Can Babies Eat Pancakes? Safety and Ages

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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Pancakes are a popular breakfast food that the whole family can enjoy, leading many parents to wonder when (and if) they can safely feed pancakes to their baby. So let’s talk about it!

Overall, pancakes are safe to feed to your baby in small bite-sized pieces when they are ten to twelve months old. Pancakes are an excellent option for baby-led weaning as they can easily be grasped in the hands.

Avoid giving your baby very sugary pancakes or those topped with pancake syrup or maple syrup and instead top with soft, cooked, or pureed fruit. 

With so many different variations, let’s dive into more information regarding how to make traditional pancakes the healthiest and safest for your baby. Read on to learn more!

Can Babies Eat Pancakes? When?

Since pancakes are a more like a chewy chunk of solid food and are not a puree, you should wait until your baby is at least ten months old to feed them pancakes (source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).

Let’s break down when your baby can have pancakes into months in the following table: 

AgeCan You Feed Your Baby Pancakes?
6 monthsNo – only if pureed
7 monthsNo – only if pureed
8 monthsNo – only if pureed
9 monthsNo – only if pureed
10 monthsYes – small pieces/finger foods
11 monthsYes – small pieces/finger foods
12 monthsYes – small pieces/finger foods

Now let’s talk about the sugar content.

It is recommended that you avoid feeding your baby foods that are high in sugar, which pancakes typically are. Therefore, only provide your baby pancakes in moderation, especially if dining out or making from a mix when the pancakes are higher in sugar.

That said, if you make your pancake recipe from scratch at home, you can control precisely how much sugar is in the pancakes. 

Delicious banana pancakes on a plate with green mint

Many parents also wonder about the safety of pancakes for their babies under the age of one because of the presence of cow’s milk in the recipe. Since the cow’s milk is just used as an ingredient to cook or prepare a food for the baby, it is acceptable for the baby (source: Cleveland Clinic).

This is not the same as the recommendation that you avoid giving your baby cow’s milk to drink, such as instead of formula or breastmilk. This should not be done before 12 months.

This recommendation is because cow’s milk does not have the appropriate proportion of protein and fats compared to infant formula or breastmilk (source: Cleveland Clinic). 

Additionally, you should know that pancakes contain gluten, a common allergen. Rather than be worried, you can be alert and aware of how to notice allergies in babies. After feeding pancakes to your baby for the first time, symptoms would likely appear three to six hours after consumption if they are allergic (source: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign). 

If you notice severe eczema or hives, wheezing or coughing, unusual fussiness, vomiting, or any other severe symptom, call your physician or seek medical attention immediately. 

What to Put on Pancakes for Baby

It’s best not to top your baby’s pancakes with popular toppings like breakfast syrup or maple syrup, as these are very high in added sugar.

You can provide your baby with soft fruits or cooked fruits to top the pancakes without adding sugar to them (source: (National Health Service [NHS]). For example, you can top their pancakes with soft or pureed pears or ripe bananas. Additionally, you can top the pancakes with unsweetened applesauce. 

stack of pancakes with maple syrup on a plate

Adding these fruits not only provides some extra sweetness to your baby’s pancakes, but they also incorporate more fiber, vitamins, and minerals into their diet. 

Can Babies Have Syrup on Pancakes?

As mentioned above, it is best to avoid using breakfast or pancake syrup and maple syrup to top your baby’s pancakes. In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you avoid feeding any added sugars to your baby before the age of two. This recommendation is due to the lack of healthy nutrients in foods typically high in added sugar.

Also, under age two, babies are developing their taste preferences which can be skewed by foods that are very high in sugar.

You can add fruits like banana to pancakes, to make them naturally sweeter without extra sugar.

Can Babies Have Protein Pancakes?

Since protein pancakes are typically made from commercially-processed protein powder, you should not give your baby protein pancakes. 

Instead, to increase the protein concentration of pancakes, you can safely add cream cheese or cottage cheese once the baby is six months old, as long as it is pasteurized and full-fat (source: NHS). 

How to Cut and Serve Pancakes for Babies 

Cut the pancakes into very small and bite-sized pieces. These finger foods allow the baby to pick up the pieces and feed themselves. 

Pancakes are an excellent option for baby-led weaning. Baby-led weaning is when the parents allow the baby to transition from being spoon-fed to feeding themselves finger foods, such as pancakes. 

a baby happily eating pancakes

Foods that are appropriate for baby-led weaning are those the baby can grasp, such as the soft solid pancake pieces that they can easily grasp in their hands. Baby-led weaning can help your baby be involved in their meal and learn to hold and explore eating (source: NHS). 

Typically, with baby-led weaning, the baby consumes the food the family is already eating, just in small bite-sized pieces that are easy for them to grab (source: Cleveland Clinic). Of course, the portion sizes are much smaller, and sometimes textures need to be modified for the baby.

Studies show that baby-led weaning helps to develop important developmental skills, including their fine-motor skills and self-regulation (source: Cleveland Clinic).

Therefore, it is appropriate to begin baby-led weaning when the baby starts to sit upright, reach for foods or objects and bring them to the mouth, and no longer push foods out of the mouth. This typically occurs around six months of age, but every baby is different. 

Pancakes can be an excellent food for baby-led weaning when the baby is around ten to twelve months old since pancakes are food the whole family can enjoy.

In conclusion, I hope you found this article helpful in breaking down the critical information regarding pancakes and how to safely and healthfully incorporate pancakes into your baby’s diet.