Giving your baby Nutella is a question that has caused much debate. As parents, we always worry about the foods and drinks we feed to our babies. Are they safe? Are they healthy?
Everything becomes a question, and it is important that we learn what is healthy and what is safe to ensure that our children receive the very best for their growth and development.
One food that parents often wonder about is Nutella. Nutella is a hazelnut and cocoa spread that is used just like peanut butter. It can be placed on bread, waffles, bagels, pretzels, crackers…the list is endless. So is it safe for your baby?
Can I Give My Baby Nutella? Answer: Depends on Your Baby
The answer depends on your child. Since Nutella is made from hazelnuts, it is considered a food to “watch out” for due to the high allergy rate of nuts. While the standard rule used to be “wait until your child is two before giving them any nut-based products”, the rule has now changed. Today, knowing whether or not you can give your child a nut-based product such as Nutella depends on your family’s history of food allergies.
Food allergies are highly hereditary. If your family has a history of food allergies, it it best to wait until after your child’s third birthday before introducing Nutella into thier diet. After your child’s third birthday, his or her body is more developed and can better handle the symptoms associated with an allergic reaction (in case there is one). Symptoms of a food allergy include swelling of the face, rash, itchiness and vomiting.
If your family does not have a history of food allergies, it is safe to introduce Nutella to your child after his or her first birthday. After the initial introduction, it is always best to wait three days to check for an allergic reaction. If your child remains symptom free after three days, you can rest assured that your child does not have a nut allergy.
In Case of Emergency
If your child does have an allergic reaction to Nutella, you need to do one of two things: one, take them to the doctor if they are showing mild symptoms, such as a small rash or itching or two, take them to the hospital if they are showing more severe symptoms, such as vomiting or loss of breath. If it ends up that your child has a nut allergy, your child’s doctor will probably recommend that you or your child always have a preventatitve medicine on hand at all times, such as an eppy pen.
If your child does suffer from a nut allergy, you need to carefully watch the food that you give them. Nuts can be found in many foods (and even drinks) that you would not expect. For this reason, it is best to thoroughly read the label on any foods purchased from the store. If you are out to eat, always check with the server or cook to ensure that nuts or nut oils are not used in the preparation of the food your child wants.
A Note on Different Nuts
If your child suffers solely from a peanut allergy, and not any other nut, Nutella is perfectly safe for your child to consume. Nutella is only made from hazelnuts, and does not use any peanuts or peanut-based products during manufacturing.
If your child does not suffer from a nut allergy, Nutella is a great addition to their diet. Hazelnuts are very healthy, and the cocoa gives Nutella a tasty flavor that your child will certainly enjoy. Nutella is thick in consistency like peanut butter, so always make sure to spread it thinly on crackers, bread, waffles or other foods. Never give your child a spoonful of Nutella as it can get lodged in your child’s throat.
So remember, knowing when it is safe to give your child Nutella depends on your family’s history of food allergies. If your family has a history of allergies, you should wait to introduce Nutella to your child until after their third birthday. If there is no history of food allergies in your family, Nutella is safe for introduction after your child’s first birthday. As with any new food, you must wait for three days after your child’s first introduction to check for symptoms of an allergic reaction.
If you have more detailed questions about Nutella, it is best to consult with your child’s doctor.