All About Chicken: A Delicious Meat for Your Baby to Enjoy! Day 3: Chicken: A Delicious Meat for Your Baby to Explore & Enjoy!

All About Chicken: A Delicious Meat for Your Baby to Enjoy!

Like meat, chicken is rich in essential nutrients like iron, zinc, B12, B6, choline, and selenium – all of which contribute to your little one's growth. Chicken is also an excellent protein source.

 You can begin incorporating chicken into their meals when they reach 6 months of age.

How to Ensure Your Baby Gets the Best Out of Chicken?

Before we look at yummy chicken recipes or plans for your baby, let’s look at some basic dos and don’ts:

1) Organic or grass-fed chicken

Organic or grass-fed chicken is a better option provided it’s available and affordable for you. If not, regular chicken is perfectly fine!

2) You can serve chicken as:

      • Pureed chicken
      • Chicken meatballs
      • Chicken curries or gravies that also have other veggies
      • Grilled or roasted chicken
      • Shredded chicken
      • Chicken soup
      • Minced chicken as is, or in the form of patties or cutlets

TIP 1: Don’t give too much tandoori chicken or food cooked on charcoal. Charcoal dust (which is carcinogenic) could enter your baby's body through tandoor-cooked meat.


TIP 2: Avoid using packaged seasonings or Asian/Chinese sauces; they contain very high sodium/preservatives.

3) Chicken thigh or leg

Because chicken thigh or leg meat contains greater amounts of iron, they’re a good option for babies. Also, when this meat is cooked well, it becomes moist and tender.

4) Bone-in or boneless?

You can serve chicken with bone safely to your baby. As your baby gnaws on the bone, they’re also developing their chewing skills and strengthening their jaw muscles. Not only this, but it also helps your baby explore and develop a taste for new textures and flavors.

Chicken, like meat, can be a part of your baby’s meals once or twice a week, so as to ensure your baby gets a nutritionally balanced diet that is also varied in taste.

5) Allergies and other precautions

While chicken is not a common allergen, babies may react differently to different foods. Make sure to serve well-cleaned and well-cooked chicken. In very, very rare cases, chicken may trigger an allergic reaction called FPIES (food protein induced enterocolitis syndrome). If you notice any of these symptoms (vomiting, gastric discomfort, and fever) in your baby 2-4 hours after they eat chicken, consult your doctor.

 BUT: it’s common for babies to vomit after they eat eggs or chicken for the first time; it’s a first-time reaction. Speak to your doctor on this.


6) Well-cooked chicken

Never offer raw or undercooked chicken to children. Chicken and any meat always must be well cooked, moist, and succulent.

7) Frozen chicken

Many families use frozen meat and that’s completely fine. But once any meat has been thawed or defrosted, it cannot be put back into the freezer for later consumption. It’s best to cook and consume it immediately.

8) Cross-contamination

To avoid risk of cross-contamination, it’s a good idea to have separate chopping boards for veggies and meats. Another precaution you can take is to wash the knife thoroughly if you use the same knife for meat and veggies.

CHICKEN: Age-Wise Recipes & Tips

6 to 8 months

1) Chicken puree: Prepare a smooth puree using chicken, with or without vegetables.


2) Bone-in chicken drumstick: Serve chicken drumsticks after removing the skin, loose cartilage, and fat.


3) Ground chicken curry with veggies: Prepare curries using ground chicken or chicken liver along with vegetables. You can serve larger-sized 2 to 3 inch strips of chicken, ensuring the removal of loose cartilage and skin.


4) Cooked chicken liver spread: Cook chicken liver with healthy fats like butter or ghee to create a spread. Offer 1 or 2 tablespoons of this spread once a week. Alternatively, mix 2 tablespoons of chicken liver with stewed apple or pear, or serve it with a teething rusk or baby spoon.


5) Soft chicken meatballs or meatloaf: Prepare soft and easily mashable chicken meatballs or meatloaf for your baby to enjoy.


6) Chicken breast strips: Slice chicken breast into strips approximately the size of two adult fingers pressed together. This allows your baby to bite and tear the chicken for consumption.

9 to 11 months

At this stage, babies should have the ability to bite and tear food and develop their pincer grasp, allowing them to pick up and feed themselves. Thinner slices, approximately the size of an adult's pinky finger, can be served.


1) Serve chicken breast sliced into thin strips, about the size of two adult pinky fingers. Alternatively, you can offer thin slices or bite-sized pieces of chicken liver as finger food to help develop their pincer grasp and enable them to pick up smaller food pieces. Enhance the flavor and variety by adding herbs, spices, and vegetables.


2) Explore options like shredded chicken or pulled chicken mixed with vegetables, rice, or other dishes.


3) Consider offering roasted chicken cuts, thin slices, cubes, or chops, all of which should be sized similar to berries.


4) Add chicken broth to pulaos, curries, or to thicken soups. Avoid serving clear chicken broths or soups as a beverage to babies.

12 to 24 months

1) Offer bite-sized chicken as finger food or encourage the baby to eat with utensils. Examples include chicken cutlet, chicken kebab, or chicken patty. Avoid offering large chunks or perfectly sized cubes of chicken to minimize the risk of choking.


2) As your baby's eating skills progress, you can introduce larger food portions. Offer a whole drumstick with the skin, pin bones, loose cartilage, or fat removed. Additionally, you can serve dishes like chicken crepe roll, chicken frankie, chicken stuffed in roti, or grilled chicken.


3) Incorporate finely shredded or ground chicken into meals for added variety and texture.

Next week, let’s explore the interesting world of fish. If you’re interested in adding fish to your baby’s meals, this article’s for you as we talk about fish preparation tips and easy recipe ideas.

Learn the right ways to nourish from experts