Written by Sindhuja Prabhu
When a baby starts is eating solid foods, it can be both exciting and stressful for a parent. You must find ways to ensure your baby gets enough nutrition from the foods you give them. As a parent, you have a wide range of healthy and tasty options to choose from. In this article, we discuss the safety and nutrition facts of tofu for babies.
Tofu seems to be a part of every “health food” oriented restaurant today. Some swear by it, while others remain skeptical. This fermented food is high in protein and fats. But can you give tofu to your little one? Are there any precautions you must take? At what age can you introduce this food to your baby? Read ahead to know more.
In This Article
Tofu is made from soy milk. The process is very similar to making cheese. Soy curds are compressed or pressed to make tofu. There are many varieties of tofu and the difference lies in the soy curd compression process. Instead of using animal milk, makers use soy milk, soybean extract, for making tofu. If your little one is allergic to milk and milk products, tofu. So, how safe is tofu for babies?
Tofu is extremely healthy, especially for vegans who do not consume meat or animal products. Tofu is:
It has many micronutrients as well. However, nutritional values depend on consistency. Tofu can be very soft and tender or dense. Different consistencies have different nutritional profiles.
Tofu is perfectly safe for babies. It is a plant product derivative and is safe for your little one. Tofu comes in different types of consistency, ranging from very hard to very soft. This gives you an option to play around with hardness and textures depending on how quickly your baby is ready to eat. Babies will find hard tofu difficult to chew and digest, especially when they have no teeth. Start with softer varieties and slowly graduate them to harder tofu.
Tofu is extremely healthy and a great source of plant-based protein and calcium for vegetarians and vegans. Some health benefits of tofu for babies are listed below:
Most parents vouch for the health benefits of tofu. But some parents and medical experts believe that this food is not so good, especially for babies. Some probable side effects of tofu are listed below.
The high content of phytoestrogens, which mimic estrogen can cause breast development in boys. It can even have some “feminizing” effect on a male child.
Babies can start eating tofu when they start eating other solids. Always consult a doctor before starting your little one on tofu. Soy is an allergen, and some babies can develop allergic reactions to tofu. You must introduce this after talking to the pediatrician.
When giving tofu to your child, start with the soft today. Start low and slow. Once your baby gets comfortable, you can increase the quantity and introduce new varieties. If you notice any allergic reactions, stop giving them immediately and re-introduce them after a couple of weeks or months after consulting with your baby’s doctor.
[Read: Soy Milk For Babies]
Babies’ digestive systems are very fragile and still developing as they eat more foods. A parent has to be cautious when they introduce a new food item. Some precautions to take while feeding tofu to your baby are:
Tofu is an excellent source of nutrients for babies and adults. It is a good option for vegetarians and vegans. However, not every child can tolerate tofu well. Do not be in a hurry to make your child eat it. If they are not comfortable eating it, try different consistencies. You can add them to different curries too. Ensure you give your baby a well-balanced diet.
[Read : Broccoli for Babies]
No, don’t worry. All types of tofu do not cause harm. Only tofu made from genetically modified soy can be harmful. Boys have a lesser risk of developing breasts from eating tofu.
Tofu is definitely more nutritious than paneer. It has fewer calories too. However, paneer tastes better and has a better texture, too. If you are looking to add some weight to your baby, paneer can be a better option. If you are not vegan, you can give both to your baby.
Yes, they can. However, tofu is made up of complex proteins. Some babies might find it difficult to digest. If your baby is unable to digest tofu, discontinue and try again after a month. It is also advisable to check with your doctor.
It is a personal choice. Tofu is said to be an excellent choice of protein for vegans. If you are not a vegan or eat meat, you can find other food items that are equally rich in nutrients. You can give tofu if your baby likes it and is able to tolerate it well.
Sindhuja, a mother of two, is an obsessive mom with a keen interest in psychology, especially child psychology. Her quest for knowledge and way with words led her to become a passionate content writer. She transformed her love for writing into a full-fledged career which incidentally also turned up being the perfect stress buster for the last 5 years.Read more.
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