Babybel is a snack-sized cheese round that is popular for its unique packaging and different flavor varieties. However, some nutritional considerations exist for feeding Babybel cheese products to your baby.
Overall, Babybel is safe for your baby if served in small pieces instead of the entire round as it is typically eaten. In addition, this cheese can provide beneficial protein, fat, and calcium for your baby.
In this article, we will discuss more about the safety and nutrition of Babybel cheese for your baby, including pasteurization, choking risk, fat content, and more.
Is Babybel Cheese Safe for Babies? When?
Babybel cheese is safe for babies once they reach six months old. The first ingredient in Babybel cheese is pasteurized milk.
Pasteurization is the process of heating the milk to high temperatures to ensure that all potentially harmful bacteria are killed off. Babies can safely have any type of cheese made with pasteurized milk (source: United States Food and Drug Administration [FDA]).
Babybel’s plant-based cheese variety is also a safe cheese option for your baby — more on this product below!
When your baby is between six and eight months, you can offer Babybel cheese in small amounts as long as it is pureed (source: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign).
At first, begin with a puree with added breastmilk or infant formula to make the texture thinner and more watery. Once that is tolerated, your baby can have a thicker consistency puree, similar to mashed potato texture.
However, once they are between eight and 12 months old, they can have soft, bite-sized pieces of cheese, including Babybel cheese.
Since Babybel cheese is very firm and can be difficult for your baby to eat, make sure it is cut into very small pieces to reduce choking risk. Additionally, it is recommended that you cut the cheese up into short and thin strips rather than round pieces so that they are less likely to get stuck in your baby’s airway (source: CDC).
Cheese, such as Babybel cheese, is an excellent option for baby-led weaning because your baby can easily grasp the small firm pieces of cheese in their hand and bring the cheese to their mouth to feed themself.
Finally, Babybel cheeses come in unique packaging where the round mini cheese wheel is covered in a layer of wax. Use the pull tab on the wax layer to ensure it is completely removed before serving to your baby.
Is Babybel Cheese Good for Babies?
Babybel cheese is a nutritious food source of protein, fat, and calcium to support your baby’s healthy growth and development in infancy. The main ingredient of the cheese product is pasteurized cultured milk, along with water, salt, oil, and microbial enzymes.
Since Babybel cheese does contain milk and therefore is a source of dairy, it is important to be aware of signs of a food allergy or intolerance. Symptoms of a food allergy can include hives, rash, vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing (source: University of Illinois).
Additionally, offer each new food with at least three days in between so that you can identify the culprit if a food allergic reaction occurs.
Because your baby needs fat for healthy growth, avoid the “Light” version of Babybel cheese and stick with the regular full-fat variety, whether it is the original Babybel cheese or the gouda, mozzarella, sharp original, or white cheddar variety.
All of the Babybel cheese products are made with pasteurized milk, so any full-fat cheese is a good option.
Babybel has also recently released a plant-based “cheese” variety that is made from primarily modified food starch and coconut oil with added calcium and vitamin B12.
Unlike the regular dairy versions of Babybel, the plant-based version contains some iron, which is important for the health of red blood cells that carry oxygen to cells throughout the body.
Babybel is a calcium-rich food that supports your baby’s bone health and helps maintain strong teeth (source: Johns Hopkins Medicine). Also, dietary protein is essential for your baby’s growth and healthy nutritional status (source: Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology).
Overall, Babybel is a safe and nutritious cheese product for your baby. I hope this article helped with how to serve it safely.