Can Babies Eat Nutella or Chocolate Spread? Safety + Risks

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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You may have seen the internet photos of babies covered in Nutella, a popular hazelnut spread. This article will discuss if this chocolatey spread is safe for your baby. 

Overall, Nutella and other chocolate hazelnut spreads are safe for your baby when they are at least six months old. Since nuts are a common allergen, monitor for symptoms of a food allergy after first introducing the food to your baby. 

Let’s talk more about the safety of Nutella for your baby, the common ingredients, allergy information, and more. 

Can Babies Have Nutella? Is it Safe?

Nutella and other chocolate hazelnut spreads are safe for babies once they are around six months old because they are typically smooth (source: National Health Service [NHS]). 

However, as endearing as the internet memes of Nutella-covered babies are, avoid this practice because of the risk of food allergies — more on this below! 

nutella chocolate spread in a jar

Is Nutella Good or Healthy for Babies? 

Many consider Nutella as healthy, just like peanut butter. However, this is not necessarily the case. Nutella does contain a small amount of hazelnut, but it is more like a dessert than a nut butter. It is very high in calories and fat and relatively low in beneficial nutrition (source: United States Department of Agriculture [USDA]). 

Additionally, Nutella and other chocolate spreads are typically high in added sugar. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under age two completely avoid added sugar in their diet (source: Cleveland Clinic).

Added sugar consumption can contribute to an increased risk of prediabetes, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes in the future. 

To reduce the sugar content, you can make your own chocolate hazelnut spread at home. As long as the hazelnuts are completely ground up and smooth, homemade Nutella can be a great option to control exactly how much sugar your baby is consuming. 

What Age Can Babies Eat Nutella or Chocolate Spread? 

When your baby is six to nine months old, they can safely have a small amount of Nutella or chocolate spread. At this age, they can tolerate a thicker consistency puree (source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).

When your baby is ten months old, they can typically begin to have soft chewable chunks of food that they can pick up on their own and feed themselves. These finger foods can include Nutella or chocolate spread on a small piece of toast or fruit. 

Let’s summarize this information in the table below (source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia). 

Age in MonthsCan Your Baby Have Nutella or Chocolate Spread?
6Yes, thicker puree consistencies are safe.
7Yes, thicker puree consistencies are safe.
8Yes, thicker puree consistencies are safe.
9Yes, thicker puree consistencies are safe.
10Yes, Nutella or chocolate spread on a finger food is safe.
11Yes, Nutella or chocolate spread on a finger food is safe.
12Yes, Nutella or chocolate spread on a finger food is safe.
Chocolate spread on slice of bread with spoon.

Can Babies Be Allergic to Nutella? 

Nutella and other chocolate spreads typically contain hazelnuts. Many parents are hesitant to introduce nuts to their babies early because they are a part of the top eight most common allergens.

However, accredited pediatric academies’ guidelines recommend introducing foods containing common allergens early, within the four to six-month age range (source: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology).

This introduction should be done after your baby can tolerate other foods that are less likely to cause allergies, such as pureed fruits or vegetables.

While some allergens are more common, your baby can be allergic to any food, so it is recommended to introduce new foods (especially foods more likely to cause allergies, such as nuts) one at a time, with about three to five days in between.

Therefore, if an allergic reaction were to occur, you would be able to pinpoint the food that caused it more easily. 

Symptoms of an allergic reaction include swelling, hives, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, and more (source: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign). 

I hope this article helped break down the recommendations for giving your baby Nutella or chocolate spread.