Weaning is an exciting time for you and your little one. It is a time of exploration and trying new things. Variety is key during weaning but there are also some foods to avoid when weaning.
There are so many different recipes out there for weaning, both online and in various recipe books. Prepared baby meals are also an option if you are in a rush or on the go. However, despite how grown up your little one is getting, they are still not little adults and do have to avoid certain foods.
Foods to avoid when weaning:
Honey – Honey should not be given to an infant less than 12 months of age. It may contain bacteria, which can cause serious illness called infant botulism.
Unpasteurised cheese, e.g. brie, blue cheese – The label will state “Made from raw milk” or “Made from unpasteurised milk”. Bacteria found in these cheeses can cause serious illness in vulnerable individual, such as babies.
Undercooked eggs – If you are serving your little one eggs, make sure they are well-cooked or hard boiled. The yolk should not be runny, but hard and pale yellow in colour. Under-cooked eggs can contain salmonella and cause illness.
If you are serving your little one eggs, make sure they are well-cooked or hard boiled.
Bran – Bran is a very high source of fibre. Large amounts of fibre can reduce the absorption of important nutrients and can be difficult for your little one to manage.
Tea – Caffeinated, decaffeinated, and herbal teas should not be included as part of the weaning diet. They reduce the absorption of important nutrients, such as iron and calcium and can also disrupt your little ones sleeping pattern.
Salt – Foods high in salt and the addition of extra salt to meals should not be used when weaning. A good idea is to remove your infant’s portion of food before adding any salt, commercial sauces or gravy. Evidence suggests that early salt intake may have a long term effect on blood pressure in later life.
Processed and cured meats – Meats such as ham, bacon, sausages and rashers are all very high in salt and contain additives. They are unsuitable to use when you are weaning.
High-fat and high-sugar foods – Your baby will naturally prefer sweet, high fat foods. However, these foods are not necessary and should be avoided to help reduce the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay. Nutritious savoury and plain foods should be offered instead.
Whole or chopped nuts – Nuts should not be given to children under 5 years of age due to the risk of choking.
Liver – Liver should be avoided as it contains too much vitamin A for infants.
Predatory Fish – Predatory fish such as shark, marlin, ray and fresh tuna can contain potentially high levels of harmful contaminants like mercury and should not be included in the weaning diet. All other fish are safe for infants and an important source of essential nutrients.