You can begin feeding solid foods to your baby once they are 6 months old. While it can be an exciting opportunity to introduce your little one to new food items, there are certain foods that should be avoided during the first year. That’s why we always recommend talking to your pediatrician about starting solid food for your baby.
Some food items can be harmful to the child’s digestive system, while others increase the chances of allergic reactions or choking! That’s why today we will look at what foods you should avoid feeding your baby if they are less than 1 year old!
Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Baby
Here’s a list of foods that you should avoid feeding your baby during the first year of his or her life. (This will ensure they don’t experience any digestive issues or allergic reactions):
The first food item on the list is honey (including the foods containing honey), which shouldn’t be given to babies during the first year. The reason for this is the presence of Clostridium botulinum (bacteria) in honey.
This bacteria is harmless to adults but can cause infant botulism in children under 1-year-old. Some of the common symptoms of infant botulism include:
- Poor Appetite
So yeah, it’s best to wait until your baby’s first birthday before letting them taste the sweetness of honey.
Next up on the list is fruit juice which is basically equivalent to sugar water. After all, it contains calories but none of the important nutrients (Vitamin D, Calcium, Zinc, Protein, & Fat) or fibers that the baby needs!
Feeding fruit juice to children under 6 months can drown their appetites for formula milk or breast milk. This can be problematic as breast milk or formula milk should be the mainstay of a child’s diet during the first 6 months of life.
In addition, fruit juice can also cause a lot of other problems in babies, such as diarrhea, tooth decay, & abdominal distention.
You should know that the American Academy of Pediatrics still recommends a combination of solid foods and breastmilk or formula for children under 12 months. Only after 1 year do they suggest introducing whole cow’s milk
Cow’s whole milk is generally considered to be good for kids & there’s nothing wrong with it. But when it comes to babies under 1 year old, it can cause a lot of problems, according to experts. That is why it is critical to talk to your pediatrician about incorporating new foods.
An infant’s digestive system isn’t developed enough to digest cow milk properly. As a result, it can cause digestive problems such as diarrhea and bloating. In severe cases, it can also cause undue stress on the child’s kidneys and thus lead to more health complications.
In addition, cow’s milk also lacks significant amounts of nutrients (Vitamin E, Iron, & Zinc) which are needed for the baby’s growth & development, especially during the first year of life.
So if your baby is under 1 year old, it’s best to stick with breast milk or formula as they contain all the nutrients your young one needs. Talk to your pediatrician about cow milk.
The process of pasteurization involves heating food items to destroy any pathogens. This means there’s a high chance that unpasteurized food might contain dangerous bacteria, which could cause severe illness in babies.
So it is best not to give any unpasteurized food items to your young ones & even young kids! Some examples of unpasteurized food items include raw dairy products, cider, cheese, & lightly cooked eggs.
High Mercury Fish
Fish provides a rich source of nutrition for infants as long as it doesn’t contain a high amount of mercury! Some of the fish which are known to have a high mercury amount include shark, fresh tuna, tilefish, and king mackerel.
In addition, fish that originate from contaminated waters shouldn’t be fed to the baby under 1 year old as well!
So as long as the fish is low on mercury and comes from a safe source, feel free to feed fish to your little ones. According to most doctors, it is best to wait until your child is at least 9 months old to 1 year old, before feeding them fish.
Some of the safe fish varieties include tilapia, whitefish, haddock, Pollack, trout, shrimp, ocean perch, and flounder. Make sure to consult with your pediatrician before incorporating any fish into your baby’s diet.
Cured & Smoked Meat
Cured or smoked meats contain a high level of animal fat, nitrates, sodium & other chemicals. This means feeding cured or smoked meat to babies is unsafe. This also includes the fish that is cured or smoked!
According to doctors, a baby who is under 6 months or younger should only take 110 milligrams of sodium per day. And when we look at smoked meat, it contains a lot of sodium as it is made with salt curing, salt brines, and similar stuff.
There’s a chance that egg products might cause an allergic reaction in babies under 1-year-old. Normally, the proteins present in egg yolk are considered safe and don’t contain any allergens.
On the other hand, egg whites can contain some allergens which can trigger the baby’s immune system. So it is usually best to avoid feeding egg whites to babies under 1 year old.
Nuts and Seeds
Remember to remove any seeds beforehand when you serve fresh fruit to your little ones. Especially if you are feeding cherries, plums, watermelons, & peaches, it is best to remove the seeds.
In addition, it is also best not to feed pumpkin or sunflower seeds to your little one, even if they sound like the best treat in your mind!
Although the seeds are small enough not to pose any choking hazard, they can still get stuck in the baby’s airways and thus cause a respiratory infection.
The same applies to nuts, as these are a choking hazard. You can give your baby nuts and peanuts from around 6 months old, as long as they’re crushed, ground or a smooth nut or peanut butter. With that being said, it is always imperative to talk to your pediatrician first.
The next food that you shouldn’t feed to a baby under 1 year is raw sprouts, as there’s a chance they might contain harmful bacteria.
In fact, it is not uncommon for raw sprouts to contain E.coli and salmonella, which can cause serious health problems even in adults, let alone babies!
These bacteria can affect a baby’s health & even cause food poisoning in severe cases. On the other hand, it is perfectly okay to feed well-cooked sprouts to your little ones as they pack a lot of important nutrients!
Food Diet For Your Baby
As the baby grows and transitions into eating solid foods, it can be an exciting time for the parents to try new things.
While you introduce your little ones to new flavors, avoiding certain foods (mentioned above) is best until they are old enough!
Doing so will ensure that they remain healthy & continue to fill your heart with their innocent smiles!