no use in terms of health benefits. Instead you can use whole wheat flour, oat flour and similar healthy substitutes to make muffins for your baby.

2. Replace Sugar With Fruits

Never add brown sugar, white sugar or a natural sweetener like honey to the baby’s muffin as they are not allowed till the baby reaches one year. Even molasses and maple or chocolate syrup should not be added. It is best to add mashed banana, sweet potato, and prune puree for a dash of sweetness in muffins.

3. Replace Oil With Superfoods

Use mashed avocado or flaxseed oil instead of oil or butter. Add hemp seeds while folding the dough as they are a good source of Omega 3 Fatty acids, iron, and protein.

4. Add Vegetables And Fruits to Make Muffins Healthy

Use butternut squash, pumpkin puree, chopped greens, and grated beetroot or carrot. You can also use fruits such as bananas and berries. All of these add to the nutrient quotient and make the berries extremely healthy for your baby.

5. Make Muffins Savory

You can try the Mediterranean style of muffins for your baby. These types of muffins have oregano or small olives as the flavorings agents and are tasty and healthy. Cheesy muffins with cheese and cornmeal are an excellent option as well.

How to Prepare Muffins For a 6 Month Old Baby?

If you are planning to introduce muffins as your baby turns 6 months old, stick to the basics and simple. Start with a plain baked muffin. Avoid adding sugar. Your baby hasn’t tasted sweet so far and won’t be bothered much even if the muffin isn’t overly sweet. Once you feel that your baby is well-adjusted to the introduction of muffins and isn’t showing any reactions, you can start introducing single-ingredient fruit muffins such as banana muffins. Do ensure that the baby is not allergic to the fruit that your are adding.

You can either give mashed muffins to your baby or cut them into thin strips and offer them to your baby if you are following baby led weaning.

How to Prepare Muffins For a 9 Month Old Baby?

This is a good age to start experimenting with recipes. You can introduce muffins that you make using a combination of healthy fruits or vegetables. Ensure that all the ingredients are mashed to avoid the risk of choking. You can cut the muffins into slightly bigger pieces at this stage.

How to Prepare Muffins For 12 Month Old Baby?

This a good time to start adding chopped nuts and choco-chip pieces to your baby’s muffins. Preferring dark chocolate chips is a good idea to boost the health factor. If your baby is comfortable with their grabbing and eating skills, you can offer them a whole small muffin to eat. Alternatively, you can also cut the muffin horizontal halves so that your baby will be able to eat it comfortably.

Side Effects of Eating Muffins For Babies

Side Effects of Eating Muffins

Muffins are a yummy and healthy option for babies, yet it is important to be aware of the side effects as well. Muffins are made of ingredients like flour, milk, eggs etc. that are known allergens. To rule out any allergy, it is best to first offer plain muffins without adding any other ingredients. For example, if the muffins are made of eggs, all-purpose flour, eggs, cocoa, but these ingredients are not tested separately on the baby, it is not easy to decipher what ingredient led to the allergy or if the allergy is due to a single ingredient or a mix of many.

In case the baby shows an allergic reaction to any ingredient otherwise, it is best not to use it for the preparation of muffins.

Always keep an eye on the baby when they are eating muffins, they could even develop an allergy due to a fruit or any spice added in the preparation of muffins.

The babies can get a food allergy right after consuming muffins, maybe after some hours or even minutes.

Allergic reactions can be seen in many ways like below:

  • Skin rashes
  • Itchiness
  • Wheezing
  • Hives
  • Sneezing
  • Problem with swallowing food
  • Diarrhea, vomiting, stomach-ache
  • Problems while breathing
  • Swelling in the tongue, lips and throat

In case of these signs, immediately consult the doctor as it can become very severe and fatal if it spreads to different body parts, though it is a very rare phenomenon.

Can Eating Muffins Cause Choking Hazard For Babies?

As muffins have a soft texture, there are very less chances that it can pose as a choking hazard, yet they should always be served in sizes as per the age and grip of babies. Only thing to remember is that muffins that have chopped dry fruits and nuts should not be given. Also never leave a baby unattended when they are eating by themselves, make them sit in an upright manner and do not offer food to the baby when they are playing, not sitting upright or walking or reclining.

Muffins for babies can be a very good source of nutrition but it is important to understand your baby’s allergy profile before introducing these baked goodies to your baby. Remember to offer them in age-appropriate sizes and portions. When in doubt, you can always consult a pediatrician before introducing muffins to your baby.

FAQ’s

1. Can Babies Have Muffins With Sugar?

No, babies must not be given muffins with sugar at least till they turn a year old. You can use mashed fruit for sweetness when preparing muffins at home.

2. Can Babies Choke on Muffins?

Any food ingredient can be a choking hazard for babies and muffins are no exception. Avoid giving muffins with bits of nuts, fruit or chocolate chips in them. Carefully monitor your baby for the first couple of times to make sure your baby is comfortable with the texture. Never leave your baby unattended, especially when you are letting them eat on their own.

3. Can Babies Have Baking Powder in Muffins?

No, babies should not be given muffins with baking powder in them. Baking powder, a common leavening agent, can be harmful for babies and disturb their digestion.

Read Also: Biscuits For Babies- Good or Bad?

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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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