Putting Butter in Cooking for One Year Old?

Updated on January 26, 2011
M.Y. asks from Pasadena, CA
15 answers

My son is not chubby but not underweight but he can use a little bit more meat on him. I would cook some of his food with butter or put some butter on his bread when I feed him. He is not eating a whole lot of table food yet, still learning to. My friend kept telling me it is bad to feed babies butter. Is that true? I am doing it in moderation. It's not like I feed him a stick of butter a day. I just add to his mashed potatoes or pasta when I make food for him.

Please advise. Thank you.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

babies and toddlers NEED fat for brain development. It's fine to use butter in his food. I do not use margarine.

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answers from Seattle on

Actually, your friends are dead wrong. Infants, toddlers, and young children need a LOT of fat in their diet. Until age 3-5 especially.

They're not only still building brain matter (mostly fat) but also coating every single nerve in their body with myelin sheath (allows the electrical impulses to travel exponentially faster, and is almost entirely made of fat). MS is a disease that is caused by the destruction of the myelin sheath... so you can see just how important that coating is by looking at what happens when we lack it.

Adults need lowfat diets (unless we're sick, the immune system - all our antibodies and the marrow in which is produced is mostly made of fats), NOT infants and children.

From a neurological standpoint, no young child should ever be restricted in their fats (unlike we grownups), unless they have a rare disorder.

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answers from St. Cloud on

Hi M.! The best way to determine if a food is right for your baby is to ask yourself "How close is this to nature?" The closer a food is to it's NATURAL state, the better it is.
The more ingredients a product is, the farther away it is from nature. Look at the ingredients of butter. It's just cream OR cream and salt. Now look at the ingredients in margarine or other substitues, they have a few dozen ingredients!

You ask a lot of food questions here, and that's okay! I just want to encourage you that you are doing a good job!!!! I hope you go with your instincts, rather than let your friends make you question yourself.
Keep up the good work!

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answers from Colorado Springs on

Butter is fine in moderation. Just don't use things like margarine. That is not good for anyone. You could add some coconut oil to things. It is extremely good for you. Enjoy your sweet boy!

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answers from Redding on

A little bit of butter won't hurt him at all. It's actually better than margerine.
All of my family from the south was raised on butter in everything from oatmeal to cornbread. All healthy and robust people. No obesity.
I wouldn't worry about a little butter.

Best wishes.

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answers from Chicago on

I don't think a little butter will hurt. But you can also try a more heart healthy fat - olive oil - this oil is good for their digestion as well.

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answers from Dallas on

Both of my children were underweight toddlers...they went from the 95th percentile to the 4th percentile. I was told my doctor to add butter to everything. He said they needed the fats. He also mentioned it was helpful for brain development. And when I asked about the cholesterol, he assured me that babies processed fats a little differently and it is a non issue at that point. So I took his advice. I added butter to many things. We were concerned about starting unhealthy habits...I didn't want kids who wouldn't touch veggies unless they were slathered in butter. So we would mix it up, sometimes things got butter and sometimes they didn't.

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answers from Indianapolis on

No, there is nothing wrong with feeding babies butter.

In fact, leading experts can't exactly agree on which is better for you, butter or margarine. The science keeps contradicting itself. While, for adults, they would largely agree that you need other, healthier sources of fat, you should be fine giving your child butter occasionally.

Babies have much different needs for dietary fats than we do, and they don't know how to overeat.

If in doubt, ask your pediatrician, but based upon current research, you should be fine. Unfortunately, you can't always verify where people get their information, so I usually try to verify on sites like HealthyChildren.org (parenting website of the American Academy of Pediatrics), WebMD, MayoClinic.com.

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answers from New York on

I use butter for my kiddos. My drs never mentioned to stay away from it. I suppose if you use too much of it the concern would be the sodium content. If you are using it to butter toast and as a little flavor for veggies, I don't think there is anything wrong with that.

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answers from Denver on

Maybe your friend is referring to the fact that it is a dairy and you usually wait until your baby is a year old to give it to your kids. Your baby is a year old though so I think you are just fine with butter. It sure is a lot better than using the fake substitutes like margarine.

Good luck.

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answers from Dallas on

I would use good "fats" if i were you. Add Olive Oil instead of butter to his pasta, you can even add it to oatmeal. But if his dr isnt concerned then I'm not sure why you would really want to do it anyway. Just make sure he is eating enough veggies, fruits, and protein and you are good.

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answers from Houston on

i LOVE butter, but yeah, it can be a bit much, i like to soften a really good salt free-quality butter and blend it with equal parts extra virgin olive oil add sea salt, then re cool it in a tub. last time i had it checked my bad cholesterol was low and good cholesterol was high, so i must be doing some things right. :)

you may want to consider trying avocados to, they are high in good fats aswell

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answers from Los Angeles on

Hi M. - you also could consider giving your son other whole-fat foods that have more substance to them - like cheese, which has more protein, or yogurt made from whole milk, or peanut butter, or fatty fish. I agree with another poster that you don't want to use butter all the time (which, as you say, you are not doing), because that may "train" him to always want butter with his food. But a little probably does no harm.

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