While you’ll be eager to introduce new foods to your baby, not all of them are safe. Some foods can cause choking and others can cause digestive problems. Here’s a list of the key foods to avoid when your baby is less than 1 year old.
Honey: Honey can cause botulism, a type of illness caused by a toxin found in honey. An adult’s intestinal tract can prevent the growth of botulism, but a baby’s intestinal tract cannot.
Milk: Use breast milk or formula until your child’s first birthday. Infants can’t digest the protein in cow’s milk or even soy milk for their first year.
Salt: Kidneys in infants are not developed enough to handle high salt levels. Pre-packaged foods for adults usually contain high amounts of salt and should never be fed to your baby.
Sugar: Processed sugar is bad for your baby’s teeth and health. Avoid giving your baby cookies and candy. Only give him sweet juices at meal or snacktimes.
Whole Grapes: Grapes can easily get stuck in your baby’s throat. If you want to feed your baby grapes, peel them, remove the seeds and then chop them up.
Small, hard foods: Hard candy, nuts, and popcorn are potential choking hazards for your baby.
Some Fishes: Some fishes such as tuna, mackerel, shark, and swordfish should be avoided as they may contain high levels of mercury, which can cause damage to your baby’s nervous system.
Raw Eggs: Raw eggs may contain salmonella bacteria, which can cause food poisoning. Avoid foods containing raw eggs such as homemade mayonnaise. Eggs, in general, should be avoided as infants can easily be allergic to them.
Nuts: Nuts, especially peanuts, can cause serious allergic reactions in an infant. Talk to your child’s doctor before feeding your child nuts, especially if you have a family history of food allergies.
Citrus Fruits: Although oranges and other citrus fruits will most likely not cause an allergic reaction in your baby, they may cause a rash and digestive upset due to their acidity.
Corn: Corn can cause allergies in babies. In addition, it does not contain many nutrients that a baby needs.
Chocolate: The caffeine and dairy content found in chocolate is not suited to a baby’s digestive system. Caffeine and dairy can also cause your baby to have headaches!
Certain Vegetables: Some vegetables such as spinach, fennel, and lettuce can contain high levels of nitrates, which are converted to nitrites in the digestive system. Young babies lack the stomach acids that keep nitrates in check. High levels of nitrites disturb the bloods ability to transport oxygen, which leads to low oxygen levels.
Yeast: Yeast is a common allergan and best to be avoided for your baby.
Wheat: Wheat is also a common allergan and should be avoided until your baby is at least 1 year old.
Soft, Sticky Foods: Soft, sticky foods like marshmallows or gummy candies can get lodged in your child’s throat and cause a choking hazard.
In general, avoid known food triggers when beginning your baby on solids. Consider holding off on dairy, wheat, eggs, nuts and shellfish for the first year of your baby’s life and even longer if there is a family history of allergies.