Pasta For Babies – When to Introduce, Benefits and Precautions

8 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Pasta For Babies

Pasta is one of the most delicious food items that everyone loves to devour. Be it Mac N Cheese or alfredo pasta, you can cook this ingredient in a traditional Italian manner or try out some other versions according to your taste palette. As adults, you won’t be restricted in consuming store-bought and al dente pasta. But before considering pasta for babies, you should have proper knowledge about nutritional content, benefits, and when and how you can introduce this international food to your little munchkin.

We may not consider pasta as an essential food for babies who have just started on solids. But as your baby grows, they can get bored of eating the same food. In such cases, pasta can be a good alternative and a change from the routine. In addition, it is important to expose your baby to a variety of textures and flavors before they turn 2. This will make them good eaters in the long run as they grow. So how and when can you introduce pasta to your little one? We have all the answers.

In This Article

Video of Introducing Pasta to Babies

Is Pasta Safe For Babies?

Most parents try to feed their babies mashed rice, pulses, vegetables, and fruits. They usually have a perception that babies cannot eat anything else till a certain age. Although these food items are nutritious and pack a lot of energy, you shouldn’t limit their taste buds. This is why feeding pasta to your baby after your baby has started solids and is comfortable with finger foods.

Well-cooked pasta is easy to eat for babies and the different shapes and textures coupled with bright colored sauces may tempt them to give it a try. However, pasta is safe only when homemade or organic. The sauces must be homemade too as store-bought products can contain preservatives and chemicals.

When Can You Introduce Pasta to Your Baby?

You can introduce pasta to your little one after they are comfortable with solids and have crossed the age of 8 months and any time after that. To start off, you can give well-cooked and mashed pasta with boiled and mashed veggies and sauce. Around the 9th month, you can graduate them to well-cooked, chopped pasta. Make sure that the sizes are non-chokeable and monitor them carefully.

Whole wheat pasta is always much better than pasta made of refined flour. Before trying pasta for your baby, you must ensure that they are not allergic to the contents present such as wheat, eggs, and other ingredients that go into making it.

Nutritional Value of Pasta

Nutrients Whole Wheat Pasta Refined Pasta
Carbs 37 g 43 g
Proteins 7.5 g 8.1 g
Fat 0.8 g 1.3 g
Fiber 6 g 2.5 g
Copper 12% of the RDI 7% of the RDI
Manganese 97% of the RDI 23% of the RDI
Selenium 52% of the RDI 53% of the RDI
Vitamin B9 or Folate 2% of the RDI 26% of the RDI
Magnesium 11% of the RDI 6% of the RDI
Vitamin B1 or Thiamin 10% of the RDI 26% of the RDI
Vitamin B3 or Niacin 5% of the RDI 12% of the RDI
Iron 8% of the RDI 10% of the RDI
Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin 4% of the RDI 11% of the RDI
Phosphorus 12% of the RDI 8% of the RDI

Amazing Top 4 Health Benefits of Pasta For Babies

Health Benefits of Pasta For Babies

Contrary to the popular belief that pasta is junk food, it can be quite healthy if the right ingredients are used and it is prepared the right way. Here are some of the health benefits of pasta for babies.

1. Promotes Growth in Babies

One of the main benefits of including pasta in your baby’s diet is the presence of high amounts of proteins. While the whole wheat pasta has more proteins than refined ones, you can both in the diet routine. This macronutrient acts as the building block of humans, so you should give this foot item to your baby. From tissue differentiation to somatic growth, protein is needed for almost all body processes. This is why including pasta in the diet will prove to be helpful.

2. Keeps Babies Active For Longer

It doesn’t matter whether you give boiled pasta salad or tomato sauce marinated spaghetti because the dishes are always full of calories. This is why you can easily include this food item in your baby’s routine. A medium-sized bowl will be enough to make your baby feel fuller for longer. They can get all the energy they need to meet the requirement of meeting milestones and growth spurts.

3. Promotes Health And Immunity

Another major benefit of including pasta in your baby’s diet is to give them multiple Vitamin B sub-components. Your baby will receive multiple micronutrients such as Vitamin B1 or Thiamine to Vitamin B9 or folate, ensuring optimal health and strengthened immunity. So, you should cook some delicious pasta dishes and give them to your baby at lunch or dinner.

4. Prevents Constipation

Pasta contains fibers in huge quantities. The entire dish becomes rich in fiber when you top it with spinach, basil and other such veggies and healthful ingredients. Fiber allows bowels to easily move in the large intestine to prevent constipation and bloating.

Precautions to Take While Introducing Pasta to Babies

Introducing Pasta to Babies

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when introducing pasta to your little one.

  • Prefer homemade pasta over commercial brands. You can control what goes into the dish. The same goes for sauces.
  • When buying store-bought ones, always pick certified organic products from well-known brands.
  • Prefer whole grain flour pasta over refined ones since refined flours contain a lot of empty calories and cause unnecessary weight gain.
  • When offering mashed pasta for the first time, do not give more than a quarter of a cup.
  • Follow the three-day rule after giving pasta for the first few times. Do not repeat pasta till three days after giving once. If your baby does not exhibit any allergic reactions in this gap, then your baby is not allergic to pasta.
  • Avoid ready-to-eat 2-minute pasta packs until your baby is at least 2 years old.

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

Are There Any Side Effects of Pasta For Babies?

It is important to know the possible side effects of anything new you are introducing to your baby. This will help you in recognizing and acting quickly in case your baby feels uneasy or experiences reactions.

Here are the side effects that you can expect from introducing pasta.

  • Pasta contains flours (wheat/maida/any other flour), eggs, and milk which can all act as allergens. You must ensure that your baby is not allergic to any of these ingredients.
  • Side effects to these ingredients can appear in the form of itching, rashes, redness, and hives.
  • Stomach disturbances such as indigestion, bloating, nausea, vomiting, can also occur.

How Should Pasta be Cooked For Babies?

If your baby has started teething recently, boil the pasta till you can mash it easily. It needs to be cooked to perfection and a little more than that.

When your baby is already eating solid food, cook pasta for 15 minutes till it becomes soft. The pasta should be well-cooked so that the baby can chew and swallow easily.

Best Pasta Shapes For Babies of Different Ages

Best Pasta Shapes For Babies

Not all types of pasta can be given to babies of all ages. Here is a low-down on the best pastas for different aged babies.

Age Types of Pastas How to Offer
7 Months – 10 Months

Flat-wide, Spiral, or Tubular Pastas

Ex: Fusili, Penne, Rigatoni, Ziti

  • Well cooked
  • Whole pieces of tubular pasta and spirals
  • Big pieces of flat pasta

10 Months – 1 Year+

(After the baby develops pincer grasp)

Spiral, Tubular, Fat-Wide, Angular

Ex: Fusili, Penne, Rigatoni, Ziti, Macaroni, Spaghetti

  • Well-cooked
  • Tubular and spiral pieces cut into half.
  • Whole pieces of ziti and macaroni
  • Spaghetti cut into small pieces
1 Year+ All varieties that the baby would like to explore.
  • Well-Cooked
  • Cut into pieces with kitchen scissors

[Read : Infant Choking]

Top 4 Tasty and Healthy Pasta Recipes for Babies

Healthy Pasta Recipes for Babies

As there are many different pasta recipes, your baby won’t make a fuss while eating it. Some of the best dishes you can try out are:

1. Cooked And Mashed Pasta(6 Months+)

This is the best way to serve pasta when giving to your baby for the first time. Boil the pasta of your choice well. Do not add salt. Mash it well with the back of your spoon or a blender. Offer it to your baby after it cools down.

2. Basic Pasta(8 Months +)

Once your baby is ready to try out pasta in the proper way, you can choose a variety such as fusilli, penne, or rigatoni. Cook it well, cool it down and your pasta is ready.

3. Pasta With Tomato Sauce(8 Months+)

When your baby starts getting comfortable with eating basic pasta, you can add homemade tomato sauce during the cooking process. Simply blanch some tomatoes. You can add garlic to the boiling water if you wish. Fresh herbs are optional. Blend the tomato mixture well after removing the skin. Add the sauce to well-cooked pasta, cook for few more minutes and cool before serving.

4. Pasta With Veggies(10 Months+)

You can add boiled vegetables of your choice such as carrots, bell peppers, baby corn etc to the pasta with tomato sauce recipe once your baby os comfortable with finger foods. This will add variety, taste and loads of nutrition to the dish.

Pasta is one of the most versatile food items you can give to your baby. It is available in so many shapes and sizes that they won’t get bored, even if you use the same recipe. The best part that is you can make pasta at your home with fresh ingredients and give it different colors and shapes. Ensure to boil the pasta to perfection so your baby can enjoy the dish without choking.

[Read : Finger Food For Babies: Everything You Must Know]

FAQ’s

1. Is Pasta Safe For Babies?

Yes, pasta is safe for babies as long as you cook it the right way and introduce the age-appropriate varieties at the right time. Offering the pasta in age-appropriate cuts and textures will reduce choking hazards.

2. Is Pasta Hard to Digest For Babies?

No, pasta is not hard to digest. All you need to ensure is to cook pasta properly. It should be boiled completely and must be soft. However, don’t overcook it, as the texture will become chewy.

3. Can Pasta Cause Gas in Babies?

Pasta can sometimes cause gas in babies. This is due to the difficulty in digesting the fiber present in ingredients such as whole grains and wheat, the basic ingredients that go into making the pasta.

4. Can I Feed my Baby on Pasta Everyday?

Homemade pasta made with ingredients such as whole grain flour, black bean flour etc can be given every day to babies. You can also add different veggies to the pasta to increase the nutrition quotient. But remember, if your baby is developing gas or other digestion-related issues, you may have to reduce the frequency of feeding pasta to your baby.

Read Also: Khichdi For Babies – When to Introduce, Benefits and Precautions

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Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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