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Toast is a breakfast staple for many people, alongside the likes of weetabix. It tastes good and can be used to make some really delicious toast-based recipes (such as French toast, croutons, or panzanella). But when should you give your little one their first bite of this carb-heavy food? The answer depends on when they are ready for solids and how old they are when they start eating them. Read on to learn when it’s safe to add toast into your baby’s diet!
What age can a baby have toast for the first time?
6 months old is the general rule of thumb when it comes to baby having their first experience with toast. But, as with all foods, when you introduce toast to your child is up to you and what seems best for them. There isn’t a specific age when it becomes safe, and in fact every item of food poses a danger to young children if not prepared properly.
However, toast is not the best choice as a first food – when you’re ready to introduce solids, it’s generally advised that you start with fruits vegetables and things with a very limited choking hazard such as the products of a baby blender.
Is toast safe for a 6 month old baby?
Toast is safer than bread for a baby as the moisture has been mostly taken. Un-toasted bread can get clumpy when wet and pose a choking hazard when kids try to eat it. Toast is an entirely different texture that lends itself more readily to being chewed or mashed by babies, making it easier for them to digest.
But, toast can be a little rough on their mouths so we recommend adding some butter or jam and try not to serve it with black burned bits which can cause them to gag or cough which can then lead to a potential choking hazard. Lightly toasted is best so there’s no dust.
Cut the toast into strips (soldiers) and remove the crust and this can be hard work to chew for little nippers.
Is toast healthy for babies?
We’re going to be perfectly honest here, toast (on its own) is not really healthy for adults therefore it definitely isn’t for babies. Bread is a carb heavy food with little nutritional value when eaten on its own. But when you add in butter or jam it can be quite a balanced meal when paired with other nutritious foods like fruit and vegetables. However, for babies first solids you don’t want to overcomplicated things.
Commercial and mass produced breads can contain all sorts – one of the most problematic is sugar which can not only lead to obesity but it can damage their milk teeth if not cleaned properly. But, the same can be said about fruits and vegetables.
If your baby is in the process of weaning, or just exploring foods and getting most of their calories from breast milk or formula milk then a bit of toast from time to time won’t cause any harm. If it’s a lack of time then consider a baby bottle maker.
Making toast is also much quicker than boiling pasta, making scrambled eggs or cooking rice which are typical first baby meals – so if your child is suddenly ravenous when they’ve been fed then toast is a good option when you’re in a rush.
Toast is also great for dipping into a healthy soup for more nutrients and of course, flavour.
Can toast cause allergies in a baby?
If you’re worried about toast causing allergies in your little one then when introducing new foods it’s always best to introduce them slowly and wait a while before introducing another.
There is no research that shows bread causes any food allergy but if for example you make or buy a loaf of bread then it will often contain nuts, grains, wheat and cow’s milk and they could be allergic to any one of those.
Should I offer toast to a baby?
Weaning will be a lot harder without toast from time to time, despite its lack of nutrition. Babies can be unpredictable when it comes to food and they might go for a week without much interest in solids, then all of a sudden you’ll offer them something like toast or pasta and they love it! This is exactly what we want to see with weaning.
Babies need maximum nutrition and calories from somewhere, when they’re not getting it from milk then you have to feed them something. If they’re still breastfeeding well, eating fruits and vegetables on the occasion then a piece of toast here and there when you’re in a rush is okay.
You don’t have to offer toast but when they ask for it, or you see them eyeing up your plate then go ahead – just make sure the pieces are bite size, they’re not burnt and when you feed them make sure the toast is cool enough for them to hold without burning their hands.