There are some dos and don’ts when you start introducing solids to your baby. Some parents may jump in with foods they think its okay for their baby to have.
However there is an easy guide to follow on the types of foods to hold on and how young is too young for babies to eat adult foods.
Babies are considered learner eaters from around six months and their eating habits change months after.
Foods to wait on
Do not give your baby more adult foods, such as sweetened beverages, chips or cookies, they may seem like a treat for your little one, but they will do more harm than good in the long run.
Hold up on the sugar and salt
Some babies are being introduced to salty snacks, chips and soft drinks as young as 7 to 8 months old. These foods are inappropriate for such young children and run the risk of filling them up before they can eat other meals. This also establishes poor eating habits at a very young age that may become harder to change as time goes on.
Do not offer sweetened beverages
Sweetened drinks, including fruit juice, should not be part of the baby's diet. Moderate amounts of diluted fruit juice can be included.
Waiting on cow’s milk
The World Health Organisation recommends that infants be fed breastmilk during the first years of life. Cow's milk is not an appropriate beverage for your baby before 1 year of age. Please consult your health care professional regarding age appropriate alternatives to cow’s milk.
Consult your doctor
Talk with your healthcare professional to see which milk option is right for your child once he’s reached his 1 year old birthday.
Hold off on the honey
Honey can contain botulinum spores and cause serious health problems. Even in small amounts, honey can be dangerous for a baby younger than 12 months. Make sure you use irradiated honey if you choose to use this after 12 months. Check the bottle or container to see if it has been irradiated.
Your baby will start out with thinly pureed foods, work up to thicker textures, then move to tender pieces of food. You might think he’s ready to handle more, but avoid giving your baby foods known choking hazards for the first 3 years or more.
Some foods that may be choking hazards:
- Raisins and whole grapes.
- Popcorn, nuts and seeds.
- Hot dogs, chunks of meat or poultry.
- Spoonfuls of peanut butter.
- Hard, raw or chunky fruits and vegetables such as whole peas, raw carrots, celery sticks or apples.
- Gum, chewy or hard candy.