5 Reasons for Introducing Peanut Butter to Babies
Proper nutrition is very important during the first year of a baby’s life. This is because an infant is going through so many developments during this time, so they need to receive all vitamins and minerals that are essential for their growth.
While most parents turn to fruits and vegetables to provide their children with the right nourishment, there are also other types of foods that can offer more or less the same nutrients that can enhance their health. One such food is peanut butter.
Although peanuts cause a fair amount of allergic reactions, they are actually very beneficial for infants and should be included as part of their first year nutrition. From reducing the risks of potential allergies later on to helping with proper growth, the importance of peanut butter for babies shouldn’t be overlooked.
To find out more, here are five reasons why you should introduce this food to your child during their first year of life.
Reduces peanut allergies
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), giving peanut butter to your baby during their sixth month of age can lower the risk of peanut allergies later on. This is especially helpful for those infants who are considered at high risk of developing potential food allergies, specifically those with an egg allergy and/or severe eczema.
However, to be on the safe side, make sure you first consult with your pediatrician to get the green light to give peanut butter to your baby so you can avoid any health complications. This is advised for children with severe, mild or no food allergies.
Provides smooth transition to solid foods
As soon as a baby turns six months old, parents can start switching from a purely liquid diet and introduce their child to solid foods. Because this transition also requires teaching your little bundle of joy how to chew, you can rely on peanut butter to make things easier.
Depending on your infant’s preferences, you have plenty of ways how you can include this delicious nut butter into their diet. From peanut butter purees to puffs and toasts, choose the recipe your baby prefers the most and enhance their chewing abilities in no time.
Just remember to avoid chunky and whole peanuts at the beginning to prevent choking hazards.
Assists in healthy weight gain
If your baby is having problems keeping the optimal weight for their age, then peanut butter can assist in healthy weight gain. This is because peanuts are a great source of protein and fats, both of which can help your little one put on some extra pounds.
Plus, it is one of the most inexpensive types of foods to do that and often a much tastier alternative as babies can get picky about their foods at this early age. You can use it in the form of a peanut powder as it contains higher amounts of protein, making it even more nutritious.
Helps with growth and development
If there is one thing that babies need to grow and develop properly especially during the first twelve months of their life, it is nutrients. This is where peanut butter can come in handy as it consists of various vitamins and minerals that help with brain development, heart and bone health and overall growth.
Some of the nutrients present in peanut butter are copper, zinc, magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3). For example, copper is a mineral that helps with proper bone health and can provide your child with strong bones so they can run and play freely.
It’s easy to incorporate into your baby’s diet
If you are dealing with a picky eater, then there are tons of ways you can incorporate peanut butter into your baby’s diet. Depending on your child’s age and chewing abilities, you can mix the nut butter in a smoothie, serve it as a dip, make a sandwich or use it to prepare a healthy dessert.
For example, a recipe that is almost every child’s favorite is a peanut butter melt which includes one spoon of this nut butter, one banana and some yogurt. Not only is it delicious, but this melt is full of nutrients and is perfect to soothe sore gums from teething.
Although many parents are hesitant to give peanut butter to their baby, this food has actually proven to be very beneficial. During the first year of their life, infants need to receive all nutrients that are necessary for their growth which is where peanut butter can come in handy.
For more information about this matter, refer back to our post and learn about the most common reasons why this nut butter is great for babies.