When it comes to infant nutrition, parents are doing their best to provide their babies with the right diet. They want their child to grow strong and healthy so they choose foods that consist of all various nutrients that are essential for their development.
A type of food that offers great health benefits to babies is peanut butter. Although peanuts are considered an allergen, they are actually given to infants around the age of six months to reduce potential food allergies later on and make the transition from liquid diet to solid foods smoother.
Moreover, they are highly rich in protein and healthy fats that help with proper brain development, heart and bone health and healthy weight gain.
Parents must, however, explore their options and choose the best peanut butter for babies in order for their children to benefit from peanut butter.
Here is our step-by-step guide to introducing peanut butter to your baby and choosing the best one.
Choose brands with one or two ingredients
Since you are planning to introduce peanut butter into your baby’s diet, you should look for a product that is healthy and suited for infants. One way of ensuring this is to read the labels of the product carefully so you will know which ingredients are included in it.
Generally, in every peanut butter jar, the main ingredient is peanuts which are usually first roasted and then grounded. The paste that is made is mixed with a little bit of peanut oil which helps in making the peanut butter smoother and creamier.
Another ingredient that is often added to peanut butter is salt which should also be in low amounts.
Make sure there is no added sugar
Because you want your baby to be eating healthy, it is important that you look for a peanut butter that does not have any added sugars, honey or other sweeteners.
Although these ingredients can make it more delicious, they will actually increase the sugar content of the product which won’t be good for infants. If consumed consistently, it can lead to health issues such as obesity and diabetes later in life.
You should also be cautious of peanut butter products that contain hydrogenated oils or sugar substitutes like chocolate. These are not suitable for babies, which is why you should always opt for jars that are labeled as natural, unsalted and free of added sugars.
Opt for a creamy peanut butter
One of the reasons why parents avoid giving peanut butter to their babies is because it is considered a choking hazard. This is because some products contain chunks or whole peanuts which can be dangerous for infants. In fact, these types of butter should be avoided completely until your child is four or five years old when they will have improved their chewing and swallowing skills.
As a result, make sure you always opt for creamy peanut butter that can be easily spread on a toast or used as a dip.
Additionally, make sure you don’t give your baby a spoonful of the butter as it can get stuck in their mouth and become a choking hazard.
Choose peanut butter puffs as a snack
Although peanut butter is mostly consumed in the form of a puree, as a sauce or a spread, you should also look for peanut butter puffs which you can serve to your baby as a snack. These puffs don’t require any meal prep and you can find them in your local grocery stores.
There are many popular peanut butter puffs brands you can choose from, with Bamba Puffs being one of the most popular ones. They are easy to hold and big enough for your little one to suck on without putting the entire thing into their mouth. They also dissolve immediately and are great healthy snack food for babies.
Despite being considered a high-risk allergen, peanut butter has proven to be very beneficial for the health and overall wellbeing of babies. It is rich in protein and healthy fats that help with many aspects of an infant’s growth and development.
However, in order for your child to get most of its benefits, it is important that you look for one that is completely natural and free of sugar and other sweeteners.
If you need help with this, refer back to our post and follow the guidelines here to choose the best peanut butter for your baby.