Should babies be given lentils? Starting solid foods is an exciting time for your baby, and let’s face it, you too. Once your child can start solids, they get to experience different tastes and textures offered by something other than breast milk or formula. But do not throw out the formula just yet.
Even though your baby may now be ready to start solid foods, they will still need their formula or breast milk to supply them with the essential vitamins and nutrients their tiny bodies need for proper growth and development.
When it comes to feeding your baby solid foods, some parents often wonder which foods are safe and when is the appropriate time to start feeding certain foods to your child. If you have any concerns regarding your child’s diet, it is best to consult their physician for guidance.
One food that is on the minds of parents are lentils. Lentils are a type of bean (legume) and come in the form of kidney beans, chick peas, black eyed peas or butter beans, as well as others. Packed with fiber, lentils also contain a great source of minerals, vitamins and proteins. Not only will the fiber content help your child have regular bowel movements, but their nutritional value will also help your child’s growth and development.
Can I Give My Baby Lentils? Answer: At 8-10 Months
Since lentils are high in proteins, it is recommended to be served to children between eight and ten months of age. At this age, your child’s digestive system has had time to mature, making it easier to accept new foods. By ten months, your child should also be able to sit with support and has probably mastered finger foods. Lentils are known to cause gas, and because of this, may be hard for a younger baby’s digestive system to break down. Lentils are usually also very small, and can easily be lodged in your child’s throat, causing him or her to choke.
When your child starts solid foods, it is always best to serve them foods that have been mashed or pureed. You should always cook your lentils before giving them to your child. Once cooked, lentils become more smooth and more easy to mash. The mashed substance is easy for your child to chew and swallow. Though lentils become softer after they have been cooked, it is still best to serve to your child in mashed form. Even if your baby has mastered eating finger foods, the small size of lentils can easily get lodged in your child’s throat.
Knowing how to cook lentils is pretty standard. Once you have cooked one bean, you have mastered how to cook them all. If you would prefer to serve lentils to your child in the form of a meal, there are plenty of baby-safe recipes available on the Internet or in baby-friendly cookbooks.
Switch it Up
Since lentils come in a variety of types, they make a great addition to your baby’s meals. You can switch the type of lentil served to your child, yet still provide them with a great source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. You can give your baby kidney beans on Monday, and butter beans on Tuesday.
When you first introduce lentils to your little one, make sure to either serve it alone or with another food your child has already enjoyed. Even though lentils are not known to cause many allergic reactions, it is always best to wait three days in between feeding your child new foods. This way, if your child does have an allergic reaction, you will know which food caused it.
Best to Wait
Remember, lentils are a great food for your child to consume once they are between eight and ten months old. Before then, the high protein found in lentils may not be easy enough for your child’s digestive system to break down. Lentils are very high in fiber, which will help your child have regular bowel movements. They are also high in vitamins and minerals, which is great for growth and development. Just remember to always cook lentils first and then mash them up for your child. This makes it easier for them to chew and prevents any choking hazards.
As always, if you have any questions about your child’s diet, whether or not to serve them lentils, or how to prepare lentils for your baby, it is always best to consult with your child’s physician. He or she will be able to answer your questions and discuss your concerns in more thorough detail.