Giving your baby cream or Half and Half might seem like a good idea, since it’s higher in fat than milk, but is it something that they should be having?
Most of the time when we’re considering what to feed our babies there are many things we must consider. The first is how they are going to react to the new food item. Will they reject it right from the spoon, will they get it down and then puke it up later, will it cause them diarrhea, and lastly will they be able to process it in a way that it provides some nutritional value to them.
With cream there aren’t many concerns with allergies and digestibility, unless you’ve already discovered these by introducing them to cow’s milk. And most babies will happily eat cream if presented with it. So the last test you have to give it is whether or not you’re doing your baby any favors by giving it to them. If you’re being asked to use cream in a recipe and are trying to make it OK for your baby to eat as well, they may have to miss out on it, or you can make them a special batch without cream, or perhaps breast milk as a substitute.
Can I Give My Baby Cream? Answer: Not Recommended
The reason that it’s not recommended to give your baby cream is because it’s not necessary, and doesn’t provide them with a lot of nutritional value. The first year of your baby’s life is pretty simple as to what you should be feeding them. For at least half of the year you can simply give them breast milk, and for the rest of the year you can in keep giving them breast milk in addition to other starter foods like infant cereals. This is according to the World Health Organization, and is true for mothers all across the planet.
Before age one it’s not a great idea to give them cow’s milk. This is confirmed by BabyCenter who goes on to give the reasons why it’s often recommended against. Since cream is derived from cow’s milk it only makes sense that this should also be avoided until after the first year. There are some other issues that parents might have, and we address those below, dispelling some myths, and confirming some concerns.
Lactose Intolerance Concerns
Some people might have thought that the reason you don’t want to give them cream is because they might have a problem digesting it due to being lactose intolerant. But this is actually a rare condition and so you don’t have to give too much thought to it, unless you’ve already seen your baby have reactions to cow’s milk. The real reason for it not being a good idea for your baby is because it’s just not a great choice, and there are plenty of better alternatives.
Higher Fat Content
The higher fat content could be a concern for parents that are worried that their baby may have weight issues, especially if both parents are considered overweight or obese. You’ll want to establish a good diet for your baby, and this is the time to start because they are relying on you to help set the foundation. Your baby likely leads a mostly sedentary life until they learn to walk, and therefore it’s usually a good idea to wait until they’re more active before introducing foods with a higher percentage of fats in them.
A better option for your baby if you want to give them a sweet treat is fruit if they’re old enough and if you’ve already tested it out for allergies. Try putting in the freezer for a cool summer time treat.
So to recap, your baby really only needs to be breast fed for the first six months. After that you’ll want to continue feeding them breast milk, but also incorporating new foods into their diet like rice cereals and pureed foods. Closer to the one year mark you want to continue giving them breast milk, and at this stage they’ll be able to pick things up so you can start giving them solid foods in sizes that don’t represent a choking hazard.