Ground beef is used in so many different dishes, and is so prevalent in our society, that before long you’re going to wonder if it’s something you should give your baby.
The first and obvious answer is that it’s not something that is good for your baby, especially if it’s from a fast food chain. If you do give it to them you want to be sure that it’s high quality, of the Angus variety or better, and that it’s as lean as can be. Organic beef would be best, since it will be free of added hormones and other things you wouldn’t want your baby to be exposed to, included bovine growth hormone.
You’ll also need to consider the fat content, and opt for beef that is 90/10 rather than 80/20. Going with ground sirloin or ground round over ground chuck or ordinary ground beef is also an option you will want to go for. These use leaner cuts of better quality meat, and is akin to giving your baby steak instead of just regular run of the mill beef. Getting the rest of the family switched over to these healthier cuts of meat might provide a side benefit everyone can enjoy.
Can I Give My Baby Ground Beef? Answer: From Six Month, When Ready
Even if you follow all of these guidelines, you’ll want to go easy on the ground beef. According to the nutrition data from Self.com for a single serving of 90% lean ground beef you’re still looking at 4g of saturated fat, 25% of the daily value of cholesterol, and 23 grams of protein. You wouldn’t be feeding your baby an adult sized portion, and their daily requirements will be different as well. But this gives you the idea that it’s not a food that you’d want your baby to consume in large quantities, but perhaps just enough to reap the benefits of it.
The iron in beef is causing doctors and health professionals to start recommending it as one of the first foods you give your baby. The traditional theory was that white meats like chicken and turkey were better options at first, but now it’s being recommended as a helpful food for replacing the reduction in iron babies experience when they start breastfeeding less and eating more solid foods. Of course at the six month mark you’ll want to puree it before giving it to your baby, and follow the steps above to make sure it’s a healthy form of ground beef.
The American Heart Association
The American Heart Association has made things a bit easier by putting their seal of approval on the packaging of cuts of meat that meet their approval rating in regards to total grams of saturated fat per serving. This is a good way to tell if you’re picking out a package of ground beef that falls onto the healthier side of things. It’s best to establish healthy eating habits in your child from an early age, and while it may seem like they’re too young to worry about heart disease, it’s never to early to treat their body well and give them what they need for optimal health.
The number of teeth your baby has will determine how you feed ground beef to them. If they’ve got sufficient number of chompers to chew it up adequately and you’ve noticed that they don’t have a problem with other types of meats, then giving them bits of ground beef should be fine. If they only have a few front teeth it’s best to take ground beef a step further and puree it so that they have the easiest time with it.
Some parents choose to wait a while before introducing meat to their baby’s diet, and only do so when they seem to be tiring of their regular fare. Even then they opt not to give their babies red meat until they are more active, such as at the two year mark when they’re able to run and play and burn up more calories. While ground beef does have some nutritious qualities as far as being high in protein and iron, there are other food items that might be better for your baby during their first year.