Every mother wants the best for her baby. And diet is one of those things. At birth, the baby’s digestive system is not mature enough to digest anything but breastfeed. So after six months of exclusive breastfeeding, you would want your little one to taste and enjoy all the delicious food out there in the world. You would also be looking at foods that will give the baby maximum nutrition. But there is a list of foods to avoid feeding the baby.
Why avoid these foods for the first 180 days?
The baby’s digestive system takes time to mature completely. What and when something is fed to the baby plays a great role in determining the gut health of your baby. The digestive system is not only about the digestion of food. If the digestive system is not healthy, the baby will not get all the nutrients required to grow up and be healthy. The first two years are important from this aspect too. If the system is not able to break down and process the food that you give to your child, not only is your baby’s nutritional status at risk, but it affects the growth and development of the baby. It can also lead to several digestive-health related problems later in life. So you also need to know what food to avoid feeding the baby.
Here’s a list of foods to avoid feeding your baby:
(definitely for the first 180 days. Can go up to 730 days)
1. Cow Milk:
Though cow milk is packed with a lot of nutrients, it is one food to avoid feeding your baby, as the baby won’t be able to digest it. Cow milk also doesn’t have iron and Vitamin E, essential for the baby’s growth and development. Breastfeed or formula feed is the best at least till your baby turns a year old. You can give cow milk in moderation after consulting your pediatrician after your little one’s first birthday. You also need to figure out if the baby has any milk allergies.
Honey contains the spores of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. These spores secrete toxins. A baby’s intestinal tract is not strong enough to fight off these. These toxins can cause botulism in babies less than one year of age. Though a rare illness, botulism can lead to constipation, poor appetite, weakened sucking, lethargy, and even pneumonia and dehydration. So definitely put it on your list of foods to avoid feeding your baby.
3. Fruit Juice:
This one too is a must that you should include in your list of foods to avoid feeding the baby. It is just a sugary content full of calories that has no fat, protein, calcium, vitamin D, zinc or fiber that is important for the baby. It will also slowly play with the digestion and appetite of your baby. Even after a year, it is advisable to give fruit juices in moderation, preferably diluted with water and never before bedtime. Opt for stomach-friendly juices. Intake of too much juice can cause diarrhea, chronic stomach problems, and tooth decay too.
4. Unpasteurized Food:
Another food to avoid feeding the baby is anything unpasteurized. Be it dairy products or any juices. Cheese made from unpasteurized milk contains listeria. This bacteria can cause life-threatening illness in babies.
5. Raw and Uncooked Eggs:
One egg is a complete diet on its own full of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fats. It can be started in the first year of a baby’s diet but in moderation. But the catch here is the egg shouldn’t be raw, uncooked or half-cooked. You need to include it in your list of foods to avoid feeding the baby, as it can cause serious health concerns. Harmful bacteria don’t get killed if the eggs are not cooked properly and can cause diarrhea, allergy with rashes and irritation.
6. Sugar and Salt:
Babies would love anything sweet. But for their health and taste buds to develop it is best to avoid artificial sweetening as much as possible. Natural sugar content in fruits is good enough. The same goes for salt. The sodium required in a baby’s diet is much less than adults’. The kidney is not yet fully developed to cope with high levels of sodium. The foods to avoid feeding the baby list should contain all the sugary treats, chips, food with extra salt.
7. Allergenic Food:
Before you decide any foods to avoid feeding the baby because of any allergies, understand if it is true for your child. Food such as wheat, peanuts, eggs, citrus fruits, strawberries, and tomatoes can cause allergy in babies during their first year. But this is not a blanket ban. As each baby can react differently to different foods, give such food in moderation and wait for any sign of an allergy. Introducing these foods a little bit early on will help develop the child’s immune system to fight allergies.
This is our recommended list of foods to avoid feeding the baby in terms of digestive health.
Disclaimer: Anything that you feed if it can choke the baby should also be included as food to avoid feeding the baby. But every child is unique and different, so as a mother figure what suits your child the best and what food you should avoid. And if there is anything more you would want to add to our list of food to avoid feeding the baby, please share with the rest of our beautiful mommies.