In my April mini-series, I am sharing on a different topic each week related to your baby's eating habits. Last week I discussed the importance of avoiding rice cereal in your baby's diet and offered alternative "first foods" that are nutrient rich and will support and sustain a growing body and mind! That post can be found here. This week I will share a short list about foods to avoid before your baby is one year old.
There are so many wonderful and nutritious foods to offer your baby when you introduce solids, but there are also foods that should be avoided until your baby is at least one year of age. The most common are listed below.
Nuts + Nut Butters // Not only may nuts cause an allergic reaction, but small nuts are a choking hazard. Nut butters also present the problem of allergies, but also a choking hazard because of their sticky consistency. It is best to avoid nuts until 1 year of age and after that, consult your pediatrician.
Egg Whites // Cooked egg yolks are one of the most nutritionally dense foods for your baby (and one of Olivia’s favorites for breakfast!) but you should avoid egg whites until 1 year because they are highly allergenic.
Honey // Honey is high in sugar and may contain bacteria (Clostridium botulinum) which produces toxins in a baby’s intestines, leading to infant botulism. Avoid honey for this reason until your baby is at least one year; honey should also be avoided during pregnancy. An adult’s intestinal tract can prevent the growth of these spores but a baby’s is not strengthened enough to do so until at least one year.
Cow’s Milk // Because your baby can’t digest the protein in cow’s milk, it should be avoided. The high concentration of protein and minerals may stress a newborn’s kidneys and irritate the stomach and intestines. Cow’s milk may cause an upset stomach, eczema and other digestive issues when a baby is under 12 months.
Shellfish // All shellfish – including shrimp, lobster, crab and scallops – should be avoided because they may cause an allergic reaction.
Check back next week for Week 3, in which I will discuss fish safety and basic fish preparation for your baby!