Mozzarella baby food

Can Babies Eat Mozzarella? - Netmums


First published on Tuesday 28 June 2022

Find out when it’s safe to give mozzarella to your baby, the health benefits, useful information on allergies, and some handy and simple cheesy recipe ideas.

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The official advice on when it's safe to give your baby mozzarella

The NHS advises that its is safe to give fresh pasteurised mozzarella to your baby from six months old.

It's safest to wait until around six months before giving your baby any solid food, because younger babies may not be able to sit up and swallow well.

It's recommended that babies have full-fat cheese (instead of reduced-fat cheese) up to the age of two years old, as they need the extra energy and fats they contain.

It's best to avoid reduced moisture mozzarella, such as pre-grated varieties, as it has a much higher salt content. It's also a good idea to steer clear of reduced fat mozzarella, to ensure your baby is getting the fats they need from their food.

How to introduce mozzarella to your baby

Mozzarella is one of the best cheeses to start your little one off with, as it's softer and less likely to cause choking. However, you still need to be carefully, especially at the start of your weaning journey. How you prepare the cheese will help to minimise the risk of choking, but you should always supervise your baby when feeding.

6-8 months

Thin round slices or thin strips are a good way to first introduce mozzarella to your baby's diet. It may take a little while before they can pick them up themselves, though. It's best to limit it to a max of two ounces (56g) of cheese a day.

Avoid melted mozzarella this early on, as it can be a bit too chewy and rubbery for your little one to manage.

9-12 months

Thin half-moon slices and thin strips are still a good choice, as now your little one will probably be able to hold them themselves. Shredded or grated mozzarella is another good option at this stage, but do the shredding yourself rather than buying pre-grated cheese to avoid the higher salt content. You can increase the amount of cheese that you give your baby to a maximum of 4 ounces (112g) a day.

1 year to 2 years

From 12 months old you can start to give your baby small squares of mozzarella cut from thin slices, and to start to increase the size of the squares as they grow. Alternatively, you can cut the mozzarella into matchstick sized pieces.

Health benefits of mozzarella

Fresh whole-milk mozzarella has a number of nutrients that are important for your baby's healthy growth, including:

  • calcium (for building strong bones and teeth)
  • omega-3 fatty acids (for a healthy heart)
  • potassium (for lowering blood pressure)
  • protein (to help the body grow and repair)
  • vitamin A (for a healthy immune system, skin and vision)
  • vitamin B2 (riboflavin - for healthy skin, eyes and nervous system)
  • vitamin B3 (niacin - for releasing energy from foods and healthy skin and nervous system)
  • vitamin B7 (biotin - for healthy skin, hair and nails)
  • zinc (for strengthening the immune system)

Could my baby have a cheese allergy?

A number of cheeses are made from cow's milk and an allergy to cow's milk is one of the most common childhood food allergies. It affects around 7% of babies under the age of one, although most children grow out of it by the time they're five.

If allergies, asthma or eczema run in your family, your child may be more likely to develop an allergy, too. You might want to talk to your GP or health visitor for advice before weaning your baby.

When you first start introducing new food and drink to your child it's a good idea to give them any that can cause an allergy – like cheese and dairy products – in small amounts and one at a time, with several days between them. That way, if your baby does have a reaction, you'll know what caused it.

According to the NHS, the main foods and drinks that can cause an allergy are:

  • cow's milk
  • eggs
  • foods that contain gluten, including wheat, barley and rye
  • nuts and peanuts (serve them crushed or ground)
  • seeds (serve them crushed or ground)
  • soya
  • shellfish (don't serve raw or lightly cooked)
  • fish

So try to avoid giving any of these other foods at the same time as you give your baby mozzarella for the first time.

Cheesy recipes for babies

These recipes are suitable for babies at various stages in the weaning process:

  • Basic cheese and tomato pizza
  • Cheesy mash
  • Macaroni cheese for kids
  • Easy cheese and potato pie
  • Weaning lasagne

If you need more tips on how to feed your little one, some solidarity in the form of memes, or to swap tricks and tips with other parents on our forum, have a look at the links below.

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Tomato & Mozzarella Salad for Babies

This tomato and mozzarella salad is prepared with babies in mind, and makes a perfect finger food / baby led weaning dish. If you are looking to introduce raw tomato to your baby in the right way, this salad is the perfect first step.

Caprese salad might not be your first thought when brainstorming lunch ideas for your baby, but it actually makes a lot of sense. Sweet, soft tomatoes and milky, melt in the mouth fresh mozzarella? So much here for babies to love!

To make this baby friendly, the tomatoes are peeled and deseeded to make them easier to chew and suck on. They’re cut into strips to make them easy for little fists to hold.

Suitable from 6 months +

This preparation is suitable to offer from 6 months, when giving larger pieces of finger foods that babies can suck and gum on is more appropriate.

It’s also great for the older baby learning to use cutlery. The pieces of tomato and mozzarella are easy to grab with little forks.

A baby with a pincer grasp could manage this with the tomatoes and mozzarella cut into pea-sized chunks. Different babies would prefer different methods.

Introducing Tomatoes to Your Baby

This recipe is the perfect start when you’re looking to introduce raw tomatoes to your baby.

Tomatoes can be introduced from 6 months, though some parents prefer to wait longer and linger on more gentle foods for a while. Since tomatoes are acidic, it’s probably wise to hold off for a while if your baby suffers reflux. Otherwise, as long as they are managing other foods well, there is no need to think that tomatoes would be problematic for them.

If you’re looking for a way to introduce cooked tomatoes, you can try this roasted tomato & chickpea puree for the younger ones, or this first pasta sauce for the older or baby led weaning crowd.

Choosing the right ingredients

The right tomato

Not just any tomatoes will do here! It needs to be:

a) A “meaty” one. Something like a beefsteak or oxhart is perfect. Because we’re going to take out all the seeds and the peel, the fleshy element of the tomato needs to be substantial.

b) High quality, fresh and perfectly ripe. If it doesn’t have an amazing sweet, juicy taste, your baby is probably not going to embrace it.

The right mozzarella

It needs to be a fresh, soft mozzarella ball. The kind that comes suspended in water. NOT cooking mozzarella, which is too firm.

This will be easy for your baby to eat, and the milkiness of mozzarella is likely to appeal. I wouldn’t feel the need to go too highbrow with your selection though. Store brand is fine. Save your money for the good tomatoes.

How to Make it – in Pictures

A full, printable recipe card is coming right up, but here’s a rundown of the process for you in photos.

You’ll score your tomato and soak it in boiling water for a few moments. This ensures the skin comes away easily when you peel it. See the skin peel off with easeScoop out the seeds and slice the tomato flesh into strips.Slice your mozzarella into strips.Chop your basil as small as you can, and mix with a little olive oil.Mix together in a bowl. Done!

As you can see, you get a decent yield from this recipe. You can either keep some in the fridge (it won’t freeze well) or just share it with your baby and eat the rest for your own lunch!

Tomato & Mozzarella Salad for Babies

This tomato and mozzarella salad is prepared with babies in mind, and makes a perfect finger food / baby led weaning dish. If you are looking to introduce raw tomato to your baby in the right way, this salad is the perfect first step.

4 portions

Prep Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 10 mins

4.75 from 8 ratings

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

  • 1 medium to large tomato, needs to be a “meaty” tomato such as beefsteak
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, 125g or 4.4oz
  • 1 basil leaf
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Chop the basil into tiny pieces, and add to the olive oil. Set aside.

  • Prepare your tomato. Cut a criss-cross through the skin of the tomato and submerge in boiling water for 1-2 minutes (this will make the skin really easy to peel off). Take the tomato out, peel off the skin and then slice open. Scoop out the seeds and slice the tomato "flesh" into strips.

  • Slice the mozzarella ball into strips and add to the tomatoes.

  • Pour the olive oil and basil on top and mix to combine.

  • Serve.

Alternative preparation for older babies with pincer grasp: cut the tomatoes and mozzarella into pea sized chunks.

Cuisine: Italian

Course: Baby Led Weaning

Author: Christine Melanson

Serving: 1g, Calories: 94kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 162mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g

When can cheese be given to a child and what

Cheese has incorporated all the best that is in milk. High calcium content (about ten times more in cheese than in cottage cheese), vitamins A, B, D, PP and E, phosphorus and minerals, already fermented, easy to digest protein. But with all this splendor, cheese is not suitable for feeding children under 10 months. There is too much protein in cheeses (there is even more of it in cheese than in meat), and after all, an excess of protein is just as dangerous as its lack. A high proportion of minerals and a large amount of salt in almost all types of cheese overload the baby's kidneys.


The baby's body is not yet able to cope with excess salt and protein, so most pediatricians do not recommend giving cheese until 10-12 months.

Choose products for babies under one year old

Dozens of varieties of cheese are sold in the store. Not all are suitable for kids. We immediately discard the entire group of blue cheeses, smoked cheeses, cheeses with hot peppers, etc. Too spicy, too salty, not suitable for baby food. In the remaining assortment, we are looking for cheeses with a low fat content, preferably no more than 30-35%. In the usual varieties "Gouda", "Edam", "Creamy" fat content is 42-55% and up to 70%, they cannot be used in the diet of children under one year old.

Next, among the remaining cheeses, sort out those with the inscription "pickled cheese". These are the varieties "brynza", "suluguni", etc. The technology of their preparation includes several days of soaking in brine. These cheeses are too salty, which is dangerous for the baby. You can significantly reduce the amount of salt in cheese by soaking a small piece in cold water for 2-3 hours. It is better to change the water a couple of times. The taste, of course, will become insipid and uninteresting, but such cheese will only benefit the child. Of the remaining cheeses, we look at varieties with a minimum salt content. These are Ricotta, Mozzarella, Cheddar, etc. If the cheese seems too salty, a piece can be soaked in water and only then given to the baby.


Ideal for baby food - special baby cheeses. They are low-fat, with a reduced amount of salt and minerals.

At 11-12 months, the baby can be introduced to the taste of cheese, a couple of times a week to give a piece the size of a pea.

After one year, cheese can be increased to five grams per day. Offer cheese at least one meal away from meat, such as pear or zucchini. It is not recommended to treat the baby with cheese daily, it is better to set aside 2-3 "cheese" days a week. After one and a half years, the daily portion of cheese can be increased to 10-15 grams, by two years - up to 20 grams.

It is convenient to add grated cheese to an omelette or vegetable puree. If the baby does not make friends with cheese, do not insist. Tastes change, perhaps closer to school he will love cheese sandwiches.

Lactose-free cheese is available for children with lactose intolerance; it is low in fat, but, unfortunately, often too salty. A slice of lactose-free cheese can be soaked in water for several hours and offered to the baby.

Eat to your health!

Mozzarella cheese - description, benefits and harms, calories, cooking methods.

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