As your baby grows, he’ll aspire to sample food from your plate– and you’ll aspire to present some variety to his diet. However not all foods are safe for your child. Some pose a choking threat, and a few aren’t helpful for your baby’s still-developing digestive system.
Unsafe Foods: Birth to 4 to 6 months
All food and drinks except breast milk or formula: The AAP suggests feeding your baby just breast milk or formula for the first 4 to six months.
Unsafe Foods: 4 to 12 months
Cow’s milk and soy milk: Stick with breast milk or formula till your child’s reach 12 months. Why? Your baby can’t digest the protein in cow’s milk and soy milk for the first year, they don’t have all the nutrients he requires, and they consist of minerals in quantities that can damage his kidneys.
Choking hazards to look for
Big portions: A portion of food bigger than a pea can get stuck in your child’s throat. Vegetables like carrots, celery, and green beans need to be shredded or cooked and cut up. Cut fruits like grapes, cherry tomatoes, and melon balls into pea-sized pieces prior to serving. Cut meats and cheeses into very small pieces or shred them.
Small, hard foods: Hard sweets, cough drops, nuts, and popcorn are potential choking threats. Seeds might be too small to choke on however can get stuck in a child’s respiratory tract and cause an infection.
Soft, sticky foods: Soft foods like marshmallows and jelly or gummy sweets can get lodged in your child’s throat.
Peanut butter: The sticky consistency of peanut butter and other nut butters can make it hard for a kid to swallow safely.
More choking prevention
- Prevent letting your child eat in the car. It’s too hard to supervise while driving.
- Don’t use a rub-on teething medication, as it can numb the throat and interfere with swallowing.
Unsafe Foods: 12 to 24 months
Low-fat milk: Most young toddlers require the fat and calories of entire milk for growth and development. When your child turns 2 (and if he doesn’t have any growth problems), you can start providing him lower-fat milk if you like. (If your child is at risk for weight problems or heart disease, however, the doctor may recommend presenting low-fat milk prior to age 2.).
Choking risks to keep an eye out for
Large chunks: A piece of food bigger than a pea can get stuck in your child’s throat. Vegetables like carrots, celery, and green beans ought to be diced, shredded, or prepared and cut up. Cut fruits like grapes, cherry tomatoes, and melon balls into quarters prior to serving, and shred or cut meats and cheeses into really small pieces.
Small, hard foods: Hard sweets, cough drops, nuts, and popcorn are potential choking risks. Seeds might be too small to choke on but can get stuck in a child’s air passage and cause an infection.
Soft, sticky foods: Avoid chewing gum and soft foods like marshmallows and jelly or gummy sweets that might get lodged in your child’s throat.
Peanut butter: Be careful not to give your toddler large dollops of peanut butter or other nut butters, which can be hard to swallow. Rather, spread nut butter very finely on bread or crackers. You might want to attempt thinning it with some applesauce prior to spreading it.
More choking prevention
- Avoid letting your child eat in the car because it’s hard to monitor while driving.
- Do not use a rub-on teething medication, as it can numb the throat and hinder swallowing.
The most recent on children and allergic reactions
Medical professionals used to suggest waiting up until age 1 or even much later on to present solid foods that prevail irritants, specifically with children at risk for allergies. However the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has altered its tune since research studies show that these delays most likely do not help keep allergies from developing.
It’s still a smart concept, though, to introduce new foods gradually, waiting a number of days after each new menu item to make sure your baby doesn’t respond badly to it. And if you believe that your baby is likely to have food allergies– for example, if allergies run in your family or your baby has moderate to severe eczema— talk to his doctor to figure out the best technique for introducing allergenic foods like eggs, milk, peanuts, wheat, soy, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.