Starch in baby food, mixtures and puree: benefit and harm

Starch in baby food, mixtures and puree
  • What's this?
  • Types of
  • Benefits of
  • Harm
  • Modified - hence harmful?
  • Why is it needed?
  • Starchless food

Reading the composition of jars and boxes with baby food, many parents begin to worry and wonder why there are those or other components and which of them are harmful to children. One of these incomprehensible components for parents is starch. Is it able to damage the child's body and why is it added to the mixture, curds and mashed potatoes?

What's this?

Starch in its natural form is found in cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables. This substance is a complex carbohydrate - a polysaccharide. Particularly rich in this compound are potatoes, rice, wheat and corn. In the human body, it is split into glucose molecules, used as an energy resource. In its structure it is represented by long chains of molecules. They absorb water well and swell, resulting in a paste.

Starch Starch is abundant in many crops

A child is able to digest sta

rch from birth, because the enzyme that cleaves this polysaccharide( amylase) begins to be produced in the body of crumbs in the last weeks of pregnancy.


Depending on the source from which it is extracted, the starch is:

  • potato;
  • rice;
  • corn.

In rice starch, properties are noted to stimulate the proliferation of beneficial intestinal microflora. It provides the baby food with a consistency more dense than with the use of tender corn starch. The compound obtained from potatoes is also often added to children's purees, however, allergic reactions are possible.

Potato starch
Corn starch
Rice starch

Benefit of

  • This polysaccharide is a source of glucose.
  • There are enveloping properties, so it protects the digestive tract from the effects of organic acids in food.
  • In the large intestine, this compound helps to create favorable conditions for the growth of beneficial bacteria.
  • Helps to normalize the stool, because this polysaccharide will help get rid of excess fluid.
  • Improves the assimilation of fruits.


  • As a carbohydrate product, during the digestion stimulates the release of insulin.
  • Excessive intake of can cause constipation and cardiovascular problems.
  • May cause an allergic reaction.

Modified - it means, harmful?

The word "modified" on the package of baby food causes fear of parents who do not want to feed the crumb with genetically modified products. In reality, these are completely different concepts and modified starch is not genetically modified.

The word "modified" means "changed", because to add starch to food, its structure is changed-split into smaller chains to improve digestibility. In addition, in a modified form it does not have strong fixing properties and does not complicate digestion.

Puree eats baby Modified( ie, split) starch is easier to digest by the body of crumbs and is not genetically modified

Why is it needed?

There are several reasons for adding starch to various foods, including food for children:

  1. This polysaccharide binds excess liquid, so that the fruit or vegetable puree will remain homogeneous, which is important for complementary foods. Such mashed potatoes will hold well in the spoon.
  2. Thanks to the fixing properties, it helps to digest a new product for the baby's organism without the appearance of diarrhea.
  3. Splitting in the body, it becomes a source of glucose for the baby's body.
  4. Once in the stomach, the starch molecules protect its walls from the organic acids found in the fruit pulp. This is especially important for mashed potatoes prepared from sour fruits.
  5. Added to the formula, it serves as a thickener and prevent regurgitation.

Optimum starch content in baby food is 3-6%.In this case, the organism of a crumb easily digests a polysaccharide, receiving only benefit from it.

Mixtures with starch Do not buy baby formula with starch content more than 6%

Starch-free food

If you still want to avoid feeding your baby with starch, study the labels carefully and look for the inscription "without starch."Puree, in which this ingredient is not added, can easily be found on the market.

You can also make mashed potatoes for complementary crumbs yourself, and then you will be completely sure that it is not in the baby's nutrition, and all the products in its menu are useful and fresh.