Some Ingredients to Avoid While Feeding Your Baby

Some Ingredients to Avoid While Feeding Your Baby

It is the parents who decide the order in which products are introduced into the baby’s diet. You can start with vegetables or fruits, but in parallel, you can gradually introduce meat, fish, eggs, cereal products, fats, and natural dairy products. However, there are some products that should definitely be avoided during the first year of a baby’s life and even longer. Some products are banned for health reasons, and some for safety reasons.

What not to feed a baby with up to 6 months

All experts agree on the duration of exclusive breastfeeding. It should last at least until the child is six months old. The World Health Organization recommends continued breastfeeding until two years while introducing solid foods.

Breast milk is an extraordinary and irreplaceable source of nutrients, which also has antibacterial properties and stimulates the immune response. Breast milk reduces the risk of obesity and overweight, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, and allergies. Breastfed children experience gastrointestinal and respiratory tract infections less often. If, for some reason, you do not breastfeed, you should feed your little one with baby formula, which is a great alternative to breast milk. Consider choosing an organic baby formula from a trusted manufacturer, for example, HiPP Dutch Stage 2. Check with your baby’s pediatrician to select the most suitable formula for your baby.

Expanding the baby’s diet — first meals

The current recommendations do not make any distinction between breastfed and formula-fed children. The principles of expanding the diet are the same in both cases. There is no rigid calendar for the child’s nutrition. The choice of the sequence and time of introducing new foods belongs to the parent. However, vegetables are preferred first due to their neutral, less attractive taste compared to sweet fruits. There is no evidence that delaying the introduction of potentially allergenic foods (egg, gluten, fish, peanuts) protects against the development of a food allergy.

Which products to avoid in a baby’s diet

Now, let’s look at the products that are potentially harmful to the delicate little body of your baby.


Honey may contain the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, which can cause a dangerous, life-threatening disease in infants, infantile botulism. Babies who are twelve months old are already able to cope with these bacteria, so honey can already be introduced into the baby’s diet.

Forest mushrooms

Forest mushrooms can be introduced into the child’s diet at the earliest after the age of twelve. The reason is the risk of poisoning with which the young body of the child may not cope. You need to be a really good specialist to be sure that among the beautiful-looking and fragrant porcini mushrooms or chanterelles, there is not a poisonous mushroom impersonating them. Children react much more seriously to poisoning than adults. In the case of children, as much as half of poisoning ends in death. Therefore, if you decide to eat forest mushrooms at all, you should absolutely buy them from a reliable source.

On the other hand, farmed mushrooms, such as champignons, can be introduced to the baby’s diet already in the first year of life.

Highly processed products

These are usually very salty or very sweet and often contain many additives that can cause negative health effects (especially when eaten often), so they should not be included in the diet of infants and can be present only occasionally in the diet of older children.

Raw sprouts

Sprouts need moist and warm conditions to grow, which are conducive to the development of bacteria such as salmonella and listeria. Therefore, they can be a source of food poisoning, which, as mentioned above, a toddler’s body may not cope with as well as an adult’s body. Therefore, raw sprouts should not be given to children before the age of five.

Fruit juices

These are not recommended in the diet of infants due to the high content of free sugars. They make it difficult to build good eating habits. Drinking juice (also fresh, made at home) is not tantamount to eating fruit because the juice is devoid of essential ingredients contained in whole fruit, such as fiber. It is easier to drink the juice of a few apples than to eat a few apples.

The acceptable daily intake of juices depends on age:

  • 2-3 years – 120 ml
  • 4-6 years – 180 ml
  • over 6 years – 240 ml.

Cow, sheep, goat milk

Due to the low iron content, vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency, and the high concentration of minerals, it is not recommended to give goat and sheep milk to children under a year. Cow’s milk burdens the kidneys, increases the risk of iron deficiency, and may contribute to the child’s allergy. However, you can feed your little one with yogurt or cheese. Initially in small quantities, from 6–9 months, avoiding blue cheese (risk of listeriosis infection).

Raw meat, fish, eggs

Infants should not be given raw meat, fish, or eggs due to the risk of infection with parasites and bacteria. Meat should be purchased from reliable sources and inspected by the veterinary inspectorate. It is also not recommended to include processed meat (sausages, frankfurters, cold cuts) in an infant’s diet.

The most desirable fish in a child’s diet is fatty fish, rich in DHA acids (Atlantic herring, flounder, cod, farmed trout, wild salmon), while predatory fish (mackerel, tuna) are contraindicated due to the risk of heavy metal accumulation.

When adding eggs to your diet, remember that they should be well cooked, reducing the risk of Salmonella infection and an allergic reaction.

Salt and sugar

Research shows that 30% of infants and 83% of children over a year receive salted meals, and 75% of children over a year months consume excessive amounts of sugar. Adults believe that it is worth spicing a meal prepared for a child to make it seem tastier. Meanwhile, to shape proper eating habits and preferences, salt and sugar in the diet should be limited. The addition of white sugar in fruit mousses and other meals may contribute to tooth decay, excessive body weight, appetite disorders, and constipation. Excessive salt intake, on the other hand, may increase the risk of developing high blood pressure later in life.