Foods to Avoid
If your child is under one year, there are foods to avoid:
- Cow's, goat's and sheep's milk. Before one, children shouldn't drink cows milk as it doesn't meet their nutritional needs and shouldn't replace breastmilk (or formula). Stick to sips of water from a cup, mum's milk or formula for drinking.
- Salt. Baby’s kidneys can’t quite process salt yet. Under one, your baby should be having less than 1g of salt (or 0.4g sodium) a day. Familiarise yourself with salt intake guidelines for babies and toddlers.
- Honey. It’s rare but important to avoid - honey can contain a type of bacteria that can be toxic to babes before one.
- Sugar and artificial sweeteners. Aside from the health benefits of avoiding sugar, babies just don’t need it. Use mashed or stewed fruit to sweeten baked goods - banana, apple and pear are all good choices. Avoid fruit juices.
- Low-fat dairy. Babies need healthy calories! Choose full fat yogurt and cheeses.
- Soft, mould-ripened cheeses. Avoid brie, camembert, blue stilton, and other cheese ripened in this way.
- Certain fish. Shark, marlin and swordfish can be high in mercury and should be avoided.
- Undercooked meat, eggs or shellfish. Everything should be well cooked. Babies are more sensitive to some bacteria and are at higher risk of serious illness from food poisoning. This includes
- Choking hazards such as whole nuts, small bones in fish or meat, apples with skin on, grapes and grape-sized tomatoes.
- Caffeine. Avoid chocolate (or cacao), coffee, tea or fizzy drinks. Young nervous systems don't handle it well - and they don't need it.
Have a look at the Magic List of Baby Led Weaning Foods infographic for a handy reference you can stick on your fridge, or download a PDF version below: