Not all what the adults are allowed to eat is considered safe to be given to infants and babies because their digestive system is not so well trained at this stage and they might find it difficult to digest some of the food. There are different food types which are considered very healthy for adults, like tofu, but which might arouse some questions and build some fears when they come to children and babies. Tofu carries different benefits for the human body but babies are not the same and thus they require more care when it comes to the food chosen for them. This article will help you to know more about tofu and whether you could give it to your baby or else retreat.
Tofu comes from the Asian part of the world and the look of it makes you believe that it is cheese by the first look, but it is actually not. Tofu is cultivated by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into the white blocks that you receive at the end. This food type is also known as bean curd and it carries several benefits for the body, but what about babies?
Is Tofu Good for Babies?
Mothers treat their babies like a plant which they have started working on in their garden since the early beginning; they water it and keep looking after it in order not to miss any chance of letting it grow safely, and this is exactly the same when it comes to their babies; they keep watching over them, feeding them the right and healthy types of food, and make sure that they are taking away anything that might cause them problems.
On a larger scale, we have to mention that tofu brings different benefits for the human body of the adult, it is rich in protein, it treats gouts, it lowers the level of cholesterol, it prevents anemia, it manages the human weight, it has some anti-cancer properties, it maintains the cardiovascular health, it keeps the bones stronger, and it increases the blood circulation, which are considered enough reasons to convince any person to try this food type and witness the changes.
When it comes to tofu for baby, there are other different considerations to keep in mind and other thoughts to have because the benefits are not the same and there might be some side effects as well. Is tofu safe for babies? That is what we are going to discover right now:
- Tofu Could Serve as a Substitute for Meat
When it comes to babies, tofu could serve as a substitute for meat and is even considered safe and healthy to do so. The best thing about tofu is that it is versatile; it could be eaten raw, baked, sautéed, and even incorporated in soups, broths, and grain dishes. If you want to prepare tofu for your baby, you could try the baby finger food and you could always depend on it if you are searching for a substitute for meat.
This is considered one option to go to but you – as a mother – should always keep in mind that babies start to eat when they are about six months old and in order to give them tofu, they should be at least eight months because before that it might be considered hard for their stomachs to digest it, so always keep yourself in the safe corner and never give tofu to your baby before that.
- It is Safe for Babies Who are Allergic to Dairy Products
In addition to the different ways you could add tofu to your baby, there is one important thing and benefits to mention here when it comes to giving the baby some tofu to eat, which is being safe for those babies who might be allergic to dairy products. Generally speaking, tofu is beneficial because it carries iron, calcium, fiber, and fatty acids, as well as other essential nutrients which might still be carrying some important benefits for the body and that comes in addition to being a complete source of protein.
Since these nutrients are considered beneficial for the baby, we have to mention that they are found with greater percentage in the firm tofu type, since there are different types of tofu such as the silken, the soft, the firm, and the extra firm. Tofu is considered a good and healthy option for those babies who are allergic to dairy products because it will provide their bodies with all the essentials that the dairy products would manage to deliver.
Cons of Tofu for Babies
A lot of people think that tofu is considered bad and not safe for babies, but this is only if the mothers intended to feed their babies who are still younger than eight months, because at this point they are giving these babies’ stomachs more than what they could actually handle.
Doctors were first worried about the idea of giving and feeding babies tofu because they thought that it is too hard on the baby’s intestine and digestive system due to an under developed flora; they thought that babies are not safe to eat tofu because their digestive systems would not be able to easily break it down well. Recently and with more studies done on this part, it is believed that tofu is safe for babies who are older than eight months old and that it could be easily digested by them.
The main reason behind considering it safer and better to give tofu to babies after they reach eight months old is being allergic to soy. When infants face some allergies when they are still that young, it might become very serious and it might be very ugly, that is why parents should wait a little bit longer so that the baby could handle it all. In order to discover whether your baby is allergic to soy or not, there are two different ways: either give him/her a very small portion and wait for the result or else consult a doctor who could make a skin test in order to know the result.
Always when you are about to introduce something new to your baby, it is always better to consult his/her doctor to know whether it is considered safe or else you should wait a little bit more and so is the case with tofu, always check back with the doctor before deciding on giving it to your infant.
How to Cook Tofu for a Baby?
Once you decide to give your baby tofu, there are actually different recipes to try. First of all, you have to know that tofu is considered healthy, and not just that, but it does not carry a strong taste and thus will always take over the flavor of whatever it is added to; if you add it to fruits then it will take their taste and if you add it to vegetables, the same will also happen, which is one of the things that make tofu easily loved by babies.
There are different tofu recipes for babies which you could try, but it is important to know how you are supposed to give tofu to your baby in order to make sure that you are not pushing hard on his/her digestive system with other ingredients which they might still not be allowed to eat. Here are some of the tips to follow when it comes to cooking tofu for babies:
- First of all, you should always give your baby plain tofu at the beginning in order to know whether he/she will accept it in the first place or else will have any allergic reactions. Some babies enjoy the plain taste of tofu and that is why this should be always the first step to go with when it comes to cooking tofu.
- The second option to try for cooking tofu for your baby is rolling tofu sticks in crushed cereal, such as Cheerios, and this could serve and help when it comes to the snacks that you want to provide your baby with.
- There are actually different options to try out there and as we have mentioned above, the best thing about tofu is that it does not carry a strong taste and thus could be added to different other ingredients. Tofu could be blended into a smoothie and given to the baby as a drink, which works best with the silken tofu type. If your baby reached the level of drinking through a straw then serve it that way, if not, then you could feed them this smoothie with a spoon.
- One of the good things also mentioned above about tofu is the fact that it could be a meat substitute and this way you could always add it to soups or even mash it with baby cereal and you could also add it to some vegetables.
- If your baby is eating any of the dips that are found out there like cheese for example, you could mix tofu with it and serve it with vegetables and crackers.
Some of these are not considered good options for the babies who are still eating things that are mashed because they might still not have the teeth to chew on the other food types, but if your baby has gone through the phase of bringing out teeth then you could try some of these options, just make sure to go through the plain tofu step first in order to know whether your baby likes it in the first place or not.
Whether you are one of those mothers who are always following the rules or else one of those who might go out of the norm, it is always important to take care of the things you are feeding your baby because some of them might not be that safe and might lead to some digestion problems. Tofu is considered safe for babies but always check whether your baby is allergic to soy products or not before providing him/her with large portions, either through skin tests or else through trying with a small amount, and it is considered always better to give tofu to your baby after reaching eight months old.