You should always consult your baby’s doctor or paediatrician before introducing any new foods, and this applies with cheese. Cheeses are usually introduced between 8 and 10 months of age, but if your baby has an existing issue with dairy- milk protein or lactose intolerance, for instance – or there is a family history of problems with dairy products, then you should wait until he or she is older.
The best first cheeses are the milder-tasting hard ones (Colby, mild Cheddar, Monteray Jack, etc.), or cottage cheese…
- If your baby is not able to grasp, try grating cheese over vegetables or adding it into vegetable or meat purees, or the popular macaroni cheese.
- If your baby can grasp and is enjoying other finger foods, offer small pieces of cheese, or a grilled cheese sandwich as a snack.
- If your baby can handle ‘lumpy’ textures, cottage cheese makes a good – though messy – ‘finger food’.But be certain that he or she is OK with yogurt and similar dairy items, as cottage cheese is not as highly cultured as yogurt.
- If your baby is not good with lumpy textures, puree cottage cheese and mix it with fruit or vegetables.
Are soft cheeses safe?
- The safest types of cheese are cottage cheese, ricotta, cream cheese, processed cheeses and hard cheeses like cheddar and parmesan.
- In many countries, soft cheeses are often not even made from pasteurised milk. Products made from ‘raw’, unpasturised milk may carry bacteria called listeria, so it is important that any dairy products that you buy are either pasturised or cultured.
- Soft cheeses – including Brie, Feta, Camembert, Roquefort, and ‘blue’ cheeses – are typically not cultured, so are not suitable for your baby.
- Cream Cheese is not considered a ‘soft’ cheese, as it is pasteurised.
- Check the labels on all cheese products to make sure that they are cultured or made from pasteurised milk products.
This information presented to you acts as a guide which contains researched information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.
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