When Can I Give Meat To My Baby?

4 min read

As your baby grows, the nutritional requirements of the body also increase. Mostly for the first six months, his primary source of nutrition is the breast milk. Thereafter vegetable and fruit purees are gradually introduced to supplement growth. However the protein and iron needs of the body may not be adequately met just by these purees. Moreover, as your baby starts eating other foods, he absorbs less iron from breast-milk. Vegetarian counterparts need to find alternate sources to meet these demands. Read below to know more everything about incorporating meet in your baby’s diet.
Giving Meat to baby

When Can I Give Meat To My Baby?

Once your baby has become used to semi-solids such as mashed vegetables and fruits, its perfect time to introduce him to meat. Usually this is somewhere between 7-10 months. Your baby has not developed molars yet, so you need to puree meat such that it is easily swallowed by the baby without much chewing. Now pureeing chicken or meat may have a grainy texture which may not be liked by the baby. If your baby displays aversion to food after adding meat to it, then you should perhaps wait for a few days and then try giving him again. The introduction of meat to the baby is generally in the form of chicken or turkey, and red meats follow later after the molars sprout up. You need to stick to one meat at a time, say chicken and puree it along with your baby’s favorite meal. Then gradually increase the content of chicken in it and with time, your baby will be able to enjoy chicken on its own.

Which Meat Should I Start With?

Chicken is considered the safest bet among meats as ideal first meat for the babies. This is largely because of its soft texture and ability to get easily mixed into vegetarian meals and lending a creamy texture. Chicken also has a mild taste which does not predominates others and therefore can be sneaked into other preparations. The upside is you can serve it both as a sweet and savoury! Thereafter you can introduce fish and lamb to your baby.

How Should I Cook Meat For My Baby?

Meats can be difficult to digest for the baby, when compared to the fruits and vegetables. To improve the digestibility, it is necessary to break the fibres and connective tissues in the meat by cooking it thoroughly. Thus, no matter whatever meat you select for your baby, it should be thoroughly cooked. Also make sure it is tender, without any bones and moist. Slow cooking preserves juices of the meat which enhances the flavor and is adequately cooked as well. Simply pop in a ton of veggies and woohoo! your baby will be fed with nutritional feast! It’s best to puree the meat when introducing it to your baby’s diet. As your baby grows you may give him tiny nibbles and later progress on to finger foods. Whether its fresh or frozen meat, first wash it thoroughly, cut it into small pieces, grind it in a mixer and then cook. You may cook it with vegetables, boil it or add to mashes. Some mums like to add potatoes or mashed carrots to meat as it keeps the puree smooth.
baby eating meat

Tips To Introduce Meat To Baby
  • Skip cooking processed meat for your baby. The digestive system of your baby is very weak, you must aim to feed him foods that can be easily digested. Processed meat is laden with preservatives and the nutritional value is also low
  • Add salt or broth while cooking meat for the baby. Red meat is quite harder as compared to chicken and fish and therefore in order to make it tender, sometimes it is marinated in salt or you may keep adding broth while cooking to keep it tender
  • Never ever feed under cooked meat to your baby. It may contain harmful bacteria that can make your baby seriously ill
  • Remove skin and any visible fat from the meat (thick white colored layer) by giving it a good pounding
  • Look for free-range or locally raised meat. This reduces the chances that the animal is fed with any additives or chemicals that may negatively affect your baby
  • Marination in milk or yogurt can be done to tenderize the meat, however, don’t attempt this if your baby is lactose intolerant
  • Watch out for any signs of allergy after feeding meat to your baby. This mostly includes diarrhea, hives and rashes. You should include only one meat at a time and observe if your baby is taking it well
  • Pureed meat makes it more digestible for the baby plus the chances of choking are ruled out. You can grind the meat when warm by adding a little broth or wait for the cooked meat to cool down, cut in pieces and process in a blender
  • Refrain from thawing or defrosting the meat in the microwave

The fact is meat is a rich source of protein and iron. Protein is required for the development of tissues and muscles. Iron ensures sufficient oxygen and blood supply in the body. Also the iron found in animal sources is more easily absorbed by the body than plant sources, another reason to start introducing meat early to your baby!

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