The first dilemma that each mom needs to decide after giving birth is whether to choose breastfeeding over formula when it comes to feeding. While there is a wide variety of food options that are optional and dependent upon personal choices, yet there are some foods that restricted when it comes to young babies.
As a new mom, I jumped into breastfeeding as soon as he was put on my chest. For me and my little one, it came naturally. But, like many moms, I decided to introduce solid food to him around 5 months old.
Walking through the produce aisle, I distinctly recall feeling overwhelmed by what I was able to feed him as opposed to what could potentially cause him harm. Every minute, I would pick up a piece of fruit or a vegetable and quickly Google how safe it was to give to him.
There were foods, snacks, and drinks that seemed completely harmless or even good for him that turned out to have hidden risks. Many of the foods that I’d researched were foods that I’d seen other mom friends give their babies without a care at all.
Below are the lists of foods that you should consider first before you introduced it to your young ones:
Honey is a natural sweetener that people typically associate with healthy eating. It’s a great alternative to sugar and tastes great.
It would totally make sense to give your little one honey in their yogurt or smoothies when they are starting to eat solid foods. However, giving your babies honey before they are over a year old can have deadly effects.
Honey contains Clostridium botulinum which leads to the deadly botulism. Adults and older children can handle the small amounts of botulinum that are in honey. Babies on the other hand cannot.
Honey was one of those ingredients that I was definitely going to give my baby boy when he started eating solids. I figured a spoonful in his sweet potato blend would be a perfect touch. I was wrong!
Now, for most people, corn is a staple when it comes to dinner and lunch. You can put it in your salad, eat it off of the cob, or have it on the side of your meatloaf. However, corn is one of those foods that does not offer much when it comes to nutrients that babies need.
Aside from the small kernels being a choking hazard for your baby as they can’t properly grind up the pieces, it can be a possible allergen as well. If your child is allergic to corn, you will have to avoid all foods with corn derivatives as well such as corn oil and corn syrup. It is truly a food your baby can live happily without.
3) CITRUS FRUITS
Everyone has seen the videos online of parents giving their young children lemon slices and filming their reactions.
While an occasional, amusing lick of a lemon is not terribly harmful, consistent citrus fruits for babies is too harsh for their delicate digestive system.
They can cause reflux and discomfort due to the high acidity level. Adding a squeeze of a lemon to a fruit puree or a squeeze of juice from an orange to your baby’s food is unlikely to cause issues.
But cutting up an entire orange for your little one to enjoy as a snack will likely result in plenty of discomfort and long bouts of crying. Foods that are acidic include unsuspecting foods like tomatoes as well.
When it comes to citrus, moderation is key.
It seems pretty ridiculous that you wouldn’t give any person or even animal water. About 60% of our bodies are made up of water and that number is even higher for our sweet little babies.
So, it’s understandable to think that giving your baby water is totally ok and won’t cause too much harm. However, giving your baby water can lead you directly to your pediatrician’s office wondering what is wrong with your baby.
While it’s true that water is necessary for children and adults, it will cause your babies under 7 months old to suffer from failure to thrive. Babies depend on formula or breast milk to get all of the nutrients that they need. Feeding them water will end up being a replacement for the milk that they need and since water has no true nutritional value, like necessary calories, your baby will not thrive as they should.
A perfectly sizzled hot dog in the summer time is a food I think almost anyone can enjoy. Even though a baby under a year old may not have many teeth, hot dogs seem like a food that’s soft enough for them to gnaw on with their gums while enjoying the satisfying salty flavor.
Aside from the mystery meat perspective of hot dogs, the shape is the perfect small and cylinder shape to get lodged into your little one’s throat causing them to be an awful choking hazard.
If your baby is able to break off a piece of the hot dog with gumming it, the piece will likely be the perfect size to fit into the esophagus. Even when cut up, the hot dogs are still too much of a choking hazard as young babies aren’t able to chew them up properly.
6) FISH LIKE TUNA AND MACKEREL
Fish is usually a food that is packed full of brain food like omega-3 and good fats. So it can seem like a logical choice when it comes to feeding your newly eating baby. However, various kinds of fish have high levels of mercury that are unavoidable and that cannot be measured by piece.
For a new baby, the mercury levels can be too high for their bodies to process and can cause all sorts of health issues. The main types of fish parents should always avoid is fresh tuna, mackerel, and swordfish.
If mom or dad want to give their babies a taste of fish, try out small portions of trout, wild salmon, and tilapia instead.
For many people, adults and children, consuming wheat products can celiacs disease. This is a disease that affects hundreds of thousands of people.
Celiac disease stems from the gluten that is found in wheat and man pediatricians are warning parents to wait until baby is at least a year old to offer them bread or other wheat foods like pasta.
If you want to feed your baby foods that you love like bread and pasta, there are alternatives to wheat, especially now. You can offer your little one a gluten free version of just about anything. From rice pasta to wheat free pizza dough, there is a way to avoid gluten for a lifetime if needed.
Most restaurants also offer gluten free food options as well.
8) HIGH SODIUM FOODS
Babies don’t need any extra salt in their diet. The formula and breast milk that you give them has the right amount of required sodium in it.
When you feed your baby foods that have high levels of salt in them, you can affect their health negatively. A baby that is under a year old does not have the kidney function to process high levels of salt. Many processed foods or foods that have preservatives can have hidden salt that your baby can’t process.
When my son was under a year old, I would make all of his baby food just to avoid sneaky preservatives and processed foods. For dinner, he’d grab at what I was eating but I’d avoid giving him the food on my plate that was too seasoned as most seasoning are very salty. His taste buds were still developing so he wasn’t missing out on any flavor.
9) ICE TEA AND OTHER CAFFEINATED DRINKS
As a mom or dad of a little baby, caffeine is literally your best friend to help you get through the day. When we think of caffeine, we typically think of drinks like coffee, energy drinks and lattes or foods like chocolate or bars.
However, caffeine can be quite sneaky and can be found in various amounts in all sorts of seemingly kid friendly drinks like hot chocolate and iced tea. Parents should definitely avoid giving their baby these types of drinks at all times, as the caffeine can cause the baby tummy troubles as well as interrupt their sleeping patterns.
Trust me, that little baby of yours will keep you up enough throughout the night without the help of caffeine.
10) PEANUT BUTTER AND OTHER STICKY FOODS
Sticky foods such as peanut butter can be a terrible choking hazard for the baby. In combination with just about any other food, peanut butter can cause your baby’s throat to be blocked, making it difficult for him or her to breathe.
Sharp foods like triangular shaped chips and popcorn can also become lodged in your little one’s throat causing him or her to have difficulty breathing or even coughing it out.
When your child is older, peanut butter can be a staple in your household when it comes to quick breakfast or lunches but for your baby, but avoid the peanut butter while your baby is still young and learning how to chew, digest, and process their food. It can be very dangerous if you don’t.
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