One baby question we can help you answer is, “When can I start serving them pork?”
You may be surprised to learn babies can eat pork as soon as they start eating solid foods, usually around 6 months old1.
And you can always feel-good feeding your baby Never Ever pork.
What exactly does that mean? Never Ever is defined as:
- No antibiotics — ever
- No added hormones or growth promotants
- 100% vegetarian diet; no animal byproducts, except for milk
Until their chompers come in, only serve small portions of ground meat, or puree it. As they get older, they can graduate to slightly larger bites or thinly sliced pieces.
Pureeing meat is easy peasy. Just drop a chunk of meat into a blender or food processor, add a little water or broth and blend until smooth. Ready to serve!
When it comes to seasoning their meat, babies don’t need salt and pepper (or anything else). They will enjoy the taste and flavors without anything added.
Many grown-ups like their meat prepared “rare” or “medium-rare,” but babies should only eat fully cooked meat. Their tummies aren’t ready yet to handle eating rare meat.
Be patient. If your baby doesn’t become a carnivore right away, don’t rush it. It can often take multiple tries for them to like new foods.
Offer up a variety of food to diversify textures and tastes to reduce picky eating.
Building blocks of good health
Why is eating protein so important? Protein is an essential macronutrient. It helps repair tissue and maintain proper balance and pH of body fluids. Some proteins are enzymes that we need for important functions in the body like blood clotting, digestion and energy production.
Iron and zinc
Why is iron good for us? Iron helps manufacture red blood cells and delivers oxygen throughout your body. Babies are born with iron, but by the time they’re 6 months old, they start to deplete their supply. That’s why feeding them pork is so important.
And what about zinc? Zinc plays a vital role in supporting your baby’s immune system and overall development. It helps heal wounds and enhance their sense of smell and taste. Pork is a source of zinc. Because our bodies don’t store zinc, it’s good to eat plenty of foods that have it.
Zinc is especially crucial for babies who are exclusively breast-fed. After six months, the amount of zinc in breast milk goes down. So, they need to make up for that loss of zinc through what they eat.
Kids between 7 to 24 months need about 3 milligrams of zinc daily.2
Start your little one on the road to healthy eating today.
This article is part of a three – part series on nutrition and wellness.