Can Babies Have Cottage Cheese?
Can babies eat cottage cheese? Yes, if and when they are developmentally ready, babies can have cottage cheese. Complementary foods from all food groups can be introduced starting at 6 months, including cheeses.
This fresh cheese is a wholesome way to ensure baby gets nutrients they need, and its creamy taste pairs well with fruits and veggies. Cottage cheese provides high-quality protein and calcium.
Cow’s milk products for babies, including cottage cheese, can be among the nutrient-dense and potentially allergenic foods the USDA 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends introducing beginning at age 6 months. The thinking is that an early introduction to some potentially allergenic foods may help reduce the risk of developing a food allergy. And while cow’s milk itself should not be introduced until the baby turns one year of age, cheeses and yogurt can be introduced starting at 6 months.
Cottage cheese can also be a developmentally appropriate food for babies who are ready to expand their palate while their teeth come in. Some cues that baby is ready to try solids? They’re able to:
- sit up and have good head control
- open their mouth for a spoon
- move food to the back of their mouth to swallow.
The soft, fresh cheese comes in an array of curd sizes to choose from—from small to large. Smaller curds may be better for smaller babies with the larger curds being more appropriate as babies gain better developmental control as they near their first birthday. You can also mix cottage cheese with their pureed fruits and vegetables. Another way to provide a new texture for them is to whip it in a blender to create a smoother consistency.
On its own, cottage cheese is just the right food for tiny fingers, though using a spoon works too! And it’s a safe cheese for baby because it’s made with pasteurized milk. (And you can use any leftovers to make a delicious dessert for the grown-up set.)
To serve your baby the cottage cheese, try these tips:
- blend it with avocado,
- bake it into pancakes,
- or serve it in pureed or diced peaches or pears.
As they experience more new textures, try spreading it on toast or even mix in some shredded cheese.
So—babies can have cottage cheese as long as you follow the guidance to make sure they are developmentally ready, then at around 6 months they should be ready to try it. And in fact dairy foods are a nutritious and delicious way to introduce baby to the wider world of food!