When kids first start eating solid food and we start planning our baby’s diet, one of the most frequent questions is: can babies eat mayonnaise?
Technically, babies can eat store-bought mayonnaise when they start eating solid foods, which is around 6 months of age.
Homemade mayonnaise, which contains raw eggs, should not be given to babies.
You should ask your pediatrician when it’s safe for your child to eat foods containing raw eggs.
There are other factors to consider too, such as how well your child tolerates eggs, the maturity of your baby’s digestive system, and the overall healthiness of mayonnaise.
It’s very important for an infant to eat healthy food, but if you absolutely insist on giving store-bought mayonnaise to your baby, then I recommend starting off with very small amounts.
Can Babies Eat Mayonnaise?
Now, the question we’re all here for: can babies eat mayonnaise?
Well, in all honesty, it’s too complicated a question to be answered with a simple yes or no.
Although babies can eat store-bought mayonnaise when they are old enough for solid foods, it’s a good idea to think long and hard about whether you want to expose your child to all the extra ingredients found in mayo.
Of course, the first time you feed your baby egg mayo, you should look out for potential allergic reactions and intolerance to eggs.
The same goes for every new ingredient and food you introduce to your little one.
If you notice a rash or hives on any part of your baby’s body, if they start vomiting, or if they get diarrhea, you should immediately see your pediatrician as those are the telltale signs your little one is allergic to mayo or maybe even has food poisoning.
When your baby starts weaning, you should feed him with food that will improve his immune system and get him used to different flavors. Veggies should be at the top of that list.
Unfortunately, mayo doesn’t have many of the nutritional benefits that would aid the growth and development of your baby.
Most parents feed their young children mayo when they start giving them sandwiches.
As we all know, sandwiches are well-known choking hazards and we put mayo in them to soften them so your baby can swallow them more easily.
At What Age Can Babies Eat Mayonnaise?
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that babies should only be fed breast milk for the first six months.
They promote breastfeeding because it’s truly the healthiest feeding option for your newborn baby.
According to them, solid food should be introduced to babies after six months and mothers shouldn’t give up on breastfeeding even after their little ones start eating solids.
You should start weaning your baby with easy-to-digest food that doesn’t contain additional flavors.
It would also be great to start weaning them with finger foods because that’s how babies learn to feed themselves.
RELATED: Best Baby Led Weaning Foods And All You Need To Know About BLW
To answer the question: at what age can babies eat mayonnaise? We must first find out what mayo is made out of.
The basic ingredients are raw egg yolks, vinegar or lemon juice, and various other spices and flavorings.
Technically, you can feed your baby store-bought mayonnaise right after you introduce eggs and other solids to your baby’s diet.
Some parents decide to give it to their babies when they’re six months old because that’s when eggs can first be given to a baby.
However, I didn’t give mayo to my kids even when they were 8-month-olds because I wanted to keep their diet as healthy as possible.
In my personal opinion, I think you should introduce mayonnaise to your baby’s diet only if they’re one year old or older.
By the age of one, they will have tried lots of solids and be used to different flavors.
Their digestive system will also be mature enough to handle it.
Homemade mayonnaise, however, should NOT be given to babies as it contains raw eggs.
Talk to your pediatrician about when your child can eat homemade mayonnaise and other foods containing raw eggs.
Are There Any Risks To Feeding Your Baby Mayonnaise?
Before you add mayonnaise to your baby’s diet, you should consider some of the side effects it may have for your little one.
We will address them all now.
The US Department of Agriculture doesn’t recommend eating uncooked, raw eggs because they may contain a very dangerous bacteria, salmonella.
They also state that homemade mayonnaise is only safe if pasteurized eggs and products are used.
The symptoms of a salmonella infection are fever, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your baby right after you’ve fed them mayo, you should immediately visit your pediatrician.
Along with milk, peanut butter, tree nuts, cow’s milk, and fish, eggs are known as allergenic food which needs to be introduced to your baby’s diet with caution.
The key ingredient of mayo is eggs, which is why you need to be so careful about introducing it to your baby.
However, this doesn’t mean you should avoid giving solids like these to your baby, as avoiding them won’t prevent your little one from having food allergies.
Botulism is food poisoning that occurs when a person consumes improperly preserved foods infected by bacteria.
If your baby is struggling with constipation and has respiratory difficulties and flattened facial expressions, you should visit your pediatrician immediately as those are the first symptoms of botulism in babies.
This is one advantage of commercially made mayonnaise.
They’re jarred and filled with preservatives and acids that kill bacteria.
Germs can get into all sorts of food and cause food poisoning. However, there are some things you can do to prevent this from happening.
For example, you should never give a baby uncooked shellfish, homemade ice cream, homemade mayonnaise, or any other food that contains raw eggs.
Of course, every time you are preparing food for your little one, make sure to wash your hands and use clean cooking utensils.
Homemade Mayonnaise Recipe
As stated above, babies should not be fed homemade mayonnaise as it contains raw eggs.
However, if you have older children who love mayo, you can replace it with a homemade version which is much healthier.
Most people avoid making homemade mayonnaise because they think the process of mixing liquids to form an emulsion is extremely difficult.
What they don’t know is you don’t have to whisk the eggs, you can simply beat them with a stick blender.
Forget about Hellman’s mayo, because I’ll give you a recipe for the easiest homemade mayonnaise your kids will go crazy for the moment they taste it.
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients for this homemade mayo recipe:
• 1 Egg
• 1 Cup of olive oil
• 2 Tbsp lemon juice
• 1 Tsp salt
There’s nothing particularly complicated about this recipe.
Crack the egg in a wide jar and then put the rest of the ingredients in.
Turn on the stick blender and whisk the mixture for a minute until it comes together.
Voila, your homemade mayonnaise is ready.
You can use it for up to two weeks, but make sure to keep it in the refrigerator.
Here’s an additional tip – it’s better to use milder olive oil because it won’t overpower the mayo.
The Bottom Line
Can babies eat mayonnaise? This is a question all parents have asked at least once during the process of planning their baby’s diet.
I hope my answers and advice were helpful to you.
The fact is, mayonnaise doesn’t have many nutritional benefits that would improve your baby’s immune system and help them grow and develop the way they should.
Although store-bought mayonnaise can be given to babies in small amounts after they start solids, I recommend you wait as it’s best to keep an infant’s diet as clean as possible with healthy recipes for baby food.
There’s all the time in the world for them to eat mayo and other condiments, so there’s no rush!
Feel free to make homemade mayonnaise for yourself and the rest of your family, but never feed it to your baby because it contains raw eggs. Ask your pediatrician when it’s safe for your child to eat foods with raw eggs.
• Arthur I. Eidelman and Richard J. Schanler. (2012, March 1.). Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk. The American Academy of Pediatrics website.
• U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2019, July 17.). Is homemade mayonnaise safe? Ask the USDA website.
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