When Can Babies Have Deli Meat?

Deli meats, such as salami or pepperoni, are often high in sodium and preservatives, making them less healthy for babies. They also tend to have a lot of fat, which can be difficult for infants to digest. Because of these factors, it’s typically recommended that parents wait until their baby is older before introducing them to can babies have deli meat.

However, that doesn’t mean that deli meat should be completely off the table. As long as it’s eaten in moderation and paired with other nutritious foods, it can be an appropriate addition to a baby’s diet.

Deli Meat and Baby’s Health: What Parents Need to Know

Generally, it’s recommended that deli meats be cooked thoroughly before being served to babies to kill any potential bacteria. This is important because some deli meats have been linked to the food poisoning illness listeria. If not properly stored or cooked, listeria can cause fever and diarrhea in infants. In severe cases, listeria may even pass through the placenta and cause life-threatening complications in newborns, including meningitis and blood infections.

If you’re concerned about the listeria and other bacteria, it’s always best to buy deli meats that are nitrate-free or less processed. Many brands now offer deli meats that are low in sodium and have no added preservatives. Also, opt for a leaner cut of deli meat to minimize the fat content. And, don’t forget to pair deli meat with fruits, vegetables and grains to help your baby get the nutrients they need.