Can Babies Eat Beyond Meat Burgers?

two beyond meat burger patties on a white table before being prepared for babies starting solid food

We recently picked up the Beyond Burger at the grocery store wondering how it might fare for babies. Our take:

a side by side comparison of beyond meat and grassfed beef. Includes pictures of both and a check list of pros and cons, including an "X" for 390 mg of sodium in Beyond Meat vs. 75 mg sodium in grassfed beef

Full disclosure, our nutritionist begged us not to publish this graphic. Not because it sends the wrong message, but because meat is complicated and the graphic doesn’t address a variety of issues, such as the long-term impact of protein isolates on our bodies, that fats and proteins are not equal, and of course, what impact products like Beyond Meat and Impossible Meat have on those with immune-compromised systems.

Dose of reality: First, whether you are concerned about the sodium in plant-based burgers or not so sure about protein isolates, take comfort in the fact that no baby is going to actually ingest 4oz of any meat or faux meat. They simply lack the oral motor skills to consume much prior to 12 months of age and even if baby munches on a whole burger, they will only consume a fraction of it.

But we know this for certain: excess sodium is not healthy for babies (or adults). And plant-based products often add sodium to compensate for taste.

Back to beef. It’s hard to compare plant-based meat substitutes to beef because beef itself has so many variations when it comes to health. For example, conventional feedlot beef can have added hormones and antibiotics, and be fed a diet of plants sprayed heavily with pesticides. As with all food, read labels closely and make food choices that are consistent with your budget, values and food priorities of the moment.

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