Can Babies Have Lunch Meat?
The short answer to this question is yes, however, it’s important to understand that deli meat isn’t as healthy for babies as fresh meats. This is because deli can babies have lunch meat containing nitrates and nitrites which are converted into potential carcinogens in the body. It’s recommended that parents avoid deli meat and other cold cuts until their child is at least two years old, and even then should only have it on occasion.
Aside from being high in sodium, nitrates and nitrites can also be difficult for young babies to digest. As such, it’s advised that you avoid deli meats like ham, pastrami, bologna, and other processed cured and smoked meats until your baby is at least two years old.
Babies and Cold Cuts: What You Need to Know About Introducing Lunch Meat to Infants
Having said that, if your child is interested in trying a particular type of deli meat then it may be okay to offer them a small piece, preferably cut into smaller pieces to reduce the risk of choking. As with all foods, it is important that you monitor your baby’s reaction to deli meat and only introduce it in small quantities until they are used to it.
Another option is to cook a small amount of fresh ham at home so that you can control the level of salt and other ingredients. In addition, fresh ham is high in protein which will help your baby grow and develop. It is important to remember that it can take up to 10 or more attempts for your baby to accept new foods, so be patient!