While mothers cannot wait to introduce the family meals to their babies, they should also be aware of the dangers in introducing certain foods earlier than recommended. A baby’s delicate and developing body is certainly not ripe to handle the foods listed below.
Babies shouldn’t eat much salt as it isn’t good for their kidneys. Don’t add salt to your baby’s food and don’t use stock cubes or gravy as they’re often high in salt. Remember this when you’re cooking for the family if you plan to give the same food to your baby.
Your baby doesn’t need sugar. By avoiding sugary snacks and drinks, you’ll help to prevent tooth decay. Use mashed banana, breast milk or formula milk to sweeten food if necessary.
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Occasionally, honey contains bacteria which can produce toxins in a baby’s intestines, leading to infant botulism, which is a very serious illness. It’s best not to give your child honey until they’re one year old. Honey is a sugar, so avoiding it will also help to prevent tooth decay.
Whole nuts, including peanuts, shouldn’t be given to children under five as they can choke on them. As long as there’s no history of food allergies or other allergies in your family you can give your baby peanuts once they’re six months old as long as they’re crushed or ground into peanut butter.
Fat is an important source of calories and some vitamins for babies and young children. It’s better for babies and young children under two to have full-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese rather than low-fat varieties.
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Don’t give your child too many foods that are high in saturated or ‘bad’ fat, such as crisps, chips, cheap burgers and cakes.
Shark, swordfish and marlin
Don’t give your baby shark, swordfish or marlin. The amount of mercury in these fish can affect a baby’s growing nervous system.
Raw shellfish can increase the risk of food poisoning so it’s best not to give it to babies.
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Raw and undercooked eggs
Eggs can be given to babies over six months old, but make sure they’re cooked until both the white and yolk are solid.
Culled from nhs.co.uk