CHICKEN | 6 mos+ |🥇💪 ⚠️
Chicken is a protein-rich food. It is a source of complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids in adequate amounts for maintenance and growth. Your baby is in a developing stage and their newly forming muscles need protein for proper growth, therefore chicken can be a great addition to your baby's diet.
DISCLAIMER: Each child has their own development timeline and specific needs. The content below is general information and for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional one-on-one advice. You are responsible for supervising your child’s health and for evaluating the appropriateness of the information below for your child. Please consult your healthcare provider regarding support or advice for your child's well being and health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen here.
7. How to store chicken
When can I give chicken to my baby?
Babies can eat chicken as soon as they are ready to start eating solid foods, which is usually when they are around 6 months of age and have met all the readiness signs for solids, unless otherwise advised by your baby's healthcare provider.
You can give your baby a safe start to solid foods! This on-demand workshop will provide you with the knowledge and confidence you need to wean well.
Is chicken a healthy food for babies?
Chicken is a protein-rich food. It is a source of complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids in adequate amounts for maintenance and growth. Your baby is in a developing stage and their newly forming muscles need protein for proper growth.
Chicken contains iron, which is necessary for the growth of red blood cells. This iron-rich food can be a valuable addition to your baby’s diet, especially in aiding in the prevention of iron-deficiency anemia. Anemia is a common problem in children around the world. The U.S. prevalence of iron deficiency anemia in children one to five years of age is estimated to be 1% to 2% according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Iron is also needed for the brain to develop and function properly – a lack of iron during infancy can have a huge impact on the ability to learn later in life.
Chicken is a valuable source of selenium, a powerful antioxidant, zinc and magnesium, which play a significant role in maintaining healthy immunity. This animal protein also provides essential vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, and B12) that are involved in brain development and functioning. Its calcium, phosphorus, and potassium content helps to develop strong bones and a healthy heart.
If you want long shiny hair, bright skin, powerful muscles, a strong immune system, and beautiful nails for your little one, provide them protein-rich food such as meat, poultry, and legumes within each meal.
Fun Fact: Chicken is classified as a poultry. Poultry is defined as domesticated fowl, such as chickens, turkeys, geese, and ducks, primarily raised for the production of meat and eggs. The United States is the largest poultry producer in the world, producing roughly 64 billion pounds of poultry meat each year, and is the second largest exporter of poultry meat behind Brazil.
Is chicken a safe food for babies?
Contaminated semi-cooked or low-quality chicken is very harmful to you and your baby. Many kinds of bacteria like salmonella campylobacter are present on the surface of the chicken, which may cause serious health conditions like food poisoning, diarrhea, or even cancer.
Over the past decade, there have been numerous foodborne outbreaks associated with both poultry products and live poultry, such as backyard chickens. These local and multi-state outbreaks associated with poultry have been widely attributed to contamination with one or more strains of salmonella. Salmonellosis is characterized by diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps, and dehydration.
Improper handling and inadequate cooking have been identified as key factors contributing to outbreaks. The best way to avoid the health hazards of chicken is to take some food safety precautions when preparing and serving chicken to your baby and other family members. See section “How to prepare and offer” below for more information on how to safely introduce chicken to your baby’s diet.
Is chicken a choking hazard for babies?
Like all meat and poultry, chicken is listed as a common choking hazard by the CDC and by five other international groups. There are a couple of ways to minimize the risk: 1) offer whole cooked drumsticks with the skin and any loose fat pieces removed, 2) pull apart a cooked chicken breast or leg and tease into fine shreds, or 3) cut cooked chicken breast into paper-thin slices. Whichever method you choose, always remove the skin, loose fat, and any loose tendons or bone pieces, and as always, be sure to closely monitor your babies while they eat. See section “How to prepare and offer” for more information on how to safely offer chicken to your baby.
This workshop covers everything you need to know for dealing with gagging, reducing the risk of choking during mealtimes, and offering safe food sizes and shapes to your child.
Note: Keep in mind that any food can present a risk for choking if not prepared correctly. You are responsible for following age and food modification guidelines provided in order to reduce your baby’s risk for choking.
Is chicken a top food allergen for babies?
Chicken allergy is not very common in babies, but some babies may have a sensitivity to chicken’s protein, especially babies with sensitive immune and digestive systems. Whenever you give your baby food for the first time, offer it in small quantities and watch for any signs of a reaction. If your baby seems to tolerate food well and you see no adverse reaction, then continue to gradually increase portion sizes when you offer the food again to your baby. If your baby shows any symptoms like diarrhea, skin hives, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, swelling of mouth, weakness, or dizziness, after the consumption of chicken, consult your healthcare provider. These symptoms can be a sign of chicken allergy or intolerance.
Note: Always consult with your healthcare provider regarding introducing solid foods to your baby, and specifically discuss any foods that may pose allergy risks for your baby.
How to buy chicken for babies
1. Always buy fresh chicken from a trusted store where it is cleaned and dressed well.
2. If you’re buying a whole chicken, it should be plump, not scrawny. Avoid chicken with spotted skin – it should be opaque.
3. If buying frozen chicken, check to see if there is any frozen liquid in the packaging. This may mean that – at some point – the chicken thawed then was frozen again, making it potentially unsafe to eat.
4. When purchasing fresh or frozen chicken, make sure that it spends the LEAST TIME POSSIBLE in your car. It is a good idea to use a cooler or cool packs to transport the chicken, then transfer it immediately to the refrigerator/freezer when you get home.
5. While poultry is not naturally a significant source of sodium, processing can drastically increase the sodium content of poultry products, such as in deli meats or chicken injected with enhancing solutions. Whenever possible, choose minimally processed chicken. Look for labels with 140 mg or less of sodium per serving.
Some of these terms may appear on chicken labels. Here are the facts to help clear up any definition confusion.
Free Range: Chickens have access to the outdoors for at least some part of the day, whether the chickens choose to go outside or not. Chicken labeled as “organic” must also be “free-range,” but not all “free-range” chicken is also “organic.”
Farm-Raised: All chickens are raised on farms. So any chicken could be labeled “farm-raised.” When this term is used on restaurant menus and the like, it usually refers to chickens raised on a local farm.