Foods That Are Off Limits for Babies

The curious minds and mouths of babies. As cute as they can be, our little ones often seem to put most anything and everything into their mouths. An abandoned crayon, a handful of sand at the beach, a cricket here or there – a child’s appetite appears to be almost infinite.

Watching what your children eat, even those items and ingredients that are actually intended to be consumed by humans, can be a difficult challenge to conquer. Not only does a parent have to regulate what foods to feed their baby, but it’s also critical to monitor what they don’t eat. Many food and drink items harbor harmful effects when fed to developing kids. Some items should never be given to a growing child while others should only be introduced at certain ages when their bodies are best able to handle them.

As parents, it is our job to ensure that our children are fed properly. It is absolutely critical that tots and tykes of all ages are fed the most nutritious and nourishing diets possible – and protected against foods that foster illness and harm.

We’re here to help make the tiresome task of menu managing for children a little easier. We’ve compiled a brief list of foods that are off-limits for little ones. Here are a few of the most common to consider.

Hold Off on the Honey

Honey, harmful? Seems utterly preposterous! However, mother nature’s natural candy can be a dangerous addition to a baby’s diet. The botulinum spores commonly found in honey can germinate within the underdeveloped digestive track of infants and young babies.

This can sometimes lead to a condition known as infant botulism, a rare but potentially life threatening affliction. Wait until your tiny one is at least twelve months old before introducing honey into his or her diet.  This is the age when the intestinal track has matured enough to keep the bacteria from growing.

Skip Any Excess Salt or Sugar

Too much sugar and salt in your baby’s diet fills them up without providing quality, essential nutrients. Foods with high sugar and sodium levels often satisfy hunger before babies can eat enough nutrient-dense foods with the critical macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals essential for proper growth and development. Avoid including high sugar and high salt foods in your baby’s diet to ensure quality nutrition. Plus, this diet also helps to establish good eating habits at an early age.

Remember that you don’t have to make yourself mad attempting to cut out all forms of salt and sugar. Nearly every food has some naturally-occurring sugar and salt, even the healthiest ones. The key is keeping an eye out for excessive amounts, typically found in processed foods like salty snacks, chips, cookies, and sodas.

Easy on the Apple Juice

Fruit juices are a common cornerstone of the diets of young children, as they’re naturally sweet and high in vitamins and minerals. However, too much can be a bad thing. Juice fills up the small stomach of your baby without affording a rich diversity of necessary nutrients. Balance is the best thing you can feed your youngster, so aim for no more than 4 ounces per day.

Start off slowly by introducing the beverage only after six months and never offer it in a bottle. Only choose 100% juices instead of opting for sugar-sweetened “juice-like” cocktails. Whenever possible, skip juices for pureed or mashed fruits that offer more fiber and macronutrients than their liquid counterparts.

Tiny Pieces are a Recipe for Trouble

Some of the most important foods that you’ll never want to feed your baby don’t necessarily have to do with their ingredients. Instead of the label, pay attention to how these items are served. Any small food that could potentially pose a choking hazard should never be fed to young children or babies.

Whether it’s a small nut that’s naturally petite or a chicken chunk that’s just big enough to potentially block off an airway, the size of food is equally as important as the food itself. Some of the most common choking hazards include grapes, raisins, nuts, popcorn, seeds, spoonfuls of peanut butter, peas, carrots, and any other raw, chunky pieces of vegetable or fruit.

For a more thorough list of feeding do’s and don’ts and to get the best diet advice for your young child, always consult with your qualified doctor or pediatrician.

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