Can Babies Have Jello? When Is It Safe [By Age]

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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Jello is a popular fruit-flavored and jiggly dessert that we all enjoyed as kids. However, many parents wonder if jello is safe for their baby.

Overall, jello is safe for your baby when they are at least six months old. However, jello is high in sugar and low in nutritional value, so it should be limited in your baby’s diet.

This article will discuss more information about safely feeding your baby jello, nutritional information, and other health considerations. Read on! 

What Age Can Babies Eat Jello? [Safety By Month]

While babies can safely eat jelly or jam when they are six months old, it is best to avoid providing them with chewable chunks of jello (containing an agent to make it thicker, such as gelatin) until they are around ten to 12 months of age (source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).

In addition, make sure the pieces of jello are bite-sized to reduce choking risk.

homemade jello on a white plate

Also, ensure your child is at least ten months old if there are pieces of fruit inside the jello. Typically, store-bought jello cups with fruit will already have small pieces of fruit inside.

If you are making fruit in jello at home, make sure the fruit is very small and soft, such as mandarin orange slices or cut-up pears without the skin. Your baby is typically ready to advance from pureed and mashed foods to soft chewable pieces of food at ten months old. 

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

Age in MonthsCan Your Baby Have Jello?
6No, avoid feeding your baby jello.
7No, avoid feeding your baby jello.
8No, avoid feeding your baby jello. 
9No, avoid feeding your baby jello. 
10Yes, your baby can have small pieces of jello.
11Yes, your baby can have small pieces of jello.
12Yes, your baby can have small pieces of jello.

Also, avoid feeding raw jelly cubes to your baby or young child because of choking risks (source: National Health Service [NHS]). If you are using these raw jelly cubes as an ingredient to make jelly or jello, ensure you thoroughly read and follow the instructions from the manufacturer often found on the packaging.

Is Jello Good or Bad for Babies? 

While jello is overall safe for babies when they reach ten months old, it is not a very nutritious food since it is high in sugar and low in nutrients, such as vitamins or minerals.

Jello with fruit in it does have more nutritional value because the fruit provides fiber, vitamins, minerals, and more. 

yellow dyed gelatin on a plate

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under age two should not consume any amount of added sugar in their diet (source: Cleveland Clinic). Added sugar is anything that is not naturally found in foods like fruit and milk. For example, the sugar in jello is often entirely added sugar.

Giving your baby too much sugar can increase the risk of insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, and Type 2 diabetes when they are older (source: Cleveland Clinic). Too much sugar in your baby’s diet can also contribute to undesirable weight gain and poor dental health.

Sugar-free jello can be a good alternative to regular jello. It is often sweetened with non-nutritive sweeteners, such as aspartame which is safe for your baby.

Many parents worry about the food color additives in jello. However, color additives are safe and certified by the United States Food and Drug Administration (source: FDA). 

Overall, it is best to make your own jello at home to control the sugar your baby consumes. 

Your baby can also enjoy playing with jello as sensory play to develop their motor skills and learn about cause and effect (source: KinderCare).

red cherry gelatin dessert in a bowl

Is Gelatin Safe for Babies? 

Gelatin is safe for babies once they are at least six months old. Your baby can be allergic to gelatin (as they could be allergic to anything!), though unlikely. Keep your eye out for common food allergy symptoms, including hives, swelling, diarrhea, vomiting, and more (source: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign). 

I hope this article helped discuss the safety and nutrition of jello for babies.