Pickles have sour flavor and are crunchy, but are not the first food option for kids.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids are ready for solid foods around 6 months of age.(1) By this time the babies can sit upright, hold their head up, develop an interest in table foods, and double their birth weight.
There is no particular order in which different food groups have to be introduced to children.
Can pickles be the food that can be given to a child when he starts solid?
Well, children can be given pickles when they start solids. Pickle spears are vegetable cucumber and in fact easy for the baby to hold. You can even remove the pickle skin and chop it into small pieces to avoid choking hazards. They can even be great finger food to the baby.
Concerns About Feeding Pickles To Babies
Kids when fed pickles give a puckered-up face. You may also be concerned about the sodium content of pickles.
The daily adequate intake of sodium for infants of 7-12 months of age is 370 milligrams.(2)
Babies should be given less sodium due to immature kidneys. They cannot handle the intake of sodium in high amounts, but this does not mean that salt should be eliminated completely from their diet.
Pickles are high in sodium, which is why they should not be served every day.
Different types of pickles have different sodium content, so check their nutrition facts label before consuming or serving to the child. The sodium content of one ounce of pickle can vary from 140mg to 260mg or more.(3) Always look for a pickle with low sodium content and just offer a small service at a time.
Some babies might also be sensitive to acidic foods such as pickles. Such foods can trigger reflux or upset tummy. In such a case, a doctor should be consulted on whether the pickles can be included or not.
Benefits of Pickles for Babies
Pickle might not be the right food for every child due to the high sodium content, but it’s not a dietary devil. There are various health benefits related to them.
Pickles are made by fermentation method to make them acidic. Fermented foods are linked with the healthier gut flora that promotes better digestion.(4) It also increases immunity.(5)
Most of the pickles are not fermented. However, if you find the fermented ones that have good probiotic quality, they are good for babies’ gut.
Pickles also give a cooling sensation that can feel soothing on the teething gums of the babies. It gives them a refreshing experience and a few bites would be enough to distract the little one from gum pain.
Introducing the child to various flavors and textures can have a lasting positive effect. It leads to a greater food acceptance and dietary range later in life.(6)
Similarly, it has a downside, as research shows, eating an excess of salt early in life can make them crave more for salt in later years.(7)
Do Pickles Cause Diaper Rash?
Pickles are acidic and it is possible for them to cause diaper rash or irritate some babies’ skin.
A child with a sensitive digestive tract might also develop diarrhea or be at an increased risk of developing a diaper rash.
If you suspect that the culprit behind the red bumps on the skin of your child is because of pickles, remove them from the diet immediately. You can later consider reintroducing them to look if the sensitivity exists or not.
Pickle can be a perfect baby food as they can hold it and have fun sucking it. It can be a great introduction to a different taste. But, do not keep it every day along with the main course, to keep away the baby from salt addiction.