Understanding the Top Ten Foods Not Recommended for Babies

Understanding the Top Ten Foods Not Recommended for Babies

There comes an amazing time in your little one’s life where you find that the bottle just isn’t cutting it anymore.  They crave more substance and solid food.  This causes many parents to panic about what they should be feeding their child.  There is so much information floating around about how so and so could be harmful to your child and so on, but what do you know what is real?  The best thing to do if you are worried about a certain type of food and how your child will react to it is to ask their doctor first. They should be able to help guide you when it comes to safe food for allergies.

This is, however, a good guide by The Parent Journal for what foods you shouldn’t give you baby and it is a helpful guideline to follow.  If you are still nervous about finally letting your baby enjoy some more normal food, just think of all of the advantages you are going to be getting from it.  Not only will your baby start to grow and develop more but you may even find that they are sleeping better because they have a more satisfied tummy that can help them sleep through the night.  To get you started on this fun journey here are the top ten foods you shouldn’t give your baby.

  1. Large pieces of food

The first type of food you want to avoid with a baby is a no brainer!  Depending on your child’s age and size will determine how large pieces of food you can give them.  It is a good rule of thumb that if they are still too little for large solid food, to keep the pieces of food to smaller than a quarter size.  This also depends on whether or not your baby has any teeth yet.  While smaller pieces should be fine, try to keep the food soft still until they get the whole chewing and swallowing thing down.

If your child is craving harder foods like some proteins and fruits, try using a mesh biter first.  These little mesh sacks allow you to throw larger pieces of food in the mesh part.  The mesh prevents the large pieces from actually going in your child’s mouth but your child can feel free to chew on the outside of the bag to get flavor.  The special little handle on these mesh feeders will also help to promote your child to learn how to self feed.  In no time you will find that your little guy will be ready to chew like a champ.  Best of all, these little mesh feeders are oftentimes dishwasher safe which will help to make cleaning up a breeze. Just remember to keep a bib handy because with all of that chewing they are sure to make a mess.

2. Nut products

Once your child gets a little bit older their doctor will be able to perform an allergy test to check for common food allergies like nuts.  Until then, you should try to avoid any nut product foods just to be safe.  Peanut allergies are one of the most dangerous of the food allergies so there is always better air on the side of caution.  This is not only limited to peanuts and other white nuts either.  You should also avoid any peanut related products like peanut butter and certain types of granola.  If you are really worried about certain baby food items containing any type of nuts, always check the labels before purchasing them.

Allergies aren’t the only reason why you should avoid giving nuts to your child.  The size of most nuts is the perfect size for a choking situation.  This is also because peanuts and almonds tend to run on the harder and crunchier side which means that little jaws and teeth will not be able to crack through them as easily.  This is especially true if your child has still yet to grow any of their baby teeth.  Until your pediatrician gives you the all clear it is best to add any nut type product to the list of the foods you shouldn’t give your baby.

3. Foods that are high in sodium

Everyone loves to indulge in salty foods from time and time.  There is something so comfortable about that tang you get on your tongue from a really salty snack.  While salt ridden foods are a great form of comfort, it isn’t a great idea to introduce foods that are too high in sodium to your child just yet.  It is important to remember that our bodies are built very different from a baby’s and what might be the recommended amount of sodium for you to have a healthy diet will not be the same for your child.  In fact, children under the age of two only need a very small amount of sodium to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Some of the foods that are high in salt that you should try to avoid giving to your child are chips, pretzels, popcorn and fries.  While these may seem like the types of food that you would never give your child anyhow, we are only human.  Everyone knows that moment of trying to satisfy a tantrum throwing a hungry toddler while on the road, and while a bag of chips seems like an easy fix, high sodium can lead to other problems.  Too much salt can actually make your child crankier and sluggish which is something you certainly would want to avoid.

4. Seafood and shellfish 

Seafood is another one of those foods you shouldn’t give your baby because of allergy fears.  Besides peanuts, certain types of seafood are one of the most common food allergies a child can have.  This is especially true with certain shellfish.  While you can start to feed your child some seafood starting at around nine months, you still need to make sure that the pieces of the seafood you are feeding them is small enough for them to handle.  For best results, try starting out with something mild like a flaked white fish with some grain rice, babies love it!

When it comes to shellfish, however, you still need to wait a few more years until you can safely feed it to your child because of allergies and high mercury levels.  Another thing you want to check for when feeding fish to your child is to make sure that the fish is completely clean of bones.  Fish bones are tiny and hard to detect and the last thing you would want is for a little bone to get stuck in your little one’s mouth.

5. Honey

Honey is one of those all natural and healthy sweeteners that has a lot of health benefits and while it may be tempting, honey is one of those foods that you shouldn’t give your baby.  One of the reasons to avoid honey is because there is an allergy warning that comes along with it that includes certain allergies to pollen.  All thought allergies can be a dangerous and uncomfortable thing; there is a greater danger that lurks when you give a baby honey.

Honey is full of tiny spores that hold a certain type of bacteria.  This is one of the reasons why honey is known as a natural antibacterial agent.  While this type of bacteria is great for an adult’s digestive system because it helps to regulate immunity, it does not work the same for babies.  A baby’s digestive system is still growing and still very immature in comparison to your system or even the system of an older child.  This type of bacteria can have the opposite effect in a baby and can actually put them in a fatal situation, so avoid honey at all costs!

6. Caffeinated food and drinks

One of the more obvious foods that you shouldn’t give your baby is anything that contains caffeine.  You would be surprised with how many children these days are drinking overly caffeinated soda and drink beverages because they are just easy and convenient.  These drinks can do a good amount of damage to your child’s system, not to mention the amount of sugars in them is enough to rot those little baby teeth.  In a pinch you should always instead opt for some juice or water for your little one.  All you do is limit the amount of juice you give your child because even the most pure of juices can still give your child diarrhea.  

While caffeinated drinks are the more popular choice when it comes to what to avoid, there are some foods that have this additive in them too.  Most popular is energy bars or bites.  While there is some healthy granola that your child may enjoy, you need to be careful because certain protein bars do carry a small amount of caffeine.  The last thing you want is to wind your child up all day long and find that they don’t want to go to sleep at night.  Save yourself the headache!

7. Chewy and sticky foods

Next on the list of the foods you shouldn’t give your baby isn’t an actual food but more like a group of foods to keep clear of.  Chewy foods are dangerous for your child because their little mouth and jaws cannot quite chew them properly enough for safe swallowing.  Even if you cut up the food into smaller pieces, chewy foods like steak are still going to be too difficult for them.  It also should go without saying, but the same can be said for certain candy like gum and taffy.  Some chewy food is healthy but can also be really hard for your little one to eat.  One of these foods is celery.  Celery is not only chewy but is also very stringy which can get caught up in your child’s throat which can cause them to gag or spit up. 

Sticky foods can get easily lodged in your child’s throat which is a serious choking hazard.  These foods include even healthy foods like fruit leather.  Besides being dangerous to your child’s safety, sticky foods will also make one serious mess.  Have you ever spent a night trying to wash a sticky sauce out of your baby’s hair?  It isn’t fun!  So save yourself some serious time and clean up and opt for foods that are easier to eat with less mess instead.

8. Food that is high in sugar

It is a good idea to try to avoid foods that are really high in sugar for more than just having to deal with a baby that is bouncing off the wall.  It is true that sugar does make your child a little hyper but it also comes with a crash.  The eventual sugar crash means that your child might have a harder time falling asleep at the end of the night which is the exact opposite of what you want.  Sugar is also very addictive so instead try to have your child enjoy healthy sugars that are naturally found in fruit.

Another reason you should avoid sugar has less to do with your child’s energy level and more to do with their overall health.  Childhood obesity is a serious concern that is getting worse each and every day.  The amount of children that have diabetes is growing at an alarming rate.  It isn’t all in vain either; these are serious health problems for little ones to face.  So give your child the best head start to healthy life and keep sugars off the table.

9. Certain fruits

While most fruits are perfectly safe and fine for your baby to enjoy, there are some fruits that might cause some problems.  While these fruits won’t do serious harm to them, they shouldn’t be consumed too often.  These include bananas, grapes and raisins.  This is because these foods are a natural diuretic which can lead your child to be constipated or on the opposite side of the scale, some children experience diarrhea which certainly isn’t fun for either of you!

Grapes are also an obvious choice when it comes to what foods you shouldn’t give your baby because of the choking hazard.  Grapes are one of the most popular foods that children choke on because they are the perfect little size to get stuck in their throats.  This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t feed your child grapes.  You should simple cut the grapes into quarters or use a mesh feeding bag until they are old enough to chew them properly.

10.  Food that is high in acid

Every parent has done that picture worthy thing of letting their baby suck on a lemon.  The face they make along is completely priceless!  However, foods that are high in acid are not that great for your child’s digestive system.  This is because the acid reacts with the acid that is already in their tummies and can cause them some serious discomfort.  This is especially true for babies who are already suffering from colic or some form of acid reflux which causes them to spit up.  So save the picture taking opportunity for when they get a little bit older.

Other foods that are high in acid like dressings and oranges are also not a great idea when your child is very young.  This is because the acid can break away at their teeth that are just starting to form.  When the enamel on their teeth breaks down, the teeth are more vulnerable to cavities.  While these are their baby teeth and adult teeth are going to be growing soon enough, these are the teeth they have for the first many years so treat them well.  

Wrapping it up

Now that you know the top ten foods you shouldn’t give your baby, it is time to get proactive about their nutrition.  While this may seem like a fun killing list, don’t worry!  There are plenty of foods that you can give your baby to enjoy.  Here are some great alternatives to try out:

  • Whole grains like rice

  • Small pieces of high protein foods like chicken

  • Small diced up steamed veggies

  • Soft fruits that are easy to digest

  • Small grain cereals

  • Warm oatmeal

  • Small and soft pasta

  • Yogurt

  • Plenty of water

There is no reason why your child can’t enjoy food while also staying safe and healthy.  This all starts by knowing what foods to avoid.  If you ever get confused about what you are feeding your baby, you should always check with their doctor.  They will be able to guide you into the right path to healthy eating success.  When you have all of the tools you need to ensure your child has a great healthy start to their lives you are setting them up for a lifetime of good habits.  Of course this only works if you work hard to lead by example. This doesn’t mean that you can’t indulge yourself, just save it until after your baby goes to bed!  Good luck.

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