Certain foods are unhealthy foods for babies and must be avoided entirely during a baby’s first year of life because of their potential to cause food-borne illness, digestive upset, and mercury exposure. It’s also important to avoid foods that pose choking hazards for babies.
Foods to Avoid until Your Baby is at Least One Year Old
Food Safety Concerns
Honey (in any form or amount) and corn syrup (to a lesser extent) may contain botulism, a serious food-borne illness that can be deadly for infants less than one year of age which causes infant botulism.
Low-acid home-canned foods (such as meat, poultry, fish, green beans, carrots, and asparagus) can also carry botulism. If your family eats these foods, it may be wise to avoid serving them to your infant; discuss this with your pediatrician and consult with a reputable home-canning agency.
Milk other than breast milk or infant formula (including cow’s, goat’s, soy, rice, and almond milks) are difficult for your baby to digest, and are nutritionally inadequate for infants.
Food Allergy Concerns
In the past, experts recommended delaying and/or avoiding certain highly allergenic foods (e.g., peanuts, milk, egg whites, wheat, and shellfish) for babies with a family history of allergies.
Environmental Contaminant Concerns
Children (including infants under one year of age) should avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish because of their high mercury content.
It is recommended that children not be served more than two child-size servings a week of canned “chunk light” tuna and no more than one serving a week of canned “solid white” or albacore tuna.
Infants and toddlers should not be served sugary or salty foods, nor have sugar or salt added to their foods. Consuming large amounts of sugar or salt is not healthy for youngsters and causes them to develop a taste preference for sweet and salty foods.