It’s hot outside, and everyone except the smallest member of the family is munching away at some yummy looking ice cream. But what about babies, can they eat ice cream? And is there such a thing as ice cream for babies?
Yes, babies can have homemade baby ice cream, made by you. Making your homemade ice cream for baby using only the freshest fruits with no milk and no added sugar is easy. Do not offer your baby shop bought ice creams as they usually contain a lot of stuff that your baby might react to especially if you have a family history of allergies.
Commercial Ice creams – Whole Cow’s Milk
Many experts warn against giving ice cream and whole cow’s milk (as a drink) to babies under the age of 1 year – for good reasons.
Whole Cow’s Milk
The digestive system of babies under the age of one year cannot handle whole cow’s milk as efficiently as you and your older children can. And that’s because cow’s milk contains high levels of sodium and proteins, too high for small babies. Furthermore, whole cow’s milk protein and fat are more difficult for babies to digest. However, you can use whole cow’s milk in cooking for babies from 6 months of age.
Most ice cream producers use cow’s milk as a base ingredient. Giving your baby a tiny taste of commercial ice cream will most likely not cause any harm especially if your baby is not at risk of getting food allergies. But it’s always better to err on the side of caution.
Commercial ice creams may contain food ingredients that could cause allergic reactions in some babies. Potential allergenic foods that you may find in commercial ice creams may include peanuts or traces of peanuts, strawberries and food coloring agents. So, if you have a family history of food allergies and or if your baby has a particular allergy, then feeding him bought ice cream should be avoided.
Commercial ices creams are usually pasteurized to get rid of bacteria and are therefore typically not as risky where hygiene is concerned although it does happen from time to time that a batch of commercial ice cream gets contaminated ( and immediately recalled). Do not let your baby try ice cream bought from a kiosk or roadside vendor either as you have no idea what their hygiene standards are like.
Sugar and Salt
Commercial ice creams contain sugar and salt. Sugar and salt should not form part of a baby’s diet as these two ingredients contain no nutritional benefits for babies at all. And even more importantly, your baby’s body cannot handle salt efficiently enough because his organs are simply not developed enough.
You also want to avoid sugar for as long as possible because it will only encourage a sweet tooth, increase the risk of obesity in later childhood and cause tooth decay in babies.
Ice Cream For Babies
Below are some easy homemade ice cream ideas that you can use to cool your little one on those hot summer days. They contain only fruits with no milk, no salt, and no added sugar. Use ripe fruits for more yummy results. These ice creams are also perfect for babies with sore teething gums. I hope you find them useful.
Use any fruits that your baby has tried before. One of the recipes includes passion fruit; omit the passion fruit for younger babies (unless your baby already eats passion fruit).
Banana Pop “Ice Cream” for Baby
Frozen banana is great for soothing a teething baby’s sore or tender gums.
- 1 banana
- 2 Popsicle sticks (use for older kids only)
Peel and cut a banana into two halves and freeze. For toddlers and older kids, push Popsicles through each piece and freeze.
Water Melon Ice Cream For Babies
Wash, peel and cut a watermelon into 20 cm thick triangles. Push a Popsicle stick through each piece and freeze. Remove Popsicle stick before serving your baby. Toddlers will enjoy having theirs with the stick in.
Mango Ice cream For Babies
This is a very healthy and delicious tropical ice cream, and it never lasts long in my house. It contains no added sugar and no milk. If your baby likes mango puree, then she will love this. Leave out the passion fruit for younger babies as passion fruit can be pretty acidic.
- 1 Ripe Mango
- 1 Passion Fruit (from 1 1/2 years only as passion fruit can be quite acidic. Omit passion fruit for younger babies)
Wash, peel and cut the mango into small cubes. Place the cubes on a clean tray and freeze. Once frozen, puree the mango cubes in a high-powered food processor until smooth serve baby without the passion fruit. Top with some passion fruit for older kids.
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