Babies are curious little creatures, and love to explore new tastes and textures as they learn about their new world. If your little one is making the change from baby food to table food, there are a few rules you need to follow as you introduce new foods. While most foods can be safely given to babies under one year, there are certain foods that you should avoid until your baby is older.
Hidden Toxins and Allergens
Honey should never be included in the diet of children under one year, as it can contain spores of Clostridium botulinum that causes a type of botulism to which infants are susceptible. Likewise, avoid corn syrup, as according to MayoClinic.com, it may contain the same type of spores. As a child grows, her intestinal tract develops and will eventually be able to prevent these spores from multiplying and she will be able to eat these foods safely.
In addition, a study conducted by Duke University Medical Center shows that allergic reactions to peanuts and peanut butter have doubled since the year 2000 and are being reported in children as young as 14 months. Duke recommends that parents refrain from giving babies any food containing peanuts until after the child reaches the age of two, as he will then be capable of vocalizing the discomfort experienced with an allergic reaction.
Hard to Digest Foods
The protein in cow’s milk cannot be digested properly by an infant, hence your pediatrician’s warning to keep your baby on breast milk or formula until he is one year old. Cow’s milk also lacks the proper nutrients and contains the wrong amount of minerals that a growing baby needs. Likewise, citrus juice is hard for a baby to digest and may result in a heavy diaper rash.
Hard Choking Hazards
Hard candies, popcorn, nuts, grapes and cherry tomatoes can lodge in a baby’s throat and cause her to choke; round fruit should always be quartered before offering it to your baby. Likewise, any hard food that doesn’t immediately break down in the mouth, such as hot dogs, celery, carrots, meats and candies, should be cut into pea-sized pieces before you offer them to a baby.
Soft Choking Hazards
Many moms think if a food is soft it must be safe, but that’s not always the case. Marshmallows and soft candies can get stuck in a baby’s throat, as can peanut butter and other thick soft foods. Raisins and other small sticky fruits can clump together and create a choking hazard and should be offered one at a time.