If you're starting your baby's weaning journey, you'll need to know these 9 foods to avoid before your baby turns 1.
Weaning your baby can be a daunting experience, and it's natural to spend a lot of time researching and obsessing over what your little one can and can't eat.
It might seem little comfort at the time but motherly instinct kicks in and you learn as you go.
There are of course foods you must not give your baby before they turn one, and indeed even for years after that.
So to get you started on your weaning journey, here is a list of 9 foods to avoid before your baby turns 1.
9 foods to avoid before your baby turns 1
- Honey: Occasionally, honey contains bacteria that can produce toxins in a baby's intestines, leading to infant botulism, which is a very serious illness. Honey is also a sugar, so avoiding it will help prevent tooth decay.
- Salt: Salt contains sodium, and when babies have too much, their kidneys can’t cope. Evidence also suggests that early salt intake may have long-term effects on your baby’s blood pressure. Babies under 1 year old should have less than 1g of salt a day and they get most of that from their milk.
- Sugar: Babies and toddlers shouldn't have any added sugar in their diets as it can leave them addicted to sweet foods later in life.
- Whole nuts: Whole nuts and peanuts should not be given to children under 5 years old, as they can choke on them. You can give your baby nuts and peanuts from around 6 months old, as long as they're crushed, ground or a smooth nut or peanut butter.
- Unpasteurized cheese: Babies and young children should not eat mould-ripened soft cheeses, such as brie or camembert, or ripened goats' milk cheese and soft blue-veined cheese, such as roquefort. There's a higher risk that these cheeses might carry a bacteria called listeria. Many cheeses are made from unpasteurised milk.
- Raw or lightly-cooked eggs: Under-cooked eggs may contain salmonella bacteria, which can cause food poisoning. Also steer clear of any foods containing raw egg, such as mousses, homemade ice cream and homemade mayonnaise.
- Raw shellfish, swordfish, shark, marlin: Children under the age of 16 should avoid eating any shark, swordfish or marlin. This is because the levels of mercury in these fish can affect a child's nervous system. Avoid giving raw shellfish to babies and children to reduce their risk of getting food poisoning.
- Rice drinks: Babies and young children under 5 years old should not be given rice drinks, because of the levels of arsenic in these products. If your child has an allergy or intolerance to milk, talk to your health visitor or pediatrician. They can advise you about suitable milk alternatives.
- Choking hazards: Choking hazards include whole grapes, whole tomato, boiled sweets, marshmallow, raisins and popcorn.