Diet Dangers: Baby Foods to Avoid (page 2)

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Updated on Feb 22, 2012

Allergy Alert

Certain foods, such as peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, wheat and shellfish, pose a high risk of allergic reaction, especially in younger babies and toddlers.

In general, you should delay offering peanuts and tree nuts until age 1 for non food-sensitive children, but wait until your child's 2 years old if he has other allergies or is sensitive to certain dishes, says Dolgoff. While egg yolks are fine, egg whites can contain proteins that could cause an allergic reaction, so wait until your baby is 12 months old to try offering egg whites. Wheat is usually fine after 8 months, but shellfish should be delayed for 12. Of course, always check with your pediatrician before you offer foods that have a high instance of allergic reaction.

When you're ready to try a dish that may pose an allergy threat, such as peanut butter, offer a small quantity on its own so it's easier to pinpoint the cause of a possible reaction. Red spots, a swollen tongue and difficult swallowing are all earmarks of an allergy, so call your pediatrician immediately if you notice any symptoms.

Honey Hazard

Honey contains the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, which are known to cause botulism, and should never be given to your little one until he's at least a year old. While a mature, adult digestive system can protect against bacterial spores, a baby's immature digestive system can't, so exposure to honey can be dangerous. Despite what your mother-in-law says, you'll never need to add honey or corn syrup to your baby's bottle for any reason. Corn syrup and molasses also contain bacteria, and are on the list of baby foods to avoid until he's 2 years old.

Allow your pediatrician to be your partner in deciphering which foods to give your baby. While you're probably excited to feed your baby from your plate, it's always best to go slow and offer just one or two new foods at a time. As your baby's digestive system matures after 2 years, it's usually fine to offer a wide variety of foods for a healthy diet and well-rounded palate.

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