Weaning Foods to Avoid

 Photo credit @imperfectproduce Instagram

Photo credit @imperfectproduce Instagram

Sometimes the hardest thing about weaning, or starting to feed your baby, is knowing what not to feed your baby.

Our partner, paediatric dietician, Bianca Parau has put together this helpful list of what foods to.

Please note, these are general guidelines, we hope this quick checklist is helpful. It can be so confusing when you start weaning and we want to create a series of blog's with bite size information for parents starting their baby eating adventure. 

 

 Foods to avoid (general guidelines)

  • SALT – Babies under a 1 year should not have any salt added to their foods as this can strain immature kidneys and cause dehydration. A preference for salt can be established at an early age and eating too much salt may lead to high blood pressure later in life.
  • SMOKED FOODS - also to be avoided
  • SUGAR – Try to avoid foods with added sugar. Adding sugar to babies’ food increases the risk of tooth decay and may be habit forming.
  • RAW or LIGHTLY COOKED EGGS – Due to the risk of salmonella infection, eggs should not be given before 6 months and should be cooked until the yolk and white is solid.
  • UNPASTEURISED CHEESES – Avoid unpasteurised cheeses before 12 months due to the risk of listeria infection; for example Brie, Camembert, or Danish Blue. 
  • SHELLFISH – Should not be given until at least 1 year. If there is a family history of shellfish allergy, avoid feeding your baby shellfish.
  • CHOPPED & WHOLE NUTS – are not recommended before the age of 5 due to the risk of choking. There is also the risk of allergic reaction to nuts: if there is a family history of nut allergy consult with your doctor, GP or paediatrician. 
  • HONEY – Should not be given before 1 year. Very occasionally honey can contain a type of bacteria which can result in a potentially serious illness to your baby called “infant botulism”
  • ARTIFICIAL ADDITIVES – Avoid giving drinks which contain artificial additives for example sweeteners and colourings, which are banned by law from baby foods and drinks
  • COFFEE & TEA – Compounds in tea and coffee interfere with your child’s nutrient absorption. 

If you have a family history of food allergies please consult your GP, doctor or paediatrician. For example:

  • GLUTEN – If you have a family history of gluten allergy or intolerance, avoid foods containing gluten. Wheat contains a natural protein called gluten. Similar proteins are found in other cereals such as rye or barley. When buying baby cereals and rusks around 4 to 6 months, check the food label if you want to avoid gluten. Baby rice is the safest to try first.

Paediatric dietitian Bianca Parau offers expert advice and nutritional guidance to children and their families. She started her career in South-Africa, after graduating from the University of the Free State. Since relocating to the United Kingdom she's worked at various NHS hospitals and health centres across the country. In addition to private consultations, Bianca does consultancy work, she is a spokesperson for nutrition related topics and she writes peer reviews as well as articles for various publications. 

Her NHS clinical role at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital includes a specialist multidisciplinary Feeding Clinic, for children with eating problems often resulting from a history of gastrointestinal problems and food allergy

visit https://www.lavie-nutrition.com for more information

Miriam Cooper