Health Library

Categories > Parenting > Newborn/infant care

What foods should I avoid feeding my infant?

Avoid feeding your baby certain foods at the beginning of his or her life. They include:

  • Salt. Baby’s kidneys can be damaged by salt, which is why baby foods aren’t allowed to contain it. Babies under 1 year should have less than 1 gram of salt a day, which is less than 0.4 grams of sodium.
  • Sugar. Sugary foods and drinks can lead to tooth decay when your baby’s teeth start to come in. They can also cause your baby to develop a sweet tooth.
  • Honey. Honey occasionally contains a type of bacteria that can produce toxins in a baby’s belly, which can cause a serious illness called infant botulism in children younger than 1 year old.
  • Cow’s milk. Babies under 1 year old don’t get enough vitamin E, iron and essential fatty acids from cow’s milk. They also get too much protein, sodium and potassium. Also, whole cow’s milk protein and fat are more difficult for an infant to digest and absorb. Instead, give your baby breast milk or formula.
  • Nuts. Be wary of choking hazards and allergies—wait until your child is 2 or 3 years old to introduce peanuts and tree nuts.
  • Peanut butter. Its sticky consistency can make peanut butter difficult for a young child to swallow. Plus it may trigger an allergic reaction.
  • Eggs. Eggs (particularly the whites) may cause an allergic reaction, especially if given too early.

For all these foods, ask your pediatrician when you can start them.