If you’re a busy parent, it’s likely that you often grab processed meat for convenience. Unlike fresh meats, can babies eat deli meat is low in fat and can be eaten quickly. Unfortunately, deli meats also contain large amounts of sodium and nitrates that are not suitable for babies and toddlers.
Aside from a high concentration of salt, nitrates can also convert to nitrosamines in the body and cause cancer. The best way to avoid these health risks is to choose deli meats with lower sodium levels or opt for organic options. You should also avoid giving your baby lunch meats if they’re undercooked, as they can transmit salmonella. Rather than serving your baby deli meats, you should provide them with proteins from whole foods such as eggs, fish, chicken, fruits, and vegetables.
When Can Babies Eat Deli Meat?
You can begin to feed your baby deli meat once they reach 6 months of age and can chew and swallow thin slices. However, you should always cook deli meats thoroughly before feeding them to your baby because undercooked deli meat can be a choking hazard.
In addition, pregnant women should not eat cold deli meats because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Listeriosis is a serious infection that can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth or preterm labor. This is because listeriosis can pass through the placenta and cause harm to your unborn child. Moreover, pregnant women are 10 times more susceptible to getting listeriosis than the general population.