Baby Food? 10 Foods You Should Avoid Feeding Your Baby
Feeding your baby for the first time or moving on to more food options for your baby is an exciting time for most parents. It’s normal for babies to show interest in trying out new foods, and you want to introduce your baby to new tastes and textures. However, there are foods you should avoid feeding your baby. Some foods may be too harsh for the sensitive and delicate digestive system of the little ones. Other foods may be too hard, which may become a choking hazard to the babies. As a responsible parent, it is important to know the foods that are safe and not safe for your children. Here are the top 10 foods you should avoid feeding your baby:
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Infants one-year-old and below should not be fed honey or any form of honey, whether it is baked, raw, or cooked. Honey can contain harmful bacteria called Clostridium botulinum, which produces botulinum spores that secrete dangerous toxins. These toxins can lead to infant botulism, which is characterized by weak muscles, constipation, poor sucking, reduced muscle tone, and even paralysis. Your baby’s immune system is not strong enough to fight off the Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which is the reason why it is one of the top foods you should avoid feeding your baby. Research has shown that honey is safe for babies one-year-old and above. However, it is still recommended to consult your doctor before giving your baby this type of food.
Pediatricians always recommend mother’s breast milk as the best milk for your baby because it has all the important nutrients and enzymes that can help your little one grow up healthy. Cow’s milk is included in the list of foods you should avoid feeding your baby less than one year of age because it is difficult for them to digest. Cow’s milk also contains huge amounts of protein and minerals that can damage the kidneys of the baby.
Furthermore, cow’s milk does not contain the nutrients and enzymes that are needed by the babies to optimize their health. If the mother cannot breastfeed the baby, the next best option is the baby formula. Some pediatrician may recommend other options such as soy milk and almond milk. Plant-based milk or non-animal milk contains less harmful enzymes that the baby can safely digest and handle.
Cow’s milk may be good for older children and adults, but it should never be introduced to infants. When the child turns one year old, he or she may be introduced to small amounts of cow’s milk, but it is still much better to consult the pediatrician to get more advice regarding this issue. Just remember, cow’s milk is considered one of the foods you should avoid feeding your baby.
Eggs are rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals, which can be great for your health, but it is one of the foods you should avoid feeding your baby. Introducing eggs or egg whites at a very early age can cause the child to develop an egg allergy. When children turn five years old, the risk of allergic reactions to egg white is greatly reduced.
Egg whites also contain bacteria that are not good for infants. Since babies still have a weak digestive system, the egg whites can cause upset stomach and other health complications. Once the baby starts to eat solid foods, it is safer to feed them the egg yolks, but you always have to watch out for any allergic reactions such as rashes, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Citrus Fruits and Fruit Juice
It may be surprising to many parents, but citrus fruits are considered one of the foods you should avoid feeding your baby. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grenadines are loaded with vitamin C and other essential nutrients like potassium and calcium. However, citrus fruits also contain high amounts of acidity, which is not good for the baby. The stomach of the baby will not be able to handle the acidity of the citrus fruits and lead to stomach problems.
Furthermore, lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits are too strong for the throat and mouth of the baby. Too much acidity can cause itchiness in the mouth, as well as mouth and throat irritation. Giving lemon to a baby and watching their reaction may be cute and funny at first, but doing it repeatedly can become hazardous and problematic for the baby’s health. Fruit juice, especially the packaged variety, is also included in the foods you should avoid feeding your baby. It contains preservatives that cannot be processed properly by the baby’s digestive system. It also contains lots of sugar without any nutritional benefits that the baby needs to grow up healthy. Orange and grapefruit juices are also very acidic, which can be harmful to the baby’s digestive system. If you want to give fruit juices to your baby, you can do so after 6 months old, and choose juices that are non-acidic.
Seafood and shellfish are among the foods you should avoid feeding your baby. Fish, shrimps, crabs, lobsters, scallops, and other seafood are good for promoting heart health and better overall health for many adults. However, these foods can also trigger allergies and have negative effects on the health of your baby. Plus, seafood today have very high levels of mercury, which can be very damaging to the baby. Examples of fishes that are high in mercury are king mackerel, shark, swordfish, and tilefish. If your family has a history of seafood allergy, it is recommended to consult your pediatrician to do an allergy test or make a customized diet plan for the baby.
Caffeine is known to boost your energy and keep you awake, especially at night. However, caffeinated products are included in the foods you should avoid feeding your baby because it can keep your child awake and cause anxiety. Plus, caffeine dehydrates the baby, and this makes it worse for them because they don’t know that they need to drink more water. Caffeine can also cause digestive problems and lead to tooth decay and poor oral health.
Chocolate contains caffeine, which you should also avoid feeding your baby. Aside from high amounts of caffeine, chocolate also contains lots of sugar, which is bad for the baby’s teeth. If you can’t avoid giving young children chocolates, just allow them to eat in moderation. Caffeine can cause problems with the stomach lining, thus causing many digestive issues for the baby. Caffeine is a harsh substance that should not be included in your baby’s regular diet.
Whole nuts are definitely not considered baby food. In fact, whole nuts are foods you should avoid feeding your baby. They may not be that big, but whole nuts can still be a choking hazard for the baby. Actually, any type of nuts is bad for the baby because it can cause injury to the mouth and damage the teeth. It is hard and solid, which makes it difficult to chew and eat, especially for babies. Older children are okay to eat nuts, but you have to teach them to eat and chew whole nuts slowly. If anyone in your family is allergic to nuts, it is recommended to consult a pediatrician to conduct an allergy test. Peanut allergies are very dangerous and it should be treated seriously, especially when it comes to your little ones. Whole nuts are definitely included in the foods you should avoid feeding your baby.
Large Chunks of Foods
Babies one-year-old and below should avoid eating large chunks of foods. This covers any type of foods that can be a choking hazard to the baby. Some of these foods are fruits, vegetables, and meats. You should be careful feeding your baby whole grapes, raisins, cherry tomatoes, popcorn, and similar sized foods. If you are going to feed your baby these large chunks of food, you can cut them into smaller pieces. Babies are not yet good at chewing their food, which is why you have to be careful when feeding them solid foods such as fruits and vegetables. Remember, always know the foods you should avoid feeding your baby, especially the larger chunks that are hard to chew and swallow.
Strawberries are very nutritious fruits that are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. You may think that this fruit is perfect for children, but sadly, strawberries are included in the foods you should avoid feeding your baby. Strawberries are not good for the baby’s sensitive and delicate digestive system because this fruit is too acidic. Strawberries are also a possible allergen. You will need to hold off on feeding your baby these strawberries until they turn one year old. If your family has a history of allergies, it would be better to consult your pediatrician about this issue.
Canned foods are very popular, especially if you want a quick meal option. However, canned foods are included in the list of foods you should avoid feeding your baby. Since canned foods have a direct contact with aluminum, the bacteria from the food transfer into the aluminum and multiply fast. This can cause diarrhea and even food poisoning in adults. If this type of food is given to babies, it can cause infant botulism and other severe bacterial infection and foodborne diseases.