Just when you thought you were dominating the weaning situation with your baby, introducing them to new foods provides a whole new slew of doubts. Is it better to start off with fruits or baby food? Do you introduce them separately or all together? What is the ideal consistency? Do you need to salt it? And then the question of what you should feed your child for the next year and a half arises: what can I give my child to eat? What can be part of their menu?
The main rule to consider is that the objective is to get your child to eat off the same plate the rest of the family does. There are pediatricians who advise that be done as early as the first few months – with adaptations, of course, to the family menu, which has to be very healthy and with very little salt -, others will tell you to wait a little, especially because of the salt. But there are certain foods that tend to cause more allergies to babies that should only be introduced after they turn one, when the digestive system has matured a little more. See which ones should be avoided:
- Honey – It could contain bacteria that can cause botulism, and, given the baby’s immune system is still developing, they won’t be able to defend the child from this attack. It could also cause allergies and lead to anaphylaxis.
- Cow’s milk – The protein from this specific type of milk isn’t usually tolerated well by the baby’s digestive system, which is still forming. Besides irritating the intestinal lining, leading to serious allergies, it does not contain the proper amount of iron. Avoid milk derivatives such as cheese.
- Candy – It’s been proven that the early consumption of sugar could predispose your child to obesity, diabetes and cavities. It could also make them more agitated. Some sweets, such as cookies, are also rich in trans fat. If possible, only introduce sugar after the age of 2, and with a lot of moderation.
- Seafood – These have a high potential to trigger allergies and intoxication. Avoid shrimp, squid, oysters, clams… Fish is allowed, as long as it is not raw.
- Peanuts and cashews – This list also includes almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts… Besides being too hard to chew and a choking hazard, these pose a high allergen risk and could contain fungi that can lead to intoxication. Stay away!
- Canned and other industrialized foods – The amount of preservatives and other chemical additives is a bomb for your little one, aside from containing large amounts of salt, sugar and fat. Remove from the menu things such as sausages, ham, salami and anything else with too many additives.
- Coffee – it inhibits the absorption of some nutrients and excites the nervous system.
- Sodas and boxed juices – The high doses of sugar, preservatives and other chemical additives are the issue. Preferably, offer your child natural fruits.
- Powdered chocolate – It seems innocent when combined with milk, but these contain a high dose of sugar and chemical additives.
- Sweeteners – Saccharin and sodium cyclamate are a danger to small children as they can overwork the kidneys. If you really need to sweeten something up, use sugar-free jam or dry fruit (such as crushed raisins).
- Teas – Rich in tannin, these can be hard on the baby’s digestive movements.
- Strawberries and kiwi – Among all fruit, these are the ones more likely to trigger allergies.