5 Experts Answer: Is It OK to Give Babies Spicy Food?

533

Credit: Baby in high chair via Shutterstock

5 Experts Answer: Is It OK to Give Babies Spicy Food?

Each week, MyHealthNewsDaily asks the experts to answer questions about your health.

Louis andِ spokesperson forِ the Academy ofِ Nutrition andِ Dietetics: Things areِ changing: people areِ starting toِ beِ a littleِ more open-minded aboutِ introducing newِ food toِ babies.
The word onِ the street is, ifِ you areِ eating spicy foods, andِ it’s inِ your breast milk, thenِ theِ kids willِ likeِ the flavor later.
But keepِ inِ mind thatِ ifِ you’re goingِ to give themِ theِ adult version withِ allِ these spices andِ strong flavors, itِ may beِ too much.

***

Dr.
Anca Safta, pediatric gastroenterologist, director ofِ endoscopy andِ assistant professor atِ the University ofِ Maryland: .

In infants there’s a lot of debate on food introduction, even among pediatricians.

There’s a difference betweenِ hot spices, andِ the aromatic ones.
When introducing solid food, oneِ should goِ aheadِ and tryِ especiallyِ the aromatic foods.
The hot part isِ not a taste, butِ rather involves stimulation ofِ pain receptors, andِ infants mightِ haveِ a stronger andِ novel reaction toِ it, possibly creating anِ aversion.

***

Vanessa Kane-Alves, RD, clinical nutrition specialist forِ the Adolescent Medicine/Eating Disorders Program atِ Children’s Hospital Boston Whatever a mom wantsِ toِ enjoy andِ eat whileِ breastfeeding], that’sِ what sheِ should beِ eating.
For mostِ moms, eating spicy food isِ perfectly fine, andِ can alsoِ help theِ babies beِ less picky whenِ theyِ areِ eating atِ the table, becauseِ they’re beingِ exposed toِ differentِ foods inِ the breast milk.
For example, someِ studies haveِ shown someِ babies prefer garlicky breast milk.

***

Vandana Sheth, RD, and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

First ofِ all, it’sِ absolutely a good idea toِ introduce spices toِ babies andِ young children.
We wantِ toِ try a wide variety ofِ herbs ofِ spices — notِ only areِ they adding flavor, they’reِ alsoِ providing anِ antioxidant punch.
Using a variety ofِ spices toِ makeِ food taste good willِ expand theِ child’s palate, andِ alsoِ cut downِ on theِ sugar andِ salt thatِ we oftenِ use toِ makeِ foods taste better.

***

Dr. Stephen Borowitz, professor of pediatrics at University of Virginia

I’m notِ sure I wouldِ sayِ it’sِ good orِ bad, butِ it’s perfectly reasonable andِ appropriate.
Cultures haveِ beenِ feeding babies theِ sameِ spicy food adults eat forِ a long while.
For mostِ people whoِ haveِ gastrointestinal distress whileِ eating spicy foods, it’sِ not actuallyِ the spice, it’sِ the grease that’sِ the problem.

More 5 Experts Answer columns: