After seeing the word “gluten” on the package of baby food, many parents ask themselves “what kind of substance is it?” and “isn’t it bad for the baby?”
Gluten is the name given to the proteins in grains. The second name for these proteins is “gluten”. The main source of gluten is wheat, barley, and rye. Slightly less gluten is found in oats and corn.
Since cases of intolerance to this compound are not uncommon, its content is monitored and on the packages of products that may contain gluten, responsible manufacturers write about this fact. The mentioning of gluten content on the boxes and jars of baby food is important primarily for children, for whom this substance has to be completely excluded from the diet. If the child does not suffer from celiac disease, the presence of gluten in the product should not worry the parents.
How does gluten affect the body?
Healthy babies and adults are not harmed by gluten, but babies under one-year-old may have an allergic reaction to such proteins, so the introduction to the diet of cereals that are a source of gluten is recommended not earlier than 6-8 months and with great caution.
If there is intolerance to this protein (it occurs in 0.3-1% of people), intestinal damage occurs. As a result of the development of enteropathy, absorption of useful substances from the intestine is disturbed, which causes delayed development and growth.
The usefulness of gluten lies in the content of amino acids important for life in this compound. For example, lysine in its composition is responsible for tissue growth and regeneration. This amino acid is important for the immune system.
Threonine (a component of gluten) supports the digestive system and body growth. Thanks to methionine amino acid, hemoglobin is synthesized. In addition, gluten contains phosphorus, calcium and vitamins (B, A and E groups).
Gluten-free formula is recommended for all children under 6 months of age. The absence of gluten in such food can be judged by the presence of a sign in the form of a crossed spike on the package.
Among the dairy formulas, we can separately distinguish the line of Hipp formula and Holle formula, which are gluten-free. Such formulas can be based on both cow’s milk and goat’s milk. They contain all the vitamins and minerals needed for normal infant growth and development and have several stages, each corresponding to the age of the baby. The final decision on the choice of milk formula is always up to you. But if you suspect your baby has a gluten intolerance, you should talk to your pediatrician instead of making a random choice.