When Can Babies Have Ice Cream

Ice Cream for Babies – When and How to Introduce

Medically Reviewed By
Megha Mukhija (Paediatric Nutritionist)
View more Paediatric Nutritionist Our Panel of Experts

Everybody finds it difficult to recall the first time they had an ice-cream. But everybody almost never forgets the time when they see a baby taste ice-cream for the very first time. It’s an interesting experience for babies too, since they are exposed to different tastes, flavours and temperatures of food items for the first time in their life. However, there’s always a right time and a right way to let your baby first taste ice-cream.

Video : When Can a Baby Have Ice Cream? (Right Age to Introduce + Tips to Introduce It)

Can Babies Have Ice Cream?

From a prevailing common sense, everybody knows that ice-cream is an artificial product. It mostly consists of processed fat and sugar that is highly sweetened. Certain ice-creams may have other additives and other flavours might even have food colours added to them. Though giving your baby ice-cream is not recommended, there is no direct harm in giving them a small taste or a treat, once in a while. However, sugar can be addictive, so it is advised to not expose your infants to excessively-sugared until they turn 1 year of age

When Can Your Baby Eat Ice-Cream?

Knowing that there is no harm in giving ice-cream to your baby, you may be wondering, ‘when can I feed my baby ice-cream?’ Before introducing your baby to ice-cream, it’s best to get your baby familiar with a variety of dairy products. During the first year of your baby’s growth, gradually introduce cheese, curd or paneer, and gauge his response to it. This also ensures that your baby does not have any lactose-related allergies, too. Once his body gets used to digesting dairy products, you can then introduce him to the beautiful taste of an ice-cream.

Tips for Introducing Ice Cream to Babies

Here are a few tips you can keep in mind before giving your baby ice cream for the first time.

1. Check Ingredients

Avoid ice-creams with nuts or other items in them, since your baby might be allergic to them and you are yet to discover it for yourself.

2. Well-Known Brands

Do not get ice-creams from street vendors or ice-cream carts. Purchase them from a proper shop and a well-known brand.

3. Small Portions

Give your baby small bites of the ice-cream. Do not hand an entire cone or a plate of ice-cream for him to gorge on. This could upset his stomach easily.

4. Vanilla is King

Prefer a plain vanilla-flavoured ice-cream at first. Not only is it a classic flavour that is universally loved, but it is free of any food colouring or other additives that might be present in other flavours.

5. Picture Perfect

Keep your camera ready! The facial expression of your baby tasting ice-cream for the first time is going to be priceless. Make sure you capture it in its full glory.

Why Should You Avoid Giving Ice Cream to Babies Below 1 Year?

There are certain drawbacks of giving babies ice cream before the age of one.

1. Digestive Strength

Prior to a year, the strength of the digestive system of the baby is not at a level that can easily digest the constituents of an ice-cream.

2. Presence Of Preservatives

All the ice-creams found in the market contain some forms of preservatives. These are combined with processed fat, sugar, artificial sweetening agents, food colouring agents, and so on. Exposing your baby to all these factors at such an early stage is not good for his health.

3. Dairy Products

Certain infants could have sensitivity issues to dairy. Since all ice-creams are essentially manufactured using dairy, it is best to avoid exposing your baby to whole milk until he starts responding to other dairy product items, gradually. Once a year has passed, you can introduce ice cream.

4. Presence Of Bacteria

Ice-cream is formed by an inherent chemical process. Therefore, there is a good chance of bacteria being present in it, whether it is ice-cream from the store or ice-cream prepared at home. For a baby whose immune system hasn’t developed to its peak efficiency under a year, such bacteria could spell health issues. At times, it could create a medical emergency as well.

5. Digestion Issues

Ice-cream is known to cause a buildup of gas and acts directly with the colic tissue. This could cause stomach ache and other pain inside the baby’s body, leading to indigestion and vomiting at times.


Alternatives to Ice-Cream for Your Baby (After 1 Year of Age)

  • Crushed frozen fruits are a great option. Apples, mangoes or ripe bananas, can be kept in the freezer. They can then be directly blended in a frozen state.
  • Smoothies are a healthy way to go in exposing your baby to the sweet flavour. Since smoothies don’t have to be strictly refrigerated, you can make fresh smoothies and give them to your child, even in winters. Avoid canned fruits in such cases.
  • Before making your baby taste the cold ice-cream, you can try your hand with frozen yoghurt and see his response to it.

Easy Baby Ice Cream Recipes for Infants

Here are some simple ice cream recipes for your little one

1. Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Ingredients Needed:

  1. Ripe banana
  2. Strawberries
  3. Hass avocado
  4. Coconut milk
  5. Vanilla extract

How to Make:

a) Put all the ingredients in a mixer and blend them together to make a thick puree.

b) Put the puree in a container and place it in the freezer for an hour.

c) Take it out and stir the puree properly.

d) Place it in the freezer again for an hour. Keep repeating the process until it has reached a good consistency and resembles an ice-cream.

2. Banana Ice Cream

Ingredients Needed:

  1. Ripe, frozen banana
  2. Cocoa powder


How to Make:

a) Put the frozen banana in a mixer, along with cocoa powder. Blend the mixture.

b) Put the mixture in a container and place it in the freezer for an hour.

c) Take it out and stir the puree properly.

d) Place it in the freezer again for an hour. Keep repeating the process until it has reached a good consistency.

3. Frozen Yoghurt Ice Cream

Ingredients Needed:

  1. Greek yoghurt
  2. Sugar
  3. Vanilla extract

How to Make:

a) Take a bowl and mix together the yoghurt, sugar and vanilla extract. Mix it well, cover the bowl with a lid, and place it in the refrigerator.

b) Transfer the entire chilled mixture to an ice-cream maker. Freeze it again until it reaches a consistency resembling a soft serve.

c) Pour this into a separate container and keep it covered.

3. Chocolate Ice Cream

Ingredients Needed:

  1. Unsweetened cocoa powder
  2. Brown sugar
  3. Sugar
  4. Cream milk
  5. Cream
  6. Vanilla extract

How to Make:

a) Take a bowl and mix the cocoa powder, brown sugar and normal sugar in it together. Add some milk to it and keep stirring the mixture a few minutes.

b) Add cream, vanilla extract and salt to the mixture, and stir it further.

c) Pour the entire mixture into an ice cream maker and churn it for half an hour.

d) Freeze the mixture until it resembles an ice-cream consistency.

Introducing your baby to ice-cream is a prized moment in itself. And the way to keep it healthy and safe is by opting for home-made ice cream. It’s best to add some healthy constituents to the ice cream so that it becomes nutritious as the baby enjoys tasting it. Have patience and let your baby turn a year old until he tastes ice cream for the first time. And as he grows older, you can slowly increase the serving!

Also Read: Watermelon Benefits and Recipes for Babies


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