One of the most amazing parts of having a baby is watching him change and grow during the first year. And while you want to give him the world, there are a few things you should hold off on. Read the following infant feeding guidelines to see the foods you should avoid giving your baby until at least his first birthday.
No cow's milk for the first year.
No type of cow's milk has the right nutrient levels for infants. Mainly, it's too low in iron and vitamin C, and too high in protein, sodium, potassium and chloride for your baby's health and developing kidneys. Also, fat-free and low-fat milk don't have the fat babies need for their rapid weight gain.
No solids before four to six months.
So says the American Academy of Pediatrics. Hold off on introducing solids to your infant until around four to six months of age. Most babies automatically push anything solid (other than a nipple) out of their mouths. They can't yet move food to the back of their mouths and swallow it, so stick with infant formula.
No falling asleep with a bottle.
This increases his chances of tooth decay and ear infections. Try an hour before bedtime instead.
No propping up bottles.
Feeding time is prime bonding time—for both of you.
No microwaving bottles.
The uneven heating could seriously burn your little one.
No honey in the first year.
Nothing baked with honey either. Honey can cause botulism, a serious type of food poisoning.
The tannins in tea inhibit your baby's ability to absorb iron, which can put him at risk for anemia. And the caffeine in tea interferes with calcium absorption, which is critical to bone building.
Not too much juice.
100% pasteurized fruit juice is okay after six months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting fruit juice to 4-6 fl oz a day, in a cup. More than that is just excess calories.
No mixing cereal into bottles.
Putting solids into a bottle upsets your baby's nutritional and caloric balance. Start feeding cereal by spoon at around 4-6 months.
No solids that can be choking hazards.
Many foods need to be mashed or pureed so your baby can swallow them easily. Whole or chunky foods can get caught in his windpipe, blocking air from his lungs. Avoid giving him foods like:
- Chunks of hot dogs
- Whole grapes
- Thinly spread peanut butter on toast or crackers
- Pieces of hard, raw vegetables
- Hard candy or chewy candy like gummy bears or jelly beans
Processed meats and even some drinking water contain nitrates, which may pose a potential health hazard to your baby. Avoid:
- Nitrate-contaminated drinking water, such as some well water
- Hot dogs
No added sugar or salt.
The less salt and sugar you add to his diet, the more he'll learn to enjoy the natural flavor of foods.