What foods should you avoid feeding a baby before 12 months?
Cow’s milk and honey. These pose particular risks to children less than a year old because:
- Children less than 12 months old aren’t yet able to break down and digest cow’s milk, which can lead to a variety of health issues.
- Honey sometimes has microscopic spores that can cause infant botulism. Adults and older kids can fight off toxins from these spores, but babies’ digestive systems are still too immature.
Why do other websites make it sound like there are so many other dangerous foods to feed infants?
Pediatricians had once recommended waiting to introduce foods considered to have allergy risks, such as peanuts, fish and eggs, but new evidence suggests those foods are fine.
While breast milk or formula are ideal sources of nutrition up to a year old, health authorities say all other foods can be introduced at around six months old.
That said, any foods that are too big or too thick can pose choking hazards, like grapes and peanut butter. Pediatricians recommend such foods should be pureed, thinned and/or finely diced.
Why should I trust you?
In doing thorough research on this topic, we found these to be the most useful and factual sources. We recommend reading them if you’d like more in-depth information:
- “Why Formula Instead of Cow’s Milk?” by HealthyChildren.org.
- “Infant Botulism” by American Family Physician.
- “Effects of Early Nutritional Interventions on the Development of Atopic Disease in Infants and Children” by the AAP.