Pasta is typically introduced to baby from 8 months of age.
Sometimes a good spaghetti or pasta dinner is just what the doctor ordered. It is tasty, it is wholesome and it sure is filling. And while we are quick to eat it up quickly and ask for seconds, can we share the deliciousness with our babies?
The answer is a resounding yes. Pasta is a very wholesome food that is great for your baby. Most pasta is made from wheat, which is an extremely healthy food to have in your child’s diet. And all pasta is loaded with carbohydrates, which helps give your baby the energy he or she needs to play and explore.
But before you go slapping some spaghetti on your child’s tray, you need to make sure your child is ready to consume pasta. Most babies are ready for finger foods between eight and ten months of age. In order to be ready, your child needs to be able to sit up with support and be able to pick small objects up with his or her fingers. Once he or she has mastered this, you can start giving pasta to your child.
We recommend buying Italian pasta because under Italian law there must be a high percentage of protein in the pasta. Imported Italian pasta tastes good and is good for you.
The best pasta for babies is easy to pick up shapes such as spirals.
Safety is important
Like any other food, pasta needs to be cut into very small pieces before giving it to your child. Even smaller noodles should be cut in half just to play it safe. Even though pasta is easy for your child to mash in his or her mouth, larger chunks can still get caught in the throat, causing your child to choke.
Though it is is not known to cause many allergic reactions, some babies do have wheat allergies. When first introducing pasta to your little one, it is always best to either serve pasta alone or with another food your child has already enjoyed. 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.
If your baby is at risk for food allergies, (for example: if they have eczema, asthma, allergies or if they have other family members with these conditions) then you should avoid all wheat products until your baby is at least one year old.
If your baby has been fine with eating oats, barley, or other products containing wheat and/or gluten, the odds are great that there is not a gluten intolerance in your baby. However, you should discuss the introduction of pasta with your baby’s pediatrician.
The Goodness of Pasta for Babies
Pasta has often been given a bad rap due to these carbohydrates however the truth is, pasta is not a refined carbohydrate when it is a whole grain pasta. Pasta is made from semolina, a durham wheat that is hearty and nutritious if it is whole grain; it is not refined in the process of making pasta. Refined carbohydrates (think white flour, white bread, candy, potato chips) are not as readily processed by the body as non-refined carbohydrates.