When it comes to introducing new foods to your baby, you might find yourself wondering, “Can babies eat jelly?” That wobbly and colourful food can look like an incredibly tempting treat, however, there are some important considerations to keep in mind when considering adding it to your baby’s diet. In this blog post, we’ll explore all the key bits of information that parents should know before offering jelly to their babies.
What to be aware of when asking can babies eat jelly?
It’s safe to give your baby jelly from about 6 months, but it’s best to avoid giving them raw jelly cubes as these pose a choking hazard. There’s lots to discuss when answering the question, ‘can babies eat jelly?’, so let’s take a look at what we’re covering today:
- Is jelly healthy for babies?
- Does jelly make a good first food for weaning babies?
- Can my baby be allergic to jelly?
- How to prepare jelly for your baby.
Let’s take a look at each query in turn.
Is jelly healthy for babies?
Although the answer is yes to the question “can babies eat jelly?”, is it actually advisable? Jellies are usually packed full of sugar which is extremely detrimental to your baby’s health. Not only does sugar cause weight gain, but it is also the main cause of tooth decay in infants. Additionally, having a diet that is rich in sugar, especially at a young age, can have a negative effect later on in life and can increase the risk of fussy eating.
Does jelly make a good first food for weaning babies?
Seeing as though having sugary foods can increase the risk of fussy eating later on in life, you may want to know ‘when can babies eat jelly then?’. In short, it is better to wait until your child is a little older before you start introducing excessively sugar foods to their diets.
Babies don’t need sugar or sweets, and when it is excluded from their diet, they do not know what they’re missing. Even jellies that are advertised as being sugar-free still contain artificial sweeteners which are not recommended for young children.
Generally speaking, it is not recommended that you give your baby jelly as part of their weaning journey, however, the odd mouthful here and there will not cause them any harm.
Can my baby be allergic to jelly?
Jelly is not a common food allergen, however, it is possible for young children to be allergic to gelatin, artificial colouring, artificial flavourings, and also some fruits that are commonly used in the production process. When offering your baby jelly, make sure you have familiarised yourself with the common signs of allergic reactions in children.
Ensure that you only introduce one new food to your baby’s diet at a time, and if you notice your baby struggling to breathe after eating a new food, call 999 immediately.
How to prepare jelly for your baby.
When answering the question ‘can babies eat jelly?’, although it isn’t recommended, a small amount every now and then will not cause your baby any lasting harm.
For this reason, you may want to know how to properly prepare jelly for babies and young children. Firstly, it is vital that you do not give small children and babies raw jelly cubes as these are a major choking hazard. Make sure to keep raw jelly cubes out of reach of small children. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when making jelly – these are usually very simple and easy.
If you buy ready-to-eat jelly, check the packaging carefully before serving them to your baby to make sure that you do not need to do anything extra to them before eating, such as adding more water.
Alternative healthy dessert recipes for babies.
So, can babies eat jelly? Yes – but there are definitely some far healthier tasty treats out there that will be much more nutritious and tasty. We have an entire section of our blog dedicated to Baby Led Weaning Dessert Ideas that features lots of healthy alternatives to jelly, including meals such as:
- Sugar free flapjacks
- Baked mango
- Banana pancakes
- Blueberry and avocado muffins
- Berry and coconut chia seed pudding
Foods to avoid giving your baby.
Why can babies eat jelly if it’s so sugary? Although it isn’t recommended that you give babies excessively sugary foods, such as jelly, a small quantity every now and then will not cause any lasting damage. The same cannot be said for the following foods:
- Excessively salty foods, such as sausages
- Foods that are high in saturated fat, such as crisps
- Whole nuts and peanuts
- Cheese that has been made with unpasteurised milk
- Raw or lightly cooked eggs
- Rice drinks
- Raw shellfish
- Shark, swordfish, and marlin
Do not give your baby any of the foods on the above list.
To sum it all up, the answer to “Can babies eat jelly?” is yes, however, it’s not advisable to offer jelly to babies and young children frequently due to the extremely high sugar content.
Weaning babies do not need sugar, and excluding sugary foods from their diet for as long as possible will not cause them any harm or upset because they simply do not know what they’re missing.
Remember that if you do plan on giving your baby the occasional pot or bowl of jelly, you have prepared it properly and that jelly cubes are stored out of reach from children.