With my second baby, I was able to breastfed her up to six- eight months. Each phase of being a mom is a tough challenge for me because no two children are the same. As I have mentioned in baby milestones of progress at seven and eight months, my baby is now sitting without support, pulls self to standing, and picks things up with thumb-finger grasp. These are good signs that my baby is ready to start for weaning. First, I started to feed her baby cereals and fruits puree such as Apple and banana. Now my concern is the foods to avoid.
Our baby’s digestive system needs time to adjust from a diet of milk only, so it is best not to batter them with excessive flavors too quickly. When is the best time to introduce new food or flavor to your baby? When I spoke with my baby’s pediatrician, she told me that for babies 6 months onward, it is recommended to introduce new flavor or food to my baby every after four days. To learn more helpful tips about weaning and first foods, I have read some books and I would like to share what I’ve learned.
Foods to avoid for babies in weaning and first foods
If you are going to wean before 6 months, a number of foods must be avoided. All babies under 12 months need to avoid honey, shellfish, salt and sugar.
- Grains: such as wheat, oats, barley and rye. The protein found in these grains, known as gluten, can lead to coeliac disease in some susceptible infants, causing damage to the intestine. This mostly runs in families but, because it is difficult to detect in babies, it makes sense not to introduce grains until the intestine is more mature and able to digest this protein.
- Acidic fruits: such as citrus fruits, berries and currants, and strong-tasting fruits such as rhubarb, gooseberries and plums. These can be difficult for an immature digestive system to digest and their strong taste can be off-putting for a young baby.
- Strong spices and flavourings: such as garlic or other herbs.
- Salt: occurs naturally in food, but a baby’s kidneys cannot cope with any further doses of salt. Adding it could also lead to a salt preference and high blood pressure later on in life. Avoid stock cubes, yeast extract, canned pulses with added salt, salted or cured bacon or ham, smoked or salted fish and hydrolyzed vegetable protein.
- Sugar: choose food that has naturally occurring sugar, so that your baby does not grow up with a sweet tooth or susceptibility to tooth decay.
- Honey: this occasionally contains a bacterium that can cause botulism in babies; avoid giving in before 12 months.
- Nuts and seeds: such as peanuts, and tree nuts, such as walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts, as well as sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, can trigger allergies in some children.
- Cow’s, goat’s or soya milk: unless specially modified for babies. Give soya or goat’s milk only on the advice of a doctor or specialist.
- Eggs: can trigger an allergic reaction. Avoid both egg yolk and egg white at this stage.
- Offal: such as cow’s, pig’s or chicken liver. Avoid because the vitamin A levels that they contain are too high for a tiny baby.
- Shellfish: are strong-tasting and common cause of tummy upsets, so are best avoided until your baby is 12 months old.
- Foods high in fibre: such as dried or canned pulses or beans and lentils (red lentils can be introduced in tiny amounts from 5 months). Fibre has too strong a laxative effect and this will prevent the absorption of vital nutrients from the rest of the meal.
Source: Practical Parenting, Weaning and First Foods by Sarah Lewis