List Of 21 Unsafe Foods Babies Can’t Eat In The First Year

Updated: 10/18/2019

The first year is the right time for parents to start feeding their babies solid foods, which is one of the most important stages of babies. Babies in the early age are keen on everything they see around. So, they will start to explore the world of interesting things with all their senses, looking around curiously, grabbing, and touching things and even tasting whatever in their hands. However, not all things are edible, so it is crucial for you to watch out the foods they put in their mouth. For most new moms, this year will be challenging and hard, as they have to learn how to protect their baby safe, take care of him, and start to develop his healthy eating habits. When starting to feed solid foods, every mom wants to give their baby a variety of food to ensure enough nutrient intake for the maximum growth and development. Most parents often keep an eye on what your baby response to foods he eats: he likes the food or he throws them away. Many parents also have a list of foods their baby enjoys and dislikes. However, the kinds of foods we should give our baby are more than what they like and what they hate. It is important for every parent to be aware of the foods babies can't eat in the first year.

Checkout The List Of Unsafe Foods Babies Can’t Eat In The First Year

1. Honey 

Honey is classified as one of the healthy foods for adults because of its rich nutrient content and benefits. However, for babies under one year, it is a must-avoiding food, according to a large number of baby nutritionists and health practitioners.

Feeding honey to babies under one year may develop botulism because honey sometimes has spores of Clostridium botulinum[1]. Botulism will cause a lot of health issues for infants as their digestive system is still weak and sensitive.

Suffering from botulism, your baby will have symptoms such as difficulty in sucking breast milk properly, repeated crying with a weak voice, constipation, or difficulty in pooping.

2. Cow Milk 

In most cases, nutritionists always advise breastfeeding babies for at least the first six months. This is because the breast milk is loaded with essential nutrients that are needed for the initial development of a baby. Breast milk is also effective in protecting your child against infections and allergies during the first year[2] [3].

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Unfortunately, some parents feed their babies under one year with cow milk without knowing that it can have some adverse effects on the baby’s health and development. The reason is that cow milk has some minerals babies cannot digest. In some cases, that will affect your baby’s kidneys.

Furthermore, cow's milk has lactose while some babies, especially under one year, are intolerant to lactose. If you feed a baby with lactose intolerance with cow milk and all dairy products rich in lactose, they will experience symptoms such as diarrhea and other allergic reactions[4].

Therefore, it is important for you to be careful when feeding your baby cow milk, one of the forbidden foods babies can’t eat in the first year. If you want to change your baby’s breastfeeding to cow milk, you should meet your doctor or a health practitioner to get useful advice on if feeding cow's milk is healthy or dangerous for your baby.

3. Nuts And Hard Foods 
foods babies can’t eat in the first year - nuts and hard foods

Never give your baby under one year the hard foods, including nuts because their teeth are not healthy enough to chew or bite something hard. Therefore, always feed your baby the soft foods that can dissolve in a baby's mouth.

Furthermore, these hard foods also make your baby likely to get choked. Furthermore, the hard and large-sized fresh fruits like watermelon, grapes, berries, etc. must be avoided too. Some uncooked vegetables such as radishes, carrots, etc. also lead to a choking hazard for your infants because these foods have the firm skin your baby cannot chew.

You can feed your baby these foods when they are more than one year old, as they have molars. However, make sure that you chew and chop these kinds of foods into small pieces that your baby may bite or swallow before giving it your little one.

4. Processed Grains 

Grains themselves are good for infant and baby’s health. Fiber present in grains is effective in developing a better metabolism[5] and boosting better digestion.

However, what foods babies can’t eat in the first year are processed or refined grains that lack some natural benefits and lose their nutrients. So, it is not a good choice for a baby.

Therefore, it is recommended replacing the processed grain with wholemeal grains in the diet of babies, and it is also important for you to develop a healthy eating habit for your baby. You should feed your baby the whole grains in different forms such as crackers, cereals, soups, bread, and pasta, etc.

5. Fruit Juices 

Although fruit juices are a healthy food choice for normal health, it is one of the foods babies can’t eat under 1 year. Babies under one year require a healthy diet for their healthy growth and development. The fruit juices are loaded a lot of calories that are too much for a baby. Furthermore, fruit juices also lack the essential nutrients for your baby’s development like calcium, fiber, vitamin D, fat, etc. None of these nutrients is present in fruit juices.

Moreover, fruit juices are high in sugar, so giving your baby excessive fruit juices can lead to tooth decay and other teeth problems.  Health practitioners and doctors forbid feeding babies less than six months with fruit juice. When your babies are at the age of more than one year, you can feed your baby the fruit juices in limited quantities.

6. Sugar Products

Sugar is not good for both adults and babies because of the heaps of health negatives. Health practitioners forbid babies and young children to be fed with sugar and sugar goods, especially in excessive qualities.

Feeding excessive sugar a baby will increase the risk of diabetes, overweight, and health issues in the long run[6]. Sugar should be avoided until your baby is at the age of more than two years.

Furthermore, when your babies are about one year old, you should give them various other flavors like salty or tangy foods to develop baby’s taste and keep them from tooth decay.

Instead of hard candies and sweets, you should feed baby soft fresh fruits with no sugar that are naturally sweet. But make sure that you chop the fruits into puree form or small pieces that are able to chew.

7. Unpasteurized Foods 

foods babies can’t eat in the first year - unpasteurized foods

Raw foods and other not-fully-cooked foods are no good for pregnant women and babies under the age of one year. This is because babies under one year do not have a strong digestive system.

Furthermore, unpasteurized food has bacteria that can harm your baby’s health. The digestive system of a baby under one year old can not fight against dangerous bacteria and viruses. Feeding your baby unpasteurized foods may lead to life-threatening medical problems in babies.

8. High-Mercury Fish 

Although many studies and research claim that feeding fish to babies will boost their brain development and IQs[7] [8], you never feed your babies fish with a high level of mercury like king mackerel, swordfish, and fresh tuna.

You should feed them other safe varieties such as trout, tilapia, and wild salmon. Canned tuna is okay to feed babies, but you should choose the canned chunk light tuna as it has less mercury, compared with the albacore.

9. Cured/Smoked Meats 

According to new studies, cured, smoked, or barbecued meats are loaded with a high level of nitrates that are found to be linked to an increased risk of cancer[9] [10].

Therefore, never feed your babies with cured/smoked meats. Furthermore, salami and bacon are loaded with animal fats and sodium, all of which are not good for a baby under one year.

10. Allergenic Foods 

Eggs, wheat, peanuts, shellfish, certain citrus fruits, tomatoes, and strawberries are also foods babies can’t eat in the first year. The reason is that these foods commonly trigger allergic reactions in the body, especially babies with the weak digestive system.

According to pediatricians, these foods are fed to the baby more than age 1. But it is important for you to introduce these foods slowly once at a time to prevent a reaction.

11. Peanut Butter 

Peanut butter can lead to a choking hazard in babies and young children as it is sticky and thick. Furthermore, it also causes an allergic reaction in some babies[11]. So, it is recommended to avoid feeding baby these solid, sticky foods that may cause an allergic reaction for at least a few months.

12. Chocolate 

Chocolate is loaded with caffeine and sugar; therefore, it is one of the forbidden foods babies can’t eat in the first year if you do not want your baby can not sleep through the night.

Furthermore, chocolate is not good for baby’s developing teeth. If you let young children eat a piece of chocolate, a tooth-brushing after that is very important to prevent tooth decay and other teeth problems.

13. Egg Whites

Egg whites can lead to dangerous symptoms in babies and young children. So, it is a reason why many pediatricians advise parents not to feed their baby egg whites until he is older than one year. Compared with egg white, egg yolks are safer. But make sure that the egg yolks are completely cooked before feeding your baby.

14. Certain Vegetables 
foods babies can’t eat in the first year - certain vegetables

Beef, Spinach, lettuce, and collard greens are forbidden foods babies can’t eat in the first year, as they are loaded with a high level of nitrates[12] [13] that your baby’s stomach can not process and digest properly. Baby’s stomach acid is not enough to break the excess nitrates. The result is that it affects the ability of the blood to deliver oxygen throughout the body.

If you want to add a vegetable to your baby’s diet, you can choose healthier choices such as soft squash, peas, and cooked sweet potatoes that are high in vitamins and low in nitrate.

15. Berries And Citrus Fruits 

Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries and other citrus fruits are loaded with protein that seems good for normal adults, but they are not recommended for babies under one year. This is because the protein content in berries is difficult for infants and young children to digest.

Furthermore, the citrus fruits have an acid that leads to an iffy stomach and rashes in the diaper area.

The great suggestion is to wait until your baby is older than one year to feed the berries and citrus fruits. It is better for you to juice up these drinks and then diluted in water to prevent an allergic reaction.

16. Wheat 

Wheat is one of the foods babies can’t eat in the first year. This is because there is a strong link between wheat and allergy. Furthermore, if you have a family history of an allergic reaction to wheat, you should keep your baby completely stay away from this food until he turns one.

Another reason for babies to avoid wheat is that it is loaded with gluten, a protein causing tummy trouble for the babies.

17. Salt 

Have you often add salt to your baby food? Salt is often added into many dishes. Although it is not actually the food, we still want to mention salt in this article.

In fact, babies do not need too much salt in their diet because their daily salt requirement is the same as breast milk.

Too much salt in baby’s food can put the pressure in a little kidney’s function[14], making it unable to deal with the excessive load. A childhood diet high in salt is linked to diseases such as osteoporosis, hypertension, and respiratory illnesses.

18. Biscuits 
foods babies can’t eat in the first year - biscuits

Many parents give their kids biscuits when they get hungry. In the morning and evening, dipping a biscuit in the milk is thing parents often do when they do not have time to cook for their children.

However, the biscuits that are sold in stores are not healthy because it is high in artificial flavors and preservatives. Also, it is loaded with a lot of sugar. Furthermore, people often use refined wheat flour to make biscuits.

Due to these reasons, it is better for you to keep kids over one year away from biscuits. And babies under one year must avoid this food completely.

19. Processed Baby Foods 

Busy moms often go for commercial baby foods due to their convenient option; however, they are foods babies can’t eat in the first year because of additives and preservatives that are used to improve the food taste and lengthen its use.

The ingredient list of these processed baby foods is often complicated for you to understand, and most customers do not know how long these food products sit on the shelves.

Furthermore, eating these processed baby foods, your baby will miss out on some benefits of fresh homemade food.

20. Deep-Fried Foods

Some moms like to share their fried snack or crispy samosa with their baby, but we suggest you do not. The fried foods are loaded with unhealthy fats such as saturated fat and trans fat, and none of which are healthy and good for anyone, including all little babies.

Furthermore, these foods will make the stomach full and prevent your babies from consuming other healthy foods.

21. Coffee And Tea 

Baby needs only breast milk and then water as their only drinks. Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and tea, should not be fed to your children, especially babies under one.

Besides, coffee can lead to irritation in your baby’s tummy while the tannin found in tea affect the absorbing iron of the baby’s body.

We finished the list of foods babies can’t eat in the first year. It seems difficult for you to avoid these foods completely as there are a lot of tempting forces around you. However, we believe that nothing is better than your baby’s health. Is there anyone who has the same thought as me? You will feel it is your primary responsibility to ensure babies eat a healthy and balanced diet. Some people may say that the babies can have some foods on this list before they turn one and everything goes fine. However, maybe these foods do not have any immediate harmful effects, but it increases the risk of many health issues later. Prevention is better than cure. So, it is great to avoid these risky foods for your baby under one instead of feeding your baby this food, and you will regret. Finally, you can leave any questions you want to ask in the comment section in, and we will answer them as soon as we can.

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