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What Not to Feed Babies

What Not to Feed Babies

Say ‘yes’ to cuteness, but ‘no’ to these 12 nutrition no-no's in the first year.

Medically reviewed by a board-certified pediatrician

Saying ‘no’ isn’t easy. Especially when it comes to your little one. While you want to give them the world, there are a few things you should hold off on when it comes to nutrition. Find out what not to feed babies with these 12 infant nutrition guidelines, including foods to avoid until after baby’s first birthday.

No solids before 4 to about 6 months

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against introducing solids until your little one is about six months old. Most babies can't move food to the back of their mouth and swallow it yet, so it’s best to stick with breast milk or formula until then.

No falling asleep with a bottle

Falling asleep with a bottle in their mouth can increase your baby’s chances of tooth decay and ear infections. Try to offer the bottle an hour before bedtime.

No propping up bottles

Feeding time is a perfect time to bond. Bottle propping takes away from the warm connection you have with your baby during feeding time. Also, if your baby lies flat while feeding, this might cause ear infections, as well as tooth decay.

No microwaving bottles

Microwaving creates uneven heat and hot spots which could seriously burn your little one. If you are warming your bottles, place it in a bowl of warm water and let it warm for a few minutes. If you’re new to bottle prep, learn how to properly prepare a bottle.

No honey

Honey can cause botulism, a serious type of food poisoning. So, it’s best to avoid honey in the first year. This includes avoiding foods baked with honey as well.

No tea

The tannins in tea can impact your baby's ability to absorb iron, which can put your little one at risk for anemia. And the caffeine in tea can interfere with calcium absorption, which is critical to building their little bones.

No juice

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoiding juice during the first six months and limiting juice to 4-6 fl. oz per day for children younger than six years old.

No mixing cereal into bottles

You can start feeding your baby cereal by spoon, with your pediatrician’s guidance, at around four to six months. But, putting solids into a bottle can impact your baby's nutritional and caloric balance. It can also cause gagging. Another no-no!

No solids that can be choking hazards

Many foods need to be mashed or pureed so your baby can easily swallow them. Whole or chunky foods can get caught in their windpipe, blocking air from your baby’s lungs. Avoid foods like:

  • Deli meat
  • Chunks of hot dogs
  • Whole grapes
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Chips
  • Toast or crackers with peanut butter
  • Pieces of hard, raw vegetables
  • Hard candy or chewy candy like gummy bears or jelly beans

No nitrates

Processed meats and even some drinking water contain nitrates, which may pose a potential health hazard to your baby in the first few months after they’re born. Avoid:

  • Nitrate-contaminated drinking water, such as some well water
  • Bacon
  • Bologna
  • Ham
  • Hot dogs
  • Sausage

No added sugar or salt

The less salt and sugar you add to their diet, the more they'll learn to enjoy the natural flavor of foods.

Now you have a better understanding of what not to feed your little one in the first year. By keeping these infant nutrition guidelines in mind, you and your baby’s first year can be filled with safe and happy mealtime memories.

All information on Enfamil, including but not limited to information about health, medical conditions, and nutrition, is intended for your general knowledge and is not a substitute for a healthcare professional's medical identification, advice, or management for specific medical conditions. You should seek medical care and consult your doctor or pediatrician for any specific health or nutrition issues. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment, care, or help because of information you have read on Enfamil.