Bacon is a popular breakfast favorite that is rich in protein. However, is this breakfast meat safe to give to your baby? We’ll discuss that here.
Overall, bacon is safe to give to your baby when they are eight to twelve months old. However, bacon is typically high in sodium and saturated fat and, therefore, should only be given to your baby in moderation.
Read on to learn more about how and when to safely incorporate bacon into your baby’s diet.
Covered in this Article:
Is Bacon Safe for Babies? When?
Overall, bacon is safe for babies and can be a good source of protein. Once a baby is six months old, they can have pureed meats, including bacon.
Your baby can have bite-sized pieces of meat starting from eight to twelve months of age (source: University of Illinois). However, bacon is harder in texture and more difficult to chew.
Let’s break down the appropriateness of bacon for babies at different ages in the table below (source: University of Illinois).
|Age in Months||Can Your Baby Have Bacon?|
|6||Yes, pureed with thin consistency|
|7||Yes, thick puree|
|8||Yes, thick puree|
|9||Yes, thick puree|
|10||Yes, thick puree|
|11||Yes, thick puree|
|12||Yes, small bite-sized pieces of bacon that is not chewy|
Additionally, when the baby is old enough to have small bite-sized pieces, bacon can be an excellent option for baby-led weaning. Just ensure the bacon is not tough, fatty, or too chewy.
However, it is essential to note that bacon is very high in sodium and saturated fat, both of which are not good for your baby (source: National Health Service [NHS]).
In addition, bacon is a cured meat that is often aged in salt, which makes it absorb sodium even when you do not add any in during the cooking and preparation process. Therefore, bacon should not be given to your baby very often or regularly. Instead, you can opt for lower-sodium meats, such as pureed chicken or turkey.
Many also wonder about the nitrate content in bacon. Nitrates are compounds present in many foods, including cured meats such as bacon. Nitrates are of concern because of their potentially harmful effects on the body.
However, once your baby is at least six months old, their body produces more of a specific enzyme that can protect against the harmful effects of nitrates (source: Nationwide Children’s Hospital). Therefore, wait until at least six months of age to give your baby cured meat, such as bacon.
Can Babies Have Turkey Bacon?
While turkey bacon can be an option lower in saturated fat, it is still very high in sodium. Therefore, it is best to give your baby turkey bacon in moderation as well.
In terms of texture, turkey bacon can often be even tougher to chew than regular pork bacon. Therefore, it is especially important to wait until they are a bit older to introduce bite-sized pieces of bacon.
Is Bacon a Choking Risk for Babies?
For younger babies under one year of age, pureed bacon is best because it can be crunchy and hard to chew.
However, babies that are at least 12 months old have become better at chewing and swallowing and, therefore, can likely better handle eating pieces of bacon than a younger baby (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]).
Cutting the bacon into smaller bite-sized pieces can help reduce the risk of choking as well. Try to avoid giving your baby chewy, tough, or fatty bacon that is harder for them to eat and instead stick with crispy bacon. Finally, always monitor your baby while they are eating.
I hope that you found this article helpful in learning how to safely and healthfully feed your baby bacon.
|This article has been reviewed and approved for publication in line with our editorial policy.|