Happy Thanksgiving! As we all prepare to kick off the holiday season with none other than a day of family, friends, and delicious food you may be wondering if your baby can partake in the turkey day festivities. Take a sigh of relief, because babies absolutely CAN eat turkey once they begin eating solids.
When Can My Baby Start Eating Turkey?
Babies typically begin eating solids around six months of age or when he/she is able to sit up supported in a high chair with a five-point harness, has lost his or her tongue-thrust reflex, and begins to show interest in food. Just be cautious that the portions are appropriate for your baby’s eating stage to prevent choking.
Is Turkey a Good Nutritional Source?
Turkey actually fits perfectly into a baby’s diet as it’s lean meat, a great protein source, and high in nutrients that continue to help babies as they grow and develop. In addition, dark turkey meat has a high content of iron, zinc, and B vitamins. If you do plan on feeding your baby turkey this holiday, I recommend freshly cooked turkey as it tends to be lower in sodium, nitrates, and preservatives in comparison to deli meats.
Different Ways to Prepare Turkey For Your Baby
For younger babies, I recommend pureeing a little bit of turkey and adding in some rice, veggies, or even other sides you may have during Thanksgiving (ie. stuffing). As your baby starts to develop more hand control, he or she may be able to pick up the turkey and eat it as finger food. When you get to this stage I recommend removing the skin and cutting the turkey into pea-sized portions. As they get older you can transition from smaller bites to strips of turkey.