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

Chicken: A Delicious Meat for Your Baby to Explore & Enjoy!

As your baby continues to grow, it's time to expand their palate and introduce new flavors into their diet. Chicken, with its tender and versatile nature, is a wonderful protein-packed option that can be a delightful addition to their mealtime adventures.

Just like meat, chicken is rich in essential nutrients that are crucial for your baby's growth and development. It contains iron, zinc, B12, B6, choline, and selenium, all of which play vital roles in supporting your little one's overall health. Additionally, chicken is an excellent source of protein, providing all the necessary amino acids your baby needs for healthy growth.

Wondering when to start introducing chicken to your baby's diet? You can begin incorporating chicken into their meals when they reach 6 months of age.

We, at Slurp It Up, are here to guide you through the process of safely introducing chicken to your baby's diet, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable transition. From understanding when to start introducing chicken, to preparing it in a way that is both nutritious and easy for your little one to handle, we've got you covered every step of the way.

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
Tips

TIP 1: Our expert recommends limiting the consumption of tandoori chicken or any food cooked using charcoal. This is because charcoal dust (which is carcinogenic) can potentially enter your baby's body when they consume tandoor-cooked meat.

TIP 2: Avoid using packaged seasonings or Asian/Chinese sauces that contain a lot of sodium/preservatives when preparing your chicken dish.

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

Chicken is not a common allergen, but all babies are different and how they respond to a new food type is something we have to keep a close watch on! The best way to keep your baby safe from possible food-borne bacteria is to ensure you serve well-cleaned and well-cooked chicken and meat at all times.

In very, very rare cases, chicken can trigger an allergic reaction called FPIES (food protein induced enterocolitis syndrome). But this is not very common, so don’t be scared to introduce chicken to your baby. If you notice any of these symptoms (vomiting, gastric discomfort, and fever) in your baby 2-4 hours after they’ve eaten chicken, consult your doctor. (FPIES is very rare and is more likely to occur in babies whose immediate family members already have an allergy to chicken/meat.)

However, it’s also common for babies to vomit after they consume eggs or chicken for the very first time. This is more like a first-time reaction because a new type of food has entered their body. Once they get used to it, they’re likely to start enjoying and digesting it well.

Your pediatrician is the best person to consult if you have any doubts with regard to what’s best for your little one.

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
Select Baby Age
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

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