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How to Introduce Wheat to Baby

How to Introduce Wheat to Baby

By: @pediatric.dietitian

Wheat is a common food allergen. However, it’s important to note that a wheat allergy is different from celiac disease, which is an immune response to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye — not a food allergy. 

Wheat varieties can be safely introduced to your baby. Here’s how:

How to Introduce Wheat to Baby Using Breast Milk, Formula, and Purees

Cream of wheat or farina is an easy option for introducing wheat that can be prepared using breast milk or infant formula. Easily add flavor by using cinnamon, nutmeg, or fruits and vegetables with it. 

You can also mix plain unsweetened puffed wheat cereal with formula or breastmilk to soften. When buying these wheat cereals for your babies, try to choose a puffed variety without added ingredients, only wheat.

Adding cooked wheat berries or couscous to fruit, vegetable, or meat purees helps to add some texture to purees while introducing allergens. 

Ideas For Safely Introducing Wheat to Baby Learning to Self-Feed

Babies 9 months or older can practice their pincer grasp by self-feeding plain unsweetened puffed wheat cereal. Baking muffins made with whole wheat or regular flour is another option for introducing wheat to your baby.

For baby-led weaning ideas, a piece of toast with or without a topping like avocado, hummus, butter, or nut butter works well.  

Your baby can also safely self-feed overcooked soft pasta that is easily smashed between your fingers. Most shapes like spaghetti, elbow, fusilli, cavatelli, and tagliatelle are safe for babies as long as they are cooked until soft. 

Is your little learning to self-feed? Learn how to boost fine motor skills with a pre-loaded spoon.

What Type of Bread or Wheat Should You Avoid?

Raw wheat flour can be a food poisoning risk if not cooked or baked as it can harbor E. coli. In addition, bread can be a choking hazard if it is too soft and spongy, or hard and sharp. 

🚫 Avoid breads with whole nuts or seeds as they can be a choking hazard. It is best to lightly toast a piece of bread for your baby so that it is not too soft. 

🚫 Avoid breads made with honey as it can cause botulism in babies. 

When introducing wheat to babies, other choking hazards include crackers and dry crunchy cereals that should be avoided or softened with liquid-like breast milk or infant formula. 

 

Have other feeding + nutrition concerns or questions? Let us know in the comments!

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