It’s recommended that babies avoid ice cream until they are one year old. Babies should not eat ice cream regularly, and try to limit portions to one serving. Cows milk can hurt a baby’s stomach and cause digestive issues before the age of one.
You might be wondering if your baby can eat certain foods, such as ice cream. As babies grow, some foods are safe for them to eat and some that are not.
The older a baby gets, the greater variety of foods that they can eat. Of course, your baby’s journey begins with formula or breastmilk and then progresses onto baby food. But what’s next?
Maybe your baby is starting to show interest in the foods you eat. Your baby might open their mouth as they watch you take a bite of food.
Some parents worry that their little ones feel left out when they can’t eat what the rest of the family eats. You might want to let your baby enjoy what you’re eating.
After all, you want your little one to be happy and healthy. This situation could be what’s prompting your question.
When Can Babies Eat Ice Cream?
When your baby turns one, they can eat ice cream. The general recommendation is to wait until your baby turns 12 months old before introducing dairy products.
By the time your baby turns one, their sensitive stomachs should be able to handle dairy products.
Before that, their digestive systems aren’t quite ready to digest dairy. Dairy can be a source of gas pains, discomfort, and possibly diarrhea.
These are all symptoms of lactose intolerance or low tolerance to dairy.
Remember that ice cream is high in sugar and fat. While higher fat foods are great for brain development, sugar isn’t the best option for your little one.
The artificial flavors and ingredients aren’t necessarily a great option either. As tempting as it may be, try to avoid giving your baby ice cream before they turn one.
Should My Baby Try Other Dairy Products Before Ice Cream?
When you are ready to give your baby ice cream, you might try giving them other dairy products first.
There are many more nutritious and lower sugar dairy foods available for babies to enjoy. These include foods like cottage cheese, yogurt, and cheese.
By slowly introducing these foods to your little one, you can look for any signs of lactose intolerance or allergies. Plus, if your baby enjoys these foods, you’ll be able to incorporate healthy sources of protein, calcium, and healthy fats into their diet.
When introducing dairy products like cheese and yogurt to your little one, try waiting until they are at least six months old.
How to Introduce Your Baby to Ice Cream
It’s always a good idea to check with your baby’s pediatrician as you introduce new foods. Your baby’s pediatrician can offer specific guidance based on your baby. Keep in mind that this is general advice, so it may not apply to some babies.
So, now that your baby is one, you’re ready to introduce your baby to ice cream.
First, you should make sure you’re finding ice cream that is pasteurized and safe. In general, any ice cream you see at the grocery store should be pasteurized.
Remember that some ice cream brands include raw milk, which shouldn’t be given to babies.
Finally, it’s essential only to give your baby small bites when you’re first introducing ice cream.
You don’t want to give your baby a brain freeze. Even adults hate brain freezes, and no parent ever wants their baby to be uncomfortable.
How Often Can You Give Your Baby Ice Cream?
As a parent, you might be tempted to feed your baby ice cream often. For example, if you eat ice cream for dessert most evenings, you might think it’s okay to share a bite with your little one, as long as they are 12 months old.
Unfortunately, you do need to limit the amount of ice cream that your baby eats. Babies should only have one or two spoonfuls of ice cream per serving.
Is Ice Cream Too Cold for Babies?
In some cases, extra cold ice cream can be harmful to babies. Just out of the freezer, ice cream can damage the pharynx mucosa or the tissues in the back of the throat.
For this reason, it’s a good idea not to give baby ice cream directly from the freezer. Let it sit out for a few minutes first. This can then lead to pharyngitis.
So, take a few minutes to let the ice cream thaw.
Can Babies Have Ice Cream in the Winter or When Sick?
It can feel overwhelming when we begin to place restrictions on foods or desserts. Ice cream will not cause your child to catch a cold in the winter.
Bacteria and viruses cause colds. However, if your little one is sick and has symptoms like a runny nose or sneezing, dairy can contribute to mucus build up in the throat.
This won’t make your little one feel any better.
Alternatives to Ice Cream for Babies
If your baby enjoys ice cream, but you don’t want to give them too much of it, you can try one of these healthy alternatives. Parents can enjoy these snacks also!
- Crushed frozen fruit, such as frozen banana or strawberries
- Frozen yogurt
- Greek yogurt
How to Make Ice Cream for Your Baby
If you want to make ice cream at home, try some of these tips! These ice cream for babies recipes are an excellent alternative to feeding your baby real ice cream.
Plus, the cool temperature can help to relieve any teething pain your baby might be experiencing. Some parents keep homemade ice cream handy for whenever their baby starts cutting teeth again.
Remember that even if the ice cream is homemade, it’s still recommended for babies to wait to eat ice creams until 12 months old.
These are healthier, more natural alternatives to the ice cream you might find at a grocery store or ice cream shop.
Vegetables and other healthy ingredients can be an excellent way to sneak your baby some extra nutrients.
Here are a couple of recipes to help you get started:
Vanilla Ice Cream
- 1 ripe banana (peeled)
- 1 Hass avocado (pitted)
- 1/3 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)
- 1tsp coconut oil
- 1tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- Blend all ingredients in the blender.
- Put the blended ingredients in a container.
- Place the container in the freezer for one hour.
- Stir the ice cream.
- Put the ice cream back in the freezer.
- Repeat steps 4-5 until you achieve the proper consistency.
Banana Almond Butter Ice Cream
- 2/3 cup of Plain Greek or Regular Yogurt
- 2 Ripe Bananas
- 2 Tbsp of Almond Butter
- Combine all of the ingredients in the food processor, blending until it’s smooth.
- Store in the freezer until it’s the proper consistency.
There are many other baby ice cream recipes available. You can also make your own recipes and use these as a guide.
Baby Food Popsicles
You can make baby food popsicles with the ingredients of your choice. Because there is no dairy in these, babies can eat them when they eat baby food. Keep in mind that you don’t want them to be too cold for your baby.
You can mix a few different types of baby food together. Then, pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze. You can also blend fresh fruits and vegetables to use in the popsicle molds.
Long Story Short – Wait Until 1 Year
Babies can have ice cream once they turn one year old. Until then, babies shouldn’t eat ice cream.
Once your baby begins eating ice cream, be prepared for the mess. Even if your baby makes a mess, you can still enjoy eating ice cream together.
Note that this article is for educational purposes only. For medical advice, consult your child’s pediatrician.