Can Babies Eat Chia Seeds? [Pudding, Pouches, + More]

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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Chia seeds are known for their numerous health benefits, including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. However, can your baby safely eat these crunchy little seeds? 

Overall, chia seeds are safe for babies when they are well-soaked, including chia pudding, Mamma Chia, and more. 

Let’s talk more about the safety and benefits of chia seeds for babies. 

Are Chia Seeds Safe for Babies? When?

Chia seeds are safe for babies once they reach six months of age. Many parents are concerned about these seeds because the general consensus is to avoid whole nuts and seeds until the baby is much older because of the increased risk of choking.

However, they are unique because if they are soaked thoroughly, they become very soft and just slightly crunchy.

Therefore, they are the perfect addition to boost the nutrition of your baby’s food, such as yogurt, pudding, pureed fruit, and more. 

When your baby is six months old, you can add well-soaked chia seeds to your baby’s pureed foods. At this age, your baby should only have thin and watery purees (source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).

When they are seven to nine months old, your baby can have them on mashed foods and slightly thicker purees.

Chia Seeds in a wooden bowl with spoon

Finally, at ten months old, your baby can have finger foods. This includes small, bite-sized pieces of solid food like soft fruits, with a sprinkle of soaked chia seeds added on top. 

Do not feed your baby dry chia seeds because of the increased risk of choking.

Let’s summarize this information in the table below.

Age in MonthsCan Your Baby Have Chia Seeds?
6 to 7Yes, your baby can have chia seeds mixed in with pureed foods.
7 to 9Yes, your baby can have chia seeds mixed in with mashed or thicker pureed foods.
10 to 12Yes, your baby can have chia seeds with bite-sized foods that are soft.
12 to 18Yes, your baby can have chia seeds with bite-sized foods that are soft.

Can Babies Eat Chia Pudding?

Chia pudding is a safe food for babies, with a few considerations. First of all, chia pudding is made by adding chia seeds to a preferred milk and sweetener. The mixture is then allowed to soak and thicken for at least a few hours.

Many chia puddings are flavored with vanilla, fruit, or other flavors. 

The main concern of chia pudding for babies is that many varieties contain honey. Any amount or type of honey is unsafe for babies under twelve months of age, even if it is a processed product (source: Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital).

Due to the spores that it contains, feeding honey to babies under one year old increases their risk of infant botulism and should be avoided entirely.

So, whether you are purchasing pre-made chia pudding from the store or making your own at home, make sure it does not contain any honey. 

Additionally, make sure that the milk used to make the chia pudding is pasteurized (source: United States Food and Drug Administration [FDA]).

Pasteurization is the process of heating the milk to extremely high temperatures to kill any potential bacteria that can cause foodborne illness in your baby. 

two glasses of chia seed pudding

How to Prepare Chia Seeds for Babies 

It is best to make your own chia seed recipes at home using infant formula or breast milk. However, small amounts of cow’s milk are safe for your baby under 12 months old as long as they are not given cow’s milk to drink (source: Cleveland Clinic).

Make sure you soak the chia seeds in the milk for at least a couple of hours, but it is best to leave it overnight. 

It is best to leave these seeds unsweetened for your baby. However, if you do choose to sweeten the chia seeds or chia pudding, make sure to avoid sweetening with honey.

For older babies who are at least ten months old, you can incorporate these seeds into baby-led weaning by sprinkling soaked chia seeds on bite-sized pieces of soft fruit. 

Are Chia Seeds Healthy or Beneficial for Babies?

Chia seeds are extremely healthy for babies because of their impressive nutritional profile, including dietary fiber content, a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, and more.

Fiber is very important in a healthy diet, even for babies, because it can promote healthy digestion, regular bowel movements, and more (source: Cleveland Clinic).

Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids are essential for your baby’s brain development and functioning, learning, and much more (source: American Pregnancy Association). Chia seeds can promote healthy weight gain in your baby as well. 

Is Mamma Chia Safe for Babies? 

Mamma Chia is a popular brand of chia seeds in pouches that your baby can drink from easily. These pouches are safe for your baby, perfect for on-the-go, and offer a great way to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your baby’s diet.

Opt for their Chia Squeeze Vitality Snack pouches for a nutritious and delicious snack for your baby. However, avoid the Mamma Chia Energy Squeeze because it contains 90 milligrams of caffeine, which is not safe for your baby to consume. 

In conclusion, I hope this article helped explain the nutritional benefits and safety of chia seeds for your baby.