THREE FOODS YOU SHOULDN'T FEED YOUR BABY
For parents transitioning to solids, it is an exciting and fun part of the first year of their little one’s life. With each new food come priceless faces and reactions. And if you opt to introduce solids to baby with the Little Foodie Club 21 Days to Solids plan, you’ll have the exhilaration of a new ingredient every day!
However, while variety is key in laying the foundation of a lifetime of healthy eating habits, there are some ingredients that may not be the best for your little foodie. These foods can indeed adversely affect your baby's health and development and if you’re wondering what these foods are, keep reading.
While sugars are naturally found in many nutritious organic foods, it’s the added sugars you should be on the look out for as these reduce the nutrient density of foods rendering them less nutritious. Naturally occurring sugars such as sucrose and fructose are inherently found in all fruits, many dairy products and some vegetables, and offer essential nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C and folate. Added sugars, on the other hand, are added during the manufacturing process. These sugars commonly appear in baked or processed foods but they’re not always labeled as sugar. Watch out for anything containing the word “syrup” (like corn syrup, malt syrup, and high-fructose corn syrup) or ending in “-ose,” ( dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose, and trehalose).
Babies only need a tiny amount of salt, less than 1g (0.03oz) a day until they are 12 months old. Before transitioning to solids, babies get all the necessary sodium from breastmilk or formula and once eating solids that continues so it is unnecessary to add salt to your baby’s food – even if you think it tastes bland. The reasons to avoid salt are twofold: Firstly while babies’ kidneys are still developing, they can’t actually cope with more salt than what they naturally receive. Adding salt to a baby’s diet can be harmful to their immature kidneys, which in turn can have a series of series developmental and health implications. Secondly, salting baby foods can lead to a lifelong preference for salty foods, and that can endanger a child’s future health. Excessive salt consumption contributes to high blood pressure and a number of other serious health issues.
Adding honey to pacifiers or baby foods has commonly been used in the past because babies enjoy its sweet taste and its claimed health benefits include easing constipation or colic. But giving honey to babies below the age of one is a big no no! Honey contains Clostridium botulinum spores, which are largely harmless for a developed gut. But because infants' gastrointestinal tracts are still developing, if botulism spores are ingested, they’re the much more likely to grow and produce the botulism toxin and cause a baby to fall ill. Symptoms of botulism include constipation, a weak cry, appearing lethargic or “floppy”, loss of facial expression, or feeding poorly. If you suspect your baby may have ingested honey and is showing any of these signs, see a doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.