When can babies eat La Tur cheese?
Because La Tur is pasteurized at a low temperature, the risk of ingesting dangerous bacteria is greater than that from eating cheese pasteurized at high temperatures. As such, we recommend holding off on serving La Tur until your child is at least 18 months old and even then, to consider the risk carefully.
Background and origins of La Tur cheese
Hailing from the Alta Langhe region of Italy, La Tur is soft-ripened cheese made from a blend of cow, goat and sheep milk. The cheese has a cakey rind with a rich, oozy interior that tastes buttery and earthy. La Tur is typically served with bread or fruit.
Is La Tur cheese healthy for babies?
Yes and no. La Tur offers healthy fats, protein, and minerals, like vitamin A and calcium, and the cheese is lower in toxins than most American cow’s milk cheeses (thanks to the European Union’s ban on growth hormones and many other pesticides) but because it is pasteurized at low temperatures, it dances on the border of unpasteurized cheese, which brings some risk. (Consuming unpasteurized cheese can increase the risk of ingesting bacteria in food.)
In general, when shopping for cheese, you want to look for cheese that is:
- Low sodium (less than 100mg per serving for babies younger than 12 months)
- Made from whole milk
After your child’s first birthday, you may introduce a wider range of cheese, but just keep tabs on overall sodium consumption.
Is La Tur cheese a common choking hazard for babies?
It can be, though thanks to its soft, runny texture, it certainly presents less of a hazard than hard cheese does. You may also want to remove the potent, edible rind of La Tur as it is a bit firmer than the super soft interior. Additionally, if you spread La Tur onto other food (such as bread or crackers), consider the choking risk of that food.
Is La Tur cheese a common allergen?
Yes. La Tur is a dairy product, and all dairy products are common food allergens. What’s more, aged cheese tends to be high in histamines, which can worsen the symptoms of an allergic response and cause reactions in histamine-sensitive individuals.
Fortunately, research shows that the majority of children with cow’s milk allergy will outgrow it by age 6 and many babies with milder symptoms of milk protein allergy (which can show up as painless blood in stool) are able to successfully reintroduce cow’s milk as early as their first birthday, with the guidance of their doctors.1 2
If you have a family history of allergies or suspect your baby may be allergic to dairy products, consult an allergist before introducing cheese at home.
As with all new foods, introduce the cheese by serving a small amount and watch closely as your baby eats. If there is no adverse reaction, gradually increase the quantity over future servings.
How do you prepare La Tur cheese for babies with baby-led weaning?
Every baby develops on their own timeline, and the suggestions on how to cut or prepare particular foods are generalizations for a broad audience. Your child is an individual and may have needs or considerations beyond generally accepted practices. In determining the recommendations for size and shape of foods, we use the best available scientific information regarding gross, fine, and oral motor development to minimize choking risk. The preparation suggestions we offer are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for child-specific, one-on-one advice from your pediatric medical or health professional or provider. It is impossible to fully eliminate all risk of a baby or child choking on any liquid, puree, or food. We advise you to follow all safety protocols we suggest to create a safe eating environment and to make educated choices for your child regarding their specific needs. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen here.
0 to 18 months old: Not recommended. Because La Tur is pasteurized at a low temperature, the risk of ingesting dangerous bacteria (such as salmonella or listeria) is greater than that from eating cheese pasteurized at high temperatures. As such, we recommend serving La Tur no sooner than 18 months old and even then, you should consider the risk carefully.
18 to 24 months old: Once you have considered the risk of low-temperature pasteurized cheese, it is best to serve La Tur at room temperature and to spread a bit of the cheese on thin rice cakes or bread. You can also use the runny cheese as a dip for fruits and veggies.
For more information on how to cut food for babies, visit our page on Food Sizes & Shapes.
When shopping for cheese for babies who are younger than 12 months old, look for cheeses that have less than 100mg of sodium per serving. After your baby turns one, you can offer a wider variety of pasteurized cheese. Just keep that sodium in check!
Recipe: Sliced Tomatoes with La Tur
- Fresh slicing tomato (beefsteak, heirloom, or any large variety)
- La Tur cheese
- Bring the cheese to room temperature.
- Wash the tomato and prepare for slicing.
- Slice the tomato into ¼ inch thick rounds, removing the strips of skin as you go.
- Pat the slices dry with a paper towel.
- Thinly spread the La Tur cheese on the tomato slices.
- Quarter the slices and serve.
La Tur cheese tastes great with baguettes, olive oil, rosemary, stewed cherries, and tomatoes.
- GiKids – Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy. (2020, February 26). GiKids. https://gikids.org/digestive-topics/cows-milk-protein-allergy/
- Wood, R. A., Sicherer, S. H., Vickery, B. P., Jones, S. M., Liu, A. H., Fleischer, D. M., Henning, A. K., Mayer, L., Burks, A. W., Grishin, A., Stablein, D., & Sampson, H. A. (2013). The natural history of milk allergy in an observational cohort. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 131(3), 805-812.e4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2012.10.060