French fries are famous for their salty and crispy exterior and fluffy interior. However, are they safe to feed to your baby?
It is safe to feed soft French fries to your baby around the age of ten months. However, French fries are high in sodium and saturated fat and should be served to your baby in moderation.
You may have wondered how to make French fries safer to feed to your baby at different ages. Let’s take a closer look at the recommendations regarding French fries.
When Can Babies Have French Fries? At What Age?
French fries that are made from fried and salted white potatoes are a popular food, so you may wonder when you can give one or two to your baby.
Here is a breakdown of when you can feed French fries to your baby and what texture is safest (source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia):
|Age in Months||Are French Fries Safe to Consume?|
|6||Yes — pureed|
|7||Yes — pureed|
|8||Yes — pureed|
|9||Yes — pureed|
|10||Yes — soft and mushy|
|11||Yes — soft and mushy|
|12||Yes — soft and mushy|
In summary, a baby who is between the ages of six and nine months typically can consume French fries that are a thick puree. It is essential to mash up the French fries very well.
Furthermore, when infants reach ten to twelve months old, they can consume more chewable finger foods (source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia). At the finger foods stage, you can give a baby small pieces of French fries as long as they are very soft.
Avoid giving your baby French fries that are crispy or stale as those are harder to chew and more likely to cause choking. Cut or break the French fry into smaller bite-sized pieces to reduce choking risk.
From a dietary standpoint, French fries are often very high in sodium and saturated fat, which should both be limited in a baby’s diet (source: American Heart Association).
If you make French fries yourself at home, you can control how much salt is added. Additionally, when ordering French fries at a restaurant, you can ask for less or even no salt on the fries. If you buy frozen French fries from the grocery store, check the nutrition label and choose those that are lower in sodium.
French fries are also typically deep-fat fried in oil, making them high in unhealthy saturated fats. Due to the high saturated fat and sodium content, limit your baby’s consumption of French fries to just a few rather than the whole carton.
Are French Fries A Choking Hazard for Babies?
To reduce the likelihood that your baby will choke on a French fry, ensure it is soft and not crispy or stale, as mentioned above. Additionally, cut the French fry into very small pieces no larger than half an inch (source: United States Department of Agriculture [USDA]).
A good rule of thumb is to avoid serving your baby French fries that are as wide as a nickel since this is also the width of a child’s throat. If the French fries are wide, cut them into very short strips instead of rounder pieces to reduce the risk of choking.
Can Babies Have Flavored Fries?
Many parents enjoy flavored French fries, such as truffle fries, parmesan fries, or nacho cheese fries, and wonder if they can give such varieties to a baby. These variations should be safe for babies to consume as long as they are introduced in the correct texture and at the appropriate age as outlined above.
However, since flavored French fries are often coated in cheese or oils, they usually have high amounts of sodium and saturated fat. Therefore, they should be limited in your baby’s diet.
I hope you found this article helpful in unpacking the safety of French fries for your baby and what age to introduce them.
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