As a mom, you’re bound to have countless questions about feeding your baby and what’s best for their health. As an Indian mom, it’s even more complex, balancing traditional wisdom with modern advice. Your baby’s well-being is paramount, especially when it comes to food. While there are food charts to help, here’s a list of 10 foods to avoid until your little one turns one. Making the right choices for your precious bundle of joy is what matters most!
10 Foods Not to Give Babies Under 1: Foods to Avoid for Babies Under One Year
In many places across India, honey is the first food given to babies. The reason behind this is the belief that the first taste a baby should have is of something sweet. But breast milk is naturally sweet too! Honey contains the spores of Clostridium botulinum, a kind of bacteria that causes a serious condition called infant botulism. This is a severe disease that causes muscle weakness and breathing problems, among other symptoms. Learn more about this disease here.
One common question asked by Moms is whether to add salt to baby food. The truth is, babies don’t need salt in their diet as their requirements are met with breast milk or formula. Extra salt can strain their little kidneys, and a high-salt diet in childhood may lead to health issues later in life. Check out this article for alternative ways to add flavor to your baby’s food without using salt.
Sweet foods have a lot of significance in Indian culture, and it is often used as a tool to attract children. While sugar is harmful for kids of all ages, it is particularly dangerous for babies under one. Sugar is refined through processes that include several chemicals can have adverse effects on your baby’s health. Besides this, excessive sugar during the growing years can result in tooth decay. It also suppresses immunity and makes babies prone to lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
4. Cow’s Milk
There are many people who are going to tell you that it’s perfectly fine to give babies cow’s milk, especially since babies need calcium for their bones. While it is true that babies need the nutrients, they’ll get everything they require and more from breast milk itself! Cow’s milk has too much protein for baby’s delicate systems to process, and it can also trigger allergies. Considering everything, it’s best to avoid cow’s milk before your baby’s first birthday.
Biscuits are often our quick fix when kids get hungry, and we enjoy them with tea as a cherished ritual. However, store-bought biscuits are far from healthy, loaded with preservatives, artificial flavors, and excessive sugar. Even the ones claiming to be ‘oats’ or ‘whole wheat’ are often made from refined wheat flour. For babies under one year, it’s crucial to avoid biscuits, and it’s better to do so even for older kids. Instead, opt for safer choices like organic cookies or explore healthy homemade cookie recipes.
6. Processed Baby Foods
Store-bought baby foods might be convenient for busy moms, but they often contain preservatives and additives for extended shelf life. Understanding the ingredient list can be tricky, and you can’t be sure how long they’ve been on the shelves. Choosing homemade food ensures fresher, more nutritious options without compromising on hygiene and safety. When it comes to nutritional content, homemade mixes definitely outshine store-bought foods.
7. Deep Fried Foods
It may be tempting to share your crispy samosa or fried snack with your baby, but it’s best you don’t! As we all know, fried food is high in unhealthy fats like trans fat and saturated fat, none of which are good for anyone, least of all little babies. What’s more, these foods can be filling, which can prevent your baby from eating other, healthy foods. If you really want to give your baby something of this sort, try baking it instead of frying.
8. Tea and Coffee
The only drink your baby should be having before six months is breast milk, and after that, water. Caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee should not be given to young children, particularly babies under one. Coffee can cause irritation in the tummy, and the tannin present in tea prevents the baby’s body from absorbing iron.
9. Sugary Sweets
Like we said, sweets have prime importance in Indian homes, and it seems natural to pop a piece of barfi or jalebi into a baby’s mouth. But such sweets are full of empty calories, filled with sugar and ghee. Indian sweets are often deep fried as well. These sweets take up the little space in your baby’s tummy, leaving behind no place for healthy foods. Also, frequent intake of sweets at such a young age can result in it becoming a habit, which is very hard to get rid of later.
10. Allergenic Foods
Foods that trigger allergy in your baby can only be identified once your baby has tried them, which is why we always stress on following the 3-day rule when introducing anything new in your baby’s diet. Be especially careful with foods that have a family history of causing allergies. Once your baby exhibits allergy symptoms on eating any food, avoid it at least till the baby’s first birthday, and then consult your pediatrician for further advice.
As you read through this list of foods to avoid for babies under one, I understand it can be challenging to go against different opinions around you. But always remember, your child’s health is your top priority, and you have the primary responsibility to make the best choices for them. While some may share stories of their babies trying these foods without issues, it’s essential to be cautious. After all, prevention is better than cure, and avoiding risky foods is a wise decision to ensure your baby’s well-being. Trust your instincts and prioritize your little one’s health above all else.