Can Babies Have Chia Seeds? [Warning – Potential Choking!]

Did you know that the Aztecs were the first to use Chia in 3500 B.C.?

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Chia seeds are very rich in antioxidants, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals; No wonder they were one of the top foods in the Aztecs’ diets!  

But, while adults can enjoy chia seeds in smoothies, jams, desserts, and more, can babies have chia seeds?

In this post, you will learn:

  
  • When you can start feeding chia seeds to your baby
  • How to safely give chia seeds to your baby
  • Allergies, constipation, and other risks
  • And more!

Can Babies Have Chia Seeds?

Babies can have chia seeds from 8 months old. Prior to that, most infants’ digestive systems will not be ready. Make sure you feed your 8 months old baby ground chia seeds, rather than whole chia seeds. You should do so until your child turns 12 months old. This will help them get the nutritional benefits chia seeds offer.

Can Babies Digest Chia Seeds?

As chia seeds can be fed to a baby when they reach 8 months of age, you can rest assured that the baby will be able to digest them.

  

In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies can begin eating solid foods when they are 6 months old

Before that, an infant’s digestive system is not efficient enough to produce the right quantity of enzymes needed to digest certain foods.

Furthermore, lipase and bile salts, which are needed to digest fats, are also not mature enough until 6 to 9 months of age. 

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Once your baby has reached the right age to eat chia seeds, you can use the seeds in a variety of meals, as long as you grind the seeds first.

Do Chia Seeds Cause Constipation In Babies?

Unfortunately, 1 in 20 children of all ages suffer from constipation.

  

Constipation presents itself as follows:

  • Dry, hard, or lumpy stools
  • Difficulty in defecating
  • Two or less bowel movements a week

That is why incorporating fiber in your baby’s diet is essential.

Although infants up to six months of age do not need to consume fiber, this changes the moment a baby is ready to eat solid foods.

  

In fact, seven to twelve months old need around 5 grams of fiber per day (Check with your pediatrician how much fiber your baby needs).

1 teaspoon of chia seeds contains approximately 1.9 grams of fiber, making these seeds the perfect addition to baby’s food to keep their constipation at bay!

Is Chia an Allergen For Babies?

It is not yet clear whether chia seeds can cause allergies in either babies or adults.

  

However, there have been cases where allergic reactions occurred, such as the case of a 54-year old man who, a few days after eating chia seeds, began to experience facial angioedema, itchy mouth, dizziness, and shortness of breath. 

Furthermore, in 2018, Tomas‐Pérez reported the case of a 46‐year‐old male patient who developed eczema and dermatitis due to his consumption of chia seeds.

If you have doubts regarding feeding chia seeds to your baby, contact your pediatrician to discuss whether you should worry about potential allergic reactions.