PKU stands for Phenylketonuria, which is a birth defect that results in an unhealthy buildup of phenylalanine, an amino acid, within the blood. Too much phenylalanine in the blood is considered toxic to the brain, so eating right is one of the best ways to ensure the correct amount of this amino acid will remain in the blood.
If your baby has been diagnosed with PKU, you might be wondering how to feed your PKU baby. Keep reading for a few helpful tips, but be sure to consult with your baby’s doctor for personalized advice.
Feeding Your PKU Baby the Right Foods
First off, it is important to know that the amino acid phenylalanine will be in many of the popular protein-rich foods that other parents might feed their baby. Those foods include beef, chicken, pork, fish, eggs, cheese, milk, beans, soybeans, and nuts.
To feed your PKU baby during the first year of his or her life, you can provide your child with a phenylalanine-free formula. Also, you might be able to provide your baby with limited amounts of breast milk as well.
Once your baby is ready for some solid foods, you can introduce the following when your baby is anywhere from 6 to 8 months old:
• Rice and pasta that is low in protein
• Soft, fresh fruits, as well as stewed fruits
• Low-protein breakfast cereals
• Cooked, soft veggies like squash and carrots
Once your child is a bit older, such as around 9 to 12 months of age, you can feed your PKU baby the following:
• Fresh fruit
• Frozen or canned fruits packed in their juice rather than heavy syrup
• Dried fruits
• Stewed fruits
• Fresh vegetables that have been cooked until tender
• Jarred or canned vegetables that are low in sodium
• Frozen vegetables
Work with Your Child’s Doctor
In addition to the tips above, keep in mind that your pediatrician may also help you come up with the right recipes to feed your PKU baby to ensure he or she will grow big and strong.