Everyone loves ice cream! Even babies love it once they get a taste of this delightful sweet treat. You may be wondering when can babies eat ice cream?

Ice cream is a frozen treat made from milk, cream and sugar. Flavors may be added and other things like nuts, chocolate fudge swirls, candy, or fruit are also added. It is a time honored traditional dessert, but ice cream for babies may be questionable before the age of one. Read on to see why.

When Can Babies Have Ice Cream?

Ice cream is laden with sugar and fat. Whether homemade or commercial brands, they are both equally as unhealthy for babies. The commercial brands not only include more fat and sugar, they also add preservatives, food coloring, and artificial ingredients. It has been suggested that parents hold off on ice cream until after baby is one year of age or older.

Another reason is that ice cream is a dairy product. It is not recommended that you give baby whole milk until after one year of age. Ice cream is almost always made from whole cream and whole milk. It is heat pasteurized to remove bacteria, but baby could develop sensitivities to milk or other ingredients.

Another caution is that homemade ice cream or ice cream made and sold by vendors may have bacteria build up. This could cause an infection in baby’s digestive system and could be dangerous.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t give baby a very small taste of ice cream every once in a while, just not too often. The whole milk products may be too hard to digest and you may end up all night with a crying baby and tummy issues.

How to Introduce Ice Cream to Baby

Never buy ice cream for your little baby from a street vendor and instead buy from a clean place and make sure it’s safe for the baby to eat.

You can make ice cream for baby right at home that is safer to eat than commercial types. This ice cream is dairy-free to protect baby’s delicate digestive system and sweetened with fruit only. It also contains healthy oils that baby needs for development. Here is a recipe that is just as creamy and delicious:

Homemade Baby Ice Cream


  • Hass Avocado (peeled and pitted)
  • Bananas (very ripe and peeled)
  • 5  Strawberries (very ripe, hulled and cut in half)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • tsp. Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 c. Coconut Milk


Take all the ingredients and place them into a blender or food processer. Puree and place in a container suitable for freezing. Freeze for about an hour, remove from freezer and stir well, then place back in freezer. Continue this process until it has reached a consistency you like. If your ice cream hardens too much, you can remove from the freezer about 10 minutes prior to eating.

Remember that strawberries tend to be an allergen and should not be introduced too soon either. If your baby has not yet tried strawberries, you can substitute another soft fruit that is less allergenic. Mango works well if very ripe, or you can even make a straight banana version.

Frozen Yogurt

Your baby may already be eating yogurt if your doctor has given the okay. You can easily take any flavor yogurt and place in a freezer safe container. Do the same process as above, freezing for an hour then stirring at one-hour intervals until it is the right consistency.

Tips and Precautions for Feeding Baby Ice Cream

Now that you know the answer to, “When can babies have ice cream,” and you have an easy recipe, there are a few points to remember.

  • Give baby small bites at first. If you give too big a bite of a cold substance, you may cause them to get “brain freeze,” and they may shy away from it in the future.
  • Steer clear of “raw” milk products. Many health food stores are selling raw milk products and while they may be good for adults, they can carry bacteria that are not safe for baby. This would include homemade raw milk ice cream.
  • Add new things. Just like the above recipe with avocado, don’t be afraid to substitute different ingredients to make sure baby is getting good nutrition. There are certain veggies that when cooked soft have a sweet flavor and good texture. Try boiled carrots, mashed potato thickener, or creamy sweet corn.
  • Be ready for a mess. If you give your baby a bowl and spoon to try themselves, be prepared to clean up both baby and the floor. Get your camera ready for pictures!

Other Frequently Asked Baby Feeding Questions

Aside from, “when can babies have ice cream,” there are other questionable foods that parents wonder when it is okay to feed them to baby. Some foods may trigger or stimulate the immune system to become allergic to the food. Other foods do not. Here are some of the foods that are usually questioned:

1. When can babies have chocolate?

Age: One year old or older

Chocolate is not as allergenic as other allergens likepeanuts, eggs, and berries. To be on the safe side, wait till over one year of age to start this food.

2. When can babies have Cheerios?

Age: 6 to 12 months

As long as your baby can sit up when eating and shows signs of the “pincer grasp”, he or she may be ready for Cheerios. There is no reported incidence of these being an allergen and a favorite snack among most babies.

3. When can babies have fish?

Age: 9 months

Regular fish is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Shellfish should not be given to babies. So you can feed your baby fish such as salmon, whitefish, or catfish from nine months on. Mash the fish well and check for bones. Avoid tuna due to high mercury levels.

4. When can babies have shrimp?

Age: 12 months or even later

Shellfish is high on the allergenic list and should not be given to babies. This includes shrimp, lobster, crab, clams, and mussels. When you do start these foods after 12 months, watch closely for hives, difficulty breathing, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Click here to learn more FAQs on baby feeding such as when to introduce meet to babies.