5 plant-based foods not to feed a baby! Wondering what foods not to feed baby? Keep these somewhere handy if you have a new eater.
Figuring out what is and isn’t safe for babies to eat can be overwhelming.
While most foods can be offered to babies, provided they are served in an age and texture-appropriate form, there are a few foods and ingredients that are off-limits.
Why? Certain foods simply aren’t safe for babies to have, partly because they don’t yet have teeth and are still developing the physiology to handle certain textures and consistencies. Plus, some just aren’t good for them.
Below are the main items to avoid when you have a new eater, plus what you can offer them instead that’s safer and better for their stage of development.
5 Plant-Based Foods Not to Feed Baby
Keep these somewhere you can easily access them if needed.
1. Processed Meat Alternatives
While the convenience of these types of plant-based foods are nice for adults, they’re not meant for infants.
This is because these items are too high in sodium for babies. Their kidneys don’t quite have the ability to remove excess sodium from their bodies yet.
Instead, opt for whole foods such as tofu, tempeh, and beans seasoned with salt-free flavor enhancers such as oil, herbs, and spice.
Plant-based or not, honey is a no-no for babes.
Honey can contain bacteria that cause infant botulism, called Clostridium botulinum. Infant botulism is a medical emergency. This disease eventually causes paralysis of the intestine and other symptoms like severe muscle weakness and drooping eyelids.
Avoid honey for babies under 12 months old. Instead, use fruits such as bananas or pitted dates to add sweetness to foods that baby will be consuming.
3. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
Experts recommend that babies avoid added sugar until 2 years of age. This is because it increases risk for cavities. Additionally, a high intake of added sugar can contribute to unwanted weight gain, and increased risk for chronic diseases.
Not to mention, it offers no nutritional value.
Remember that added sugar is different from sugar naturally found in whole foods like fruit.
But even when kids reach age 2, it’s still advised to limit sugar-sweetened beverages like juice. The only beverages your babe needs before 1 year are breast milk, formula, or small amounts of water with meals.
4. Whole Nuts
Nuts are a plant-based diet staple, yes, but they’re also a choking hazard for littles.
You can offer this instead as a nut butter spread, thinned with water. Try drizzling it thinly on foods or puree it into sauces.
Or, you can also grind nuts into a dry powder and sprinkle it on top of other foods, like rice, oatmeal, or cooked pasta.
Avoid introducing your child to whole nuts until they are at least 4-5 years old.
5. Raw Hard Fruits and Veggies
Some of the best examples of no-no fresh produce are carrots and apples when they’ve not been peeled or soft-cooked/pureed.
That’s because these are another major choking hazard for babes.
Once baby is starting to get the hang of feeding, which is generally around 8-10 months, you can offer these foods shredded or grated to expose them to new flavors and textures.
Those are our 5 plant-based foods not to feed a baby! When it comes to what foods not to feed baby, the good news is that there are plenty more that you CAN offer while they’re little. Just save these few for when they’re a bit older.
Chime In: Are you surprised by any of these foods? Have you heard of other foods that are best avoided for new eaters?
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