My Baby’s First Ice Cream – When Can It Have?

6 min read

Written by Pradeep


My Baby’s First Ice Cream

When your little bundle of joy turns six months, you should introduce them to a variety of foods other than breast milk. This usually coincides with the time your baby starts to sprout her first teeth. Switching to newer foods will provide him with all the vitamins and nutrients he needs for healthy growth and proper development.

You may not be able to control the urge to introduce your baby to all tongue-friendly food items that you enjoy most, and if you are one hard ice-cream lover, you will be tempted to introduce this tasty haven to the star of your eyes. But be patient. The little one may resemble you and your tastes, but not his organ systems. We explain various aspects of introducing ice cream to your baby for the first time.

In This Article

When Can My Baby Have His First Ice Cream?

You can give your baby their first ice cream after the age of one year. You will need to avoid any dairy products till your baby turns one. Ice cream is a dairy product and is made from whole milk and cream and undergoes pasteurization. Still, babies can still be sensitive to milk minerals, proteins, and other ingredients present in it.

According to Some Reports to Healthy Eating, foods and drinks items such as ice cream and other ice confections are poor sources of nutrients for your little one, and you must avoid them. However, you can introduce ice cream to your baby in moderation after consulting with your pediatrician. Remember to exercise moderation and give them once in a way.

When Your Baby Enjoy Ice Cream?

It is better to wait till your baby’s age is at least one year to give the baby’s first ice cream. After one year, you can give your baby’s first ice cream in small quantities. But remember, you may need to be careful if there is a family history of allergies to milk and milk products.

Why Should You Wait to Give Your Baby’s First Ice Cream?

Why Should You Wait to Give Your Baby’s First Ice Cream

Generally, traditional ice cream is high in sugar and fat content. Following are a few reasons why you should wait to give your baby its first ice cream:

  • Dairy products are also difficult for babies to digest, and babies will develop sensitivities to those ingredients. Dairy products, especially whole milk, are a major cause of tummy problems for your baby. Colic in babies can be inconvenient for both the mother and baby.
  • Many commercial brands add preservatives, food coloring, and various other artificial ingredients to the ice cream. These artificial ingredients are unhealthy for your growing baby.
  • Ice creams are susceptible to bacterial build-up. In recent days, Listeria and other bacterial outbreaks have hit ice cream brands. The pasteurization process kills most of the bacteria and makes ice cream safe, mostly. For this reason, it is better to wait till the baby is at least one-year-old.
  • Even after your baby turns one year old, give Ice Cream sparingly. The sweet treat increases the risk of tooth decay, obesity, and fondness for sweets in the future. Make sure that they know ice cream is a treat for some special occasions and not an everyday thing.
[Read: All You Need to Know About Chocolate for Babies]

Is It Safe For My Baby to Have it Once in a While?

Yes, it is safe for your baby to have ice cream once in a while once they cross the one-year milestone. After this once in a way, ice cream may not do much harm. You can always consult your pediatrician before introducing ice cream to your baby.

Why is it Unsafe For Children Below One Year?

There are several reasons that make ice cream unsafe for children who have not celebrated their first birthday yet.

1. Ice Creams are Full of Sugar and Fat

Sugar and fat are not good for babies, especially before they turn one year old. Babies who eat ice cream regularly develop an addiction to sweets and sugar. This will lead to health issues in the long run.

2. Ice Creams are Low in Nutrients

Ice creams are high in sugars and low in nutrients. The sugar rush from ice creams and the taste are the reasons babies develop a liking for ice creams. Such addiction can kill the appetite, and they refuse a regular nutrient-rich diet. This can affect their health in the long run.

3. Additives

Additives and coloring agents in ice-creams can cause allergic reactions, sugar addiction, and health problems and are not ideal for babies.

[Read: Feeding Cow’s Milk To Baby]

4. Some Ice Creams Contain Nuts or Ingredients Made From the Nuts

If a baby has an allergic condition like eczema or any of the family members (siblings, father, mother, grandparents, uncles or aunts) has a nut allergy, keep the baby away from ice cream that has nuts in them.

5. Egg Content

Some ice creams contain eggs as the main ingredient. The egg white contains four proteins that can cause allergies ranging from mild to severe in babies below 12 months. Read more on giving eggs to the baby.

6. Ice Cream is a Dairy Product

child eating ice-cream

Ice-creams are generally made from whole cream or whole milk. Even if it is pasteurized to remove bacteria, negligence in storing the ice cream can cause reactions in the baby. This can be because:

  • Giving whole milk products to babies under 12 months is not recommended. Babies below 12 months cannot properly digest milk and milk products.
  • Their immature kidneys cannot handle the high concentration of protein and minerals present in the whole milk.
  • In some babies, the protein in the whole milk products can irritate the lining of the digestive system, leading to blood in the stool.
[Read: When Can Your Baby Start Eating Dairy Products?]

7. Ice Cream Vendors

Ice-creams made and sold by roadside vendors are extremely unhealthy for your little one. They often contain cheap sugar substitutes, colors, and flavoring which will play havoc with your baby’s health. You cannot be sure of their safety and hygiene level.

  • Keep your child away from soft-serve ice cream from machines. The ice cream in the machines can become contaminated with Listeria, a type of bacteria present in contaminated food, resulting in food poisoning if the tubes on the machine are not kept perfectly clean.
  • The ice cream made and sold by vendors may have bacteria build-up due to the unhygienic conditions where they made the ice cream.
  • They also use poor quality water and ingredients, especially low-grade color and preservatives they use. This can cause infection in the baby’s digestive system and become dangerous.
  • Ice cream coming in mobile trucks may not have proper storage facilities. This will result in developing dangerous bacteria in ice cream.

What are the Alternatives For an Ice Cream For My Baby?

alternatives for ice-cream

Being an intelligent mother, you can always find a healthy alternative for most of the unhealthy food habits of your child. Instead of ice cream, introduce your child to:

  • Freeze bananas, mango, apples, or any fruit of your choice (check with your doctor the possibility of allergies that some fruits can cause). You can crush the frozen fruit in a blender. You have a healthy substitute for ice cream ready. Blueberries can add an attractive colour to a frozen banana while blending.
  • Whipped fresh fruit smoothies are also good. As this need not be refrigerated, you can give your child even if the weather is cold. Always use fresh fruit. Canned fruit should be strictly avoided.
  • Frozen yogurt is an easy and healthy substitute for ice cream

The perfect time for your baby’s first ice cream is when they cross the one-year milestone. Today, we have many superior brands that give priority to quality ingredients and freshness. You can select these brands as your baby’s first ice cream. As with every food, you must exercise moderation when giving ice cream to your little one.

Read Also: 10 Foods To Definitely Avoid In Baby’s First Year


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