Seven Foods You Should Never Feed Your Baby
In the first year of life, a baby’s digestive system is still growing and may not be ready for some types of foods. Furthermore, your baby’s ability to swallow is also not completely developed. Moreso, the lack of teeth can make certain foods dangerous.
Here’s a look at some foods you should avoid in the first year of your baby’s life.
Honey can cause botulism, a serious illness if introduced too early to the baby. Do not give honey to a baby under the age of twelve months. Interesting fact: breastfeeding mothers are able to have honey. The acidity in the stomach is enough to kill the bacteria before it reaches the baby. Crazy, right?
Raw or Uncut Vegetables or Fruits
Vegetables like carrots, celery or beans should be always be boiled to soften them. Make sure foods are soft enough to where there are no large lumps that could pose as a choking hazard. We use an inexpensive steamer, like this one, for our girls.
This, of course, can change as baby has enough teeth to properly chew them. Fruits like such as banana, grapes, papaya, mango etc. should always be cut up properly (either into small bits or straw-length) before serving to baby (I’ve read a ton of great reviews about this little gadget to make grape cutting easier). Apples can be boiled to make them softer and then mashed or cut into straw-like shapes to serve to baby.
If you want to read more about baby led weaning, read this post.
Cows Milk and Soy Milk
Cows milk contains proteins that your baby isn’t able to digest in their first year. These milk types contain minerals that can damage your baby’s kidneys. Breastmilk and formula should be their main liquid of choice for the first year, with water being introduced as your pediatrician recommends.
Peanut butter (Or any other nut butters)
Peanut butter and other nut butters are too sticky to be safe for baby. These consistencies make it hard for your baby to swallow and thus creating a choking hazard. If you would like to serve this to baby, spread it thinly on bread or crackers. You can also water it down with apple sauce. **UPDATE: the view on peanut butter and other nut butters is changing. In 2016, we were told not to serve until 12 months old. In 2018, our second daughters pediatrician told us to start introducing very small amounts at 6 months as there were new studies that showed earlier introduction could lead to a lessened chance of allergy. Discuss this with your child’s pediatrician to see what the best route is for them.
Nuts and Seeds
Watermelon, peaches, plums, and cherries all contain small seeds that need to be removed before serving. Sunflower or pumpkin seeds could be too small to choke on but can get stuck in a child’s airway which could pose a risk of infection.
Soda, iced tea, or any other drink containing caffeine should be avoided. Your baby’s stomach is not developed enough to handle caffeine. Plus, a fussy baby who is overtired from the caffeine in their system is not a pretty picture.
According to About Kids Health, unpasteurized cheeses should be avoided while the immune system is still developing. Most of the cheese available in the market is pasteurized, but always double-check the food label just to be sure. Unpasteurized cheese could contain harmful bacteria (think salmonella, E. Coli and Listeria)
It is okay for the baby to have juice starting around 6-12 months, but experts recommend no more than 4 ounces a day. Not only could it cause diarrhea but all that sugar is not good for their developing teeth! Keep in mind that the natural juices from fruit are ok… we’re talking about the juices that had a ton of added sugar in them!
For breastfeeding mama’s… KellyMom.com notes that giving juice to your breastfed baby could cause them fill up on the juice, leading them to have little to no appetite to nurse. You can read more on the topic of juice and babies here (KellyMom.com)