Few responsibilities are as rewarding, important, challenging or fun as learning what to feed your infant. While there are foods your little one should consume, there are some your baby should not eat- not at first anyway. Here are guidelines that can help you decide which foods you should avoid feeding your baby.
First 4 to 6 Months:
1. Your little one will be on a breast milk or formula diet.
2. The AAP recommends he or she eat no solid food
4- to 12- Month Stage of Baby’s Life Avoid:
1. Honey: It can contain clostridium botulinum spores which can cause botulism in an infant.
2. Cow’s milk: Babies cannot digest the protein in cow’s milk during their first year. It also contains minerals that can adversely affect his kidneys. Breast milk or formula is necessary during his first 12 months.
3. Peanut butter/other nut butters: The Baby Center states that these have a sticky, hard-to-swallow consistency, making them unsuitable for babies less than a year old.
4. New foods: During this 4–12 month stage of growth, both babies and their parents enjoy having them sample new foods from the parents’ plates. Mom and Dad should continue to be cautious about foods that present a choking hazard, including:
• Too large bites of anything: Everything baby eats should be cut into pea-sized pieces. Meats and cheese can be shredded instead.
• Small, hard foods: Babies can choke on nuts, raisins or any hard-to-chew food that become lodged in their throats.
5. Other foods: There is a wide variety of other specific foods that should not be included in an infant’s diet during his first year. These include popcorn, cookies, egg whites, hot dogs, hard candies, slices of raw carrots or other hard vegetables or chunks of meat. After your baby is six months old, he can drink fruit juice, but never more than 4 to 6 ounces.
New foods should be introduced into your infant’s diet on a gradual basis. After he starts eating a new food, wait for a few days before introducing him to another new menu item. This practice will give you time to be sure your baby has not had an allergic reaction or, if he has, what the food item was that caused it. If having food allergies is common in your family, discuss the best strategy for introducing new foods into your baby’s diet.