Macaroni and Cheese is pretty much a staple in America, and therefore it finds its way into many kitchens. It’s definitely comfort food and really yummy, and relatively easy to make in large batches when feeding the family. But is this something that baby can take part in as well.
Of course if they’re really young they only need breast milk, or formula if you’re no longer breastfeeding. But if they’re getting into solid foods, you’ll probably wonder if you should give them some cooled off mac and cheese as a food they can grab with their fingers and mush up pretty easily, even if they don’t have all their teeth yet.
Watching your baby enjoy a bowl of macaroni and cheese can be great, but make sure that you also supplement the meal with a bit of protein as this dish is rather one sided, and is typically meant as a side dish. If your family is anything like mine you probably make a meal out of macaroni and cheese, but when it comes to baby you want to make sure things are more well-rounded.
Can I Give My Baby Macaroni and Cheese? Answer: Some Kinds, Sometimes
It’s best to make your own macaroni and cheese, because that way you have more control of what goes into it, and also you can add bits of meat to it if your baby is being introduced to meats. You can also use it as a supplement to formula, rice cereal, or other fortified baby foods so that they get all of their nutritional requirements met.
You also don’t want to make mac and cheese a regular part of their diet, or your go-to meal when you can’t think of any other options.
Store Bought vs Home Made
Making your own macaroni and cheese would be the best idea, and would let you buy higher quality ingredients than you would find in the ready-made kits from Kraft or Velveeta. You’ll want to select a good brand of pasta, and then make sure that the cheese you get is very mild, avoiding the sharp cheddar and heavily processed foods like Velveeta or Kraft singles. This also lets you control what kind of milk goes into the batch, and you can opt for organic brands instead
Using powdered cheese that comes with Kraft, or processed spread that comes with Velveeta, is not optimal nutrition for your baby, and includes a lot of preservatives and chemicals in order for these products to sit on the shelf for ages before being purchased and used. It might be fine for us adults, but you should hold your baby to a higher standard since they have a new blank slate for a body and digestive system, and you don’t want to go junking it up this early in life.
There isn’t a great deal of nutrition for your baby when it comes to macaroni and cheese. They’ll be getting carbohydrates from the noodles, fat and cholesterol from the cheese, but overall it leaves a lot to be desired. Technically, you probably shouldn’t give it to your baby, as it doesn’t really do anything to help them, other than taste good.
It’s not as if your baby is never going to have macaroni and cheese, or experience some of the great joys of eating, but you have to be strategic about when you introduce certain foods. Give their bodies a chance to develop as naturally as possible. One day they’ll no doubt partake of the wonderful dish that is mac and cheese, but there’s no need to rush things, especially with pre-packaged foods made by giant food corporations.
If you do go with macaroni and cheese be sure to make it at home so you can be in charge of quality control. You don’t have to go as far as making your own pasta, just being able to buy the ingredients separately makes a great deal as far as quality goes.
Disclaimer: While we do our best to research and verify our information, you should always double check anything you read online with your own doctor. They will have your baby’s full history and can alert you to anything that could potentially be dangerous for your baby.