A common question asked by new mothers is what types of foods to offer and what types of foods to avoid when it comes to introducing their babies to solids. The recommended age for weaning a baby off of a breast milk or formula-only regimen is 4-6 months old, according to the American Academy of Pediatric. After that time, you should gradually introduce new foods to their system. When you do decide to take that step and introduce new foods to your baby, here are some tips about what foods to avoid until your baby’s first birthday:
Honey can harbor poisonous botulism spores. While an adult’s intestinal tract is strong enough to prevent the growth of these spores, a baby’s system is not. This can produce life-threatening, poisoning toxins.
The sticky and thick consistency of peanut butter can make it hard for an infant to swallow. Hold off on introducing peanut butter and other thick buttery spreads to your child.
It’s best to stick with breast milk until your child is a year old because babies cannot properly digest the protein in cow’s milk. Additionally, cow’s milk does not contain as many necessary nutrient as breast milk and it contains minerals that could damage his developing kidneys.
Some Other Foods to Avoid
Salt (baby’s kidneys are not strong enough), low-fat foods (not recommended for kids under 2), undiluted citrus and fruit juices, raw eggs, artificial sweeteners, hot dogs and sausages that are high in fat, foods with added spices and seasonings.
Pea-sized foods are the safest to feed your child because there is less choking hazard. So, it is best to cut or dice everything you serve your baby, from fruits and vegetables to cheese and meats. Small, hard foods like nuts, popcorn, hard candies, raisins should be avoided as your baby could choke on them. Even soft foods like marshmallows and jelly candies can get stuck in your baby’s throat.
Doctors recommend waiting until the age of 1 or later to introduce solid foods that are common allergens, such as foods containing nuts. It’s best to introduce new foods gradually, waiting several days to make sure your baby does not have a bad reaction to the meal. If allergies run in your family, check with your doctor to come up with the best plan for introducing foods like cow’s milk, nuts, wheat, soy, fish and eggs.
Do not allow your baby to eat in the car. It is difficult to supervise while driving and there are choking hazards if the ride becomes bumpy. If you are using a rub-on teething medication, make sure to keep an eye on your baby’s eating habits because the medication could numb his or her throat and make it hard to swallow.
So, What CAN I Feed my Baby?
Within the first few weeks of weaning, it’s safest to feed babies pureed foods, like pureed carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cooked apply, banana and pear. Packaged baby foods often contain a lot of sugar, so it’s actually healthiest to puree your own baby’s food so that you know exactly what’s in his or her meals.