Can Babies Eat Baked Beans? Safety, Benefits, and More

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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Baked beans are typically soft and rich in essential nutrients. However, are there some safety and nutritional considerations to be aware of when feeding this dish to your baby?

Overall, baked beans are safe for your baby. However, commercially-made versions can be high in sodium and sugar, so try making your own at home. 

Let’s talk more about the safety of baked beans, adding meat to this dish, choking risks, and more. Read on!

Are Baked Beans Safe for Babies? When?

Baked beans are a safe food for babies when they are at least six months old. This popular dish is made by cooking beans slowly in a sauce until they are very soft. Therefore, the texture of baked beans is suitable for babies. 

When your baby is six months old, puree the baked beans into a smooth consistency and then add some breast milk or infant formula to make the texture more watery (source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).

When your baby is between seven and nine months old, they can have a slightly thicker puree, and you can give them a somewhat larger amount.

fresh homemade barbecue baked beans in a bowl

Finally, at ten months old, your baby can have soft and chewable pieces of food, including regular baked beans. Make sure to check the softness of the beans by mashing one with a fork before serving them to your baby. 

If your baked beans contain meat such as beef, make sure the meat is fully cooked to the appropriate temperature for food safety. For babies under ten months, you can puree the meat with the beans for your baby. However, when your baby is ten months or older, they can have very small pieces of soft and tender meat. 

Let’s summarize this information in the table below.

Age in MonthsCan Your Baby Have Baked Beans?
6Yes, add breast milk or infant formula to make a thin and watery puree.
7Yes, a thicker puree is suitable for your baby.
8Yes, a thicker puree is suitable for your baby.
9Yes, a thicker puree is suitable for your baby.
10Yes, your baby can have baked beans that are very soft and tender.
11Yes, your baby can have baked beans that are very soft and tender. 
12Yes, your baby can have baked beans that are very soft and tender. 

Are Canned Baked Beans Safe for Babies? [e.g., Heinz]

Commercially-made baked beans, such as those that are canned, are safe for your baby. Heinz and Bush’sBush’s Baked Beans are examples of famous baked bean brands. However, it is essential to note that those found in a can are often very high in sugar and salt.

Too much salt can be bad for babies because it is not good for their kidneys, while excessive sugar consumption can lead to tooth decay and other health issues (source: National Health Service [NHS]). 

Therefore, opt for a variety of canned baked beans that is low in added sugar and salt. Additionally, making your own at home can allow you to control precisely how much sugar and salt you are adding to your baby’s food.

It is important to make sure that your canned baked beans do not have any honey in their ingredients list, such as Bush’s Honey Baked Beans.

This is because babies under age one should not be given any amount of honey because of the increased risk of infant botulism (source: Cleveland Clinic). Similarly, do not use honey when you are making baked beans at home. 

Homemade Baked Beans and Safety for Babies

As mentioned above, making your own variation of baked beans at home allows you to reduce the amount of sugar and added salt in the dish. Thoroughly cook the meat to reduce the risk of foodborne illness for both you and your baby. Also, avoid highly processed meats such as bacon or ham. 

This way, your baby can enjoy the nutritional benefits of baked beans, including dietary fiber and a good source of protein, while avoiding excessive sodium or added sugars.

Fresh hot baked black bean in white bowl on kitchen table

Are Baked Beans a Choking Hazard for Babies? 

Baked beans should be pureed until they are smooth for babies under ten months old to avoid choking. For babies who are ten months of age and older, as long as the beans are cooked until they are very soft (as is typical with baked beans), the risk of choking is relatively low.

To further reduce the risk of choking, you can mash up whole beans slightly with a fork to make them easier for your baby to eat. 

Are Baked Beans Healthy For Babies?

Baked beans are packed full of nutrition from fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and more (source: United States Department of Agriculture [USDA]).

As mentioned above, stick with varieties that are low in added sodium and sugar (and make sure honey is not an ingredient). Make your own baked beans at home to increase their nutritional value.

Baked Beans and Baby-Led Weaning 

The soft baked beans are a great option for baby-led weaning because they are easy for your baby to chew yet firm enough for them to hold together and grasp. Mashing the beans slightly with a fork or spoon can make them easier for your baby to pick up and also decrease the risk of choking. 

Baked beans are an excellent option for your baby when prepared safely and nutritiously. I hope this article has helped break down the recommendations for serving your baby this dish.