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Baby Foods To Avoid In The First Year

By Shatavisha Chakravorty

From the moment our child is born, we work and we strive to ensure that we give only the best to our child. Be it the food that we give them or the clothes that they are made to wear, as parents, we go to any level to ensure that our child is given nothing less than the best.

Now, while things like health care and immunization are things we do not take a chance with, the fact is that we often end up neglecting the very foundation of health; i.e., the dietary habits of our little one.

Baby foods to avoid in first year

During the first few months, a child survives only on mother's breast milk. At this phase, providing him or her appropriate nutrition is not much of a challenge.

However, after the sixth month, the child is introduced to normal food and parents are encouraged to introduce cereals and pulses into their toddler's diet. Gradually, over time, the child is encouraged to take up more of regular food and lesser amount of breast milk.

While this is not just healthy but also ideal, care has to be taken to ensure that the child does not consume certain food items before he or she attains the age of 1 year. This article talks about those food items, which we must avoid giving to our baby.

1. Nuts And Peanut Butter

Seeing your older children's (or nephew's and niece's) love for peanut butter, you might be tempted to introduce the same to your little one. However, this is where you need to be careful. Many toddlers are allergic to nuts and peanut allergies are one of the most dangerous type of allergies for young kids. Thus, it is always a good idea to have a complete allergy test conducted on your toddler by a trusted paediatrician.

2. Seafood

Seafood allergy is something that usually runs in the family. Thus, if someone in your family suffers from an allergy towards seafood, you should make it a point to check with your paediatrician before giving your child his or her first bite of shellfish or seafood.

Many people are allergic to seafood in their infancy and then they naturally grow out of it as they get older. Thus, it is a good idea to wait till your child is a year old before you introduce him or her to the delicious world of seafood.

3. Honey

The bacteria of Clostridium botulinum are present in abundance in honey. These bacteria may cause botulism, muscle paralysis and a number of other serious maladies. The reason why consumption of honey does not cause these conditions in us adults is because our immune system is strong enough to combat this bacterium.

However, that is not the case for toddlers. Thus, it is advisable to wait until your child is of one year of age before you introduce him or her to honey. By then, their immune system will be strong enough to tackle the effect of Clostridium.

4. Chocolate

Most young children and pre-schoolers that you see around love chocolate. However, you must not forget that caffeine is one of the main ingredients of chocolate and that is something you would not want to give to a kid who is less than a year old.

Even after your child celebrates his or her first birthday, make sure that chocolate is something that is given only occasionally. The excess sugar that is present in chocolate will do small kids more harm than good.

5. Wheat

Gluten, which is a type of protein, is difficult for young children to digest. Wheat is something that contains gluten in abundance. That is the reason why many toddlers are severely allergic to wheat. However, most toddlers who are allergic to wheat initially are seen to grow out of that after they cross their first birthday. Thus, it is a good idea to introduce your child to wheat only after he or she is a year old.

6. Cow's Milk

This dairy product is infused with a number of proteins and minerals. While these nutrients are good for an adult, they are not easy to digest for a toddler. In extreme cases, it may also result in kidney issues for your little one.

Moreover, cow's milk does not contain the essential nutrients that your child needs for an effective growth and development. Hence, it is not advisable to feed cow's milk to very young kids. Human breast milk is the ideal dietary product for children under a year of age.

7. Egg White

Often, young children are found to be allergic to egg whites and it causes vomiting, diarrhoea and the occurrence of rashes in them. Thus, if your child has just started feeding on solid food, it is advisable that you keep them away from egg white. If you want to introduce them to the goodness of egg, start off with the egg yolk.

Start off by giving them one-fourth of an egg yolk when they are of 6 months of age and then gradually increase the quantity, so that by the time your child is of 11 months of age, she or he is able to consume the entire egg yolk. Give them egg white only after they are over one year of age.

8. Packed Fruit Juices

Any packed fruit juice will have tons of chemical preservatives and it is not advisable for you to serve the same to your child who is less than a year old. Orange and grapefruit juices are highly acidic and may have an adverse impact on your child's digestive system. It is suggested that you introduce your child to packaged fruit juices only after they are over a year of age.

Even then, you must start off with non-acidic fruits like apple juice. Dilute the juice with distilled water before you serve the same to your one year old child. In case you notice irregular bowel movements or indigestion in your kid after consuming the apple juice, report the same to your child's paediatrician immediately.

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    Read more about: baby foods
    Story first published: Thursday, May 31, 2018, 18:00 [IST]
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