Forbidden foods for babies

Foods to avoid giving babies and young children


Babies should not eat much salt, as it's not good for their kidneys. 

Do not add salt to your baby's food or cooking water, and do not use stock cubes or gravy, as they're often high in salt.

Remember this when you're cooking for the family if you plan to give the same food to your baby.

Avoid salty foods like:

  • bacon
  • sausages
  • chips with added salt
  • crackers
  • crisps
  • ready meals
  • takeaways


Your baby does not need sugar. 

By avoiding sugary snacks and drinks (including fruit juice and other fruit drinks), you'll help prevent tooth decay.

Saturated fat

Do not give your child too many foods that are high in saturated fat, such as crisps, biscuits and cakes.

Checking the nutrition labels can help you choose foods that are lower in saturated fat.

See more on food labels.


Occasionally, honey contains bacteria that can produce toxins in a baby's intestines, leading to infant botulism, which is a very serious illness.

Do not give your child honey until they're over 1 year old. Honey is a sugar, so avoiding it will also help prevent tooth decay.

Whole nuts and peanuts

Whole nuts and peanuts should not be given to children under 5 years old, as they can choke on them.

You can give your baby nuts and peanuts from around 6 months old, as long as they're crushed, ground or a smooth nut or peanut butter.

If there's a history of food allergies or other allergies in your family, talk to your GP or health visitor before introducing nuts and peanuts.

See more on food allergies in babies and young children.

Some cheeses

Cheese can form part of a healthy, balanced diet for babies and young children, and provides calcium, protein and vitamins.

Babies can eat pasteurised full-fat cheese from 6 months old. This includes hard cheeses, such as mild cheddar cheese, cottage cheese and cream cheese.

Babies and young children should not eat mould-ripened soft cheeses, such as brie or camembert, or ripened goats' milk cheese and soft blue-veined cheese, such as roquefort. There's a higher risk that these cheeses might carry a bacteria called listeria.

Many cheeses are made from unpasteurised milk. It's better to avoid these because of the risk of listeria.

You can check labels on cheeses to make sure they're made from pasteurised milk.

But these cheeses can be used as part of a cooked recipe as listeria is killed by cooking. Baked brie, for example, is a safer option.

Raw and lightly cooked eggs

Babies can have eggs from around 6 months.

If the eggs are hens' eggs and they have a red lion stamped on them, or you see a red lion with the words "British Lion Quality" on the box, it's fine for your baby to have them raw (for example, in homemade mayonnaise) or lightly cooked.

Hens' eggs that do not have the red lion mark should be cooked until both the white and yolk are solid. So should duck, goose or quail eggs.

Avoid raw eggs, including uncooked cake mixture, homemade ice creams, homemade mayonnaise, or desserts that contain uncooked egg that you cannot confirm are red lion stamped.

Rice drinks

Children under 5 years old should not have rice drinks as a substitute for breast milk or infant formula (or cows' milk after 1 year old) as they may contain too much arsenic.

Arsenic is found naturally in the environment and can find its way into our food and water.

Rice tends to take up more arsenic than other grains, but this does not mean that you or your baby cannot eat rice.

In the UK, there are maximum levels of inorganic arsenic allowed in rice and rice products, and even stricter levels are set for foods intended for young children.

Do not worry if your child has already had rice drinks. There's no immediate risk to them, but it's best to switch to a different kind of milk.

Raw jelly cubes

Raw jelly cubes can be a choking hazard for babies and young children.

If you're making jelly from raw jelly cubes, make sure you always follow the manufacturers' instructions.

Raw shellfish

Raw or lightly cooked shellfish, such as mussels, clams and oysters, can increase the risk of food poisoning, so it's best not to give it to babies.

Shark, swordfish and marlin

Do not give your baby shark, swordfish or marlin. The amount of mercury in these fish can affect the development of a baby's nervous system.

Further information

For more information and advice about babies and food, see:

  • food allergies in babies and young children
  • your baby's first solid foods
  • baby and toddler meal ideas

Foods to Never Feed Your Baby (3 Months of Age to 1 Year)

According to the CDC, you can start introducing solid foods to your baby at around 6 months old. As long as they are receiving a balanced diet and a variety of nutrient-enriched foods, most vegetables, fruits, proteins, and grains. When it comes to more allergenic foods, it is best to introduce them after other baby-friendly foods. Always consult your pediatrician with concerns.

Growing babies soon start to show interest in trying new foods, and it's normal to want to introduce them to new tastes and textures. But not all foods are safe for your baby. Here is a list of foods you should avoid feeding your baby during the first year of growth.

More: Can You Eat Thanksgiving Turkey While Pregnant?

Pureed Foods vs Finger Foods

Babies are typically introduced to solid foods around six months of age. For newborns and babies less than six months old, solid foods may pose a choking hazard. So for young babies, many parents will turn to baby pureed foods. Pureed foods are softer than finger foods and easier on a baby’s digestive system. However, some parents turn to baby-led weaning which can also be a great option to introduce your little one to solid foods.


Infants under a year old should not be fed any form of honey (raw, baked, or cooked). Honey is bad for babies because it can harbor Clostridium botulinum, which can produce botulinum spores. These spores secrete toxins that can lead to muscle weakness, poor sucking, a weak cry, constipation, decreased muscle tone, and even paralysis in young infants. An infant's intestinal tract isn't strong enough to fight off these spores and toxins.

Infant botulism can be prevented by avoiding raw honey and avoiding contact with soil contaminated with the same C botulinum spores. This is rare and mostly found at agricultural sites in Utah, California, or Pennsylvania.

Cow's Milk

Stick to breast milk or formula until your child's first birthday. A child under the age of one can't digest the enzymes and proteins in cow's milk, and certain minerals in it can cause damage to your baby's kidneys. This is also true for certain dairy products such as cottage cheese. Also, unlike breast milk or formula, cow's milk doesn't provide all the proper nutrients for a growing infant. So if you are breastfeeding or if you are bottle feeding with breast milk or infant formula then keep doing so.

Egg Whites

Don't feed egg products to a child under the age of one, to avoid an allergic reaction or allergies in the future. While the proteins in egg yolks are seldom a source of allergens, the proteins in egg whites may cause allergic reactions. By the age of five, a child normally outgrows the potential for an allergic reaction to egg whites.


Avoid feeding citrus fruits and juices to your baby for the first couple of months. These foods are high in Vitamin C and acid, which can cause an upset tummy and/or acid reflux in your baby. Remember, their digestive system is still developing.


Another potential allergen for babies is seafood, and particularly shellfish. Talk to your pediatrician before feeding your baby boneless fish -- even tuna. Do not give any sort of shellfish (such as shrimp, clams, swordfish, mackerel, or crabmeat) to your baby until it's been discussed.


Due to allergens in wheat, it is best to wait until your baby is one, two, or even three years old before introducing it into your baby's diet. If you have checked with your pediatrician and are sure that your baby hasn't had an allergic reaction to rice, oats, or barley, you may try introducing wheat at the age of eight or nine months.

Large Chunks of Food

It is widely recommended that you feed your child breast milk or formula for the first four to six months. Once you start baby on solids, pea-sized foods are safest, to prevent choking. Make sure that vegetables are diced and cooked up soft, and cut fruits into quarters to avoid them getting stuck in your child's throat. Meats and cheese should also be cut into very small pieces or shredded.

Soft, Sticky Foods

While most soft foods are good for young babies, some soft foods should be avoided. Sticky foods like jellies and marshmallows should not be fed to a baby before six months as these foods can get stuck in a baby’s throat and block the child’s airway. 

Small, Hard Foods

Foods like whole nuts, popcorn, whole grapes, raw vegetables, raisins, candies, dried fruits, seeds, or any other small, hard food should not be given to a baby. They are all choking hazards and can easily become lodged in your baby's throat. Any food you give your baby should be diced into small bits and cooked until soft.


Below is some insight on certain fruits that many parents have questions about feeding their baby.

  • Strawberries and raspberries: Many berries are packed with vitamin C and are good for babies and young children. The American Academy of Pediatrics that you hold off introducing these fruits until after they have tried other solids first.
  • Pineapple: Pineapple is considered a safe food for your baby to eat. However, it is a firm fruit and should be sliced into thin strips since it can be a choking hazard when cubed.
  • Melon: Watermelon is a good example of a first fruit you can offer to your baby. It is soft, easy to chew, and full of vitamins. It is made up of mostly water so it is also great for hydration.
  • Papaya: This is a superfood that is super healthy and great for your baby. The recommendation is to wait to introduce it to your little one until they are 7 or 8 months old.



Vegetables are healthy options for kids, but when is the right age for babies to start eating their veggies? Here is a list of veggies and produce that parents have questions about. You can find below whether or not they are safe to give to your baby.

  • Spinach: Believe it or not, raw spinach is full of nitrates. This is not to be confused with synthetic nitrates but is still not good to give much to little ones. It is recommended that if you give them spinach, make sure it is cooked and pureed.
  • Lettuce: This can be hard for your baby to chew, so it's best to wait until they are between 9 months and 1 year old.
  • Peas: Green peas are a great starter food. They are easy to pick up, offer a new texture, are small enough to avoid choking and can be pureed.
  • Onions: Many parents add cooked onions to homemade baby food. They are full of vitamin C and can be introduced between 6 and 8 months old.
  • Garlic: If you cook frequently then you know that garlic can add a whole new flavor to certain foods. You can cook down and add a small amount to your baby's food between 6 and 8 months old.
  • Sweet Potatoes: This is another great first solid. Soft, cooked sweet potato cut into chunks is perfect for a 6-month-old.
  • Potatoes: These are considered starchy vegetables so even though they are safe to give to your baby, you will want to do it in moderation.



Introducing meat to your baby's diet can happen after starting solids, which is usually around 6 months. Poultry and lean beef are fine to give your little one in small amounts. Below are two types of meat that should be avoided.

  • Hotdogs: Hotdogs are a choking hazard. It is not recommended to give them to young children under 4 years of age. When they are old enough, they can be thinly sliced or minced.
  • Bacon: It is best to wait until after your baby's first birthday to give them any bacon. It is full of synthetic nitrates and possible carcinogens. It is generally considered unhealthy and should be offered rarely.


Fruit Juice

Most juices are full of added sugar. Since babies are generally still drinking from bottles under 1 year old, it is not advisable to put fruit juice in them. It is known to cause tooth decay. Offer your baby a little water after 6 months if you are looking to give them something besides breast milk or infant formula.

What About Peanut Butter?

Experts previously believed that introducing peanut butter or any sort of nut product at an early age could lead to nut allergies. Times have changed and many pediatricians encourage the introduction of peanut butter to children between 6 and 8 months after they have tried a few solid foods with no issues. The AAP recommends talking with your pediatrician about introducing nut products to your baby, once he is eating solid foods. If your baby doesn't have any food allergies or risk factors, your doctor will probably advise feeding him a thin layer of creamy (not chunky) peanut butter on a cracker or bread, or foods that have peanut butter in them. Never give whole peanuts or nut pieces to a child under age 4 because of the choking risk.

If your child is at high risk for a peanut allergy or other food allergies (because of family history or if he has an existing food allergy or eczema), your doctor might recommend doing allergy testing before introducing nut products or feeding your child nut products at the doctor's office in case of an allergic reaction.

7 foods that are undesirable to give to children under one year old

Of course, modern mothers know that sausages should not be given to babies, soda and cream cakes. What else can not eat children under one year old? We made a list of 7 less obvious foods.

1. Salt

Excess salt in the diet is harmful to the baby's kidneys and can lead to swelling and dehydration. Of course, a lack of salt is also not useful, but in real life, with a normal diet, it practically does not occur: salt is contained in sufficient quantities in most foods, and there is no need to add salt on purpose. And if for us, adults, baby purees and cereals without salt and sugar seem tasteless and disgusting, don’t worry, for a baby, the situation is completely different. nine0003

The taste perception of young children is not yet spoiled by excessively sweet and salty foods, flavors and flavor enhancers. If your child refuses mashed broccoli, then most likely he just does not like the taste and texture of broccoli, and not at all the lack of salt.

2. Sugar

Everyone knows the dangers of excess sugar - dental problems, obesity, associated cardiovascular diseases and the risk of developing diabetes. However, it can be very difficult to refuse a cookie or candy to a child familiar with the sweet taste, and tears are usually inevitable. What to do? nine0003

The secret is simple - introduce foods with added sugar into your baby's diet as late as possible, at the earliest in the year, although it is better to wait until two years. The National Nutrition Optimization Program for Children aged 1 to 3 years recommends limiting sugar in the diet of toddlers 1 to 3 years of age to 25-30 grams per day, taking into account the sugar found in special baby foods, juices, yogurts, etc.

3. Honey

It would seem that honey is a wonderful and healthy alternative to sugar, so why is it not recommended for babies under one year old? In fact, the reasons some. First, honey can contain spores bacteria Clostridium botulinum. The immune system of adults and children older people can easily cope with them, but in babies they can cause a deadly disease called infantile botulism. nine0003

Secondly, honey is the strongest allergen, so it is better to postpone acquaintance with it until a later age.

4. Fruit juices and drinks

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released in 2017 New recommendations for adequate intake of fruit juices in infants, young children and adolescents who begin with advice to completely avoid fruit juice for feeding infants life. According to AAP, excessive juice consumption can lead to diarrhea, overeating or, conversely, malnutrition, as well as to occurrence of dental caries*. At the same time, babies can and should be offered Whole fruit, mashed or pureed. nine0003

A various fruit drinks and nectars in addition to natural sugar from fruits often contain added sugar, which makes them perfectly unsuitable for feeding babies up to a year.

Breeding of juices and nectars with water does not completely solve the problem, since it does not reduce dental risks. If your child refuses to drink water, try compotes and fruit or herbal teas.

5. Foods that are easy to choke on

The danger of a product to children is determined by several characteristics: consistency, shape, and size. Most often babies gagging slippery, round, sticky, fibrous and hard products. nine0003

The most dangerous are all round and large enough to block the airways: lozenges, grapes, cherry tomatoes, nuts**. Not far behind in sad dangerous food rating other candies (especially sticky ones), fish bones and meat and, in fact, the meat itself ***.

Remember that theoretically a child can choke on any food, so never leave your baby unsupervised eating.

6. Egg white

Have you ever wondered why in all complementary feeding schemes is it the yolk, not the whole egg? Nothing surprising: egg protein is one of the strongest allergens. Up to a year is better limit the baby to only the yolk, and introduce the protein a little later.

Only make sure the eggs are thoroughly cooked. Raw and half-raw eggs may contain a bacterium that causes salmonellosis, a disease deadly for young children.

7. Cow and goat milk nine0005

Surprised? Whole cow's milk is the main cause of allergies in children under one year old. In addition, it contains a large amount of lactose, milk sugar, which some babies have difficulty digesting due to the fact that their gastrointestinal tract is not yet sufficiently developed. There are studies linking the early introduction of animal milk into the diet as a substitute for mother's milk or infant formula with an increased risk of iron deficiency anemia and type 1 diabetes. ****

Goat milk is actually not much different from cow milk, goat and cow are evolutionarily close, goat milk proteins are very similar in structure to cow proteins, and almost as often cause allergies.

It is advisable to introduce cow's milk into the diet of a child not earlier than 1 year. Interestingly, this rule does not apply to special children's fermented milk products, they are easier to digest and useful for babies.

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what not to eat for children under 1 year old and why

Reasons for the ban

In the first year of life, many systems of the child's body are still developing, including immune and digestive 1 . The ban on the use of certain products before the age of one is associated with the vulnerability of these two systems. The baby's diet should not include allergen foods and dishes that cause problems with the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys and liver.

  • provoke an allergic reaction,
  • poorly digested or not absorbed by the body at all,
  • put an excessive load on various organs and systems, for example, cause gas formation, bloating and other problems. nine0066

It will be useful for mothers to learn about foods forbidden to children under one year old.

Candies and other sweets

Sweets, cakes, pastries, muffins, waffles, sweet pastries and other "sweets" of industrial production can harm the fragile body of the baby. They contain dyes, preservatives and other artificial additives, unhealthy confectionery fats or vegetable oils. “But a growing body needs sugar!” - any mother will reasonably object. Yes, but top sweets for a baby under one year old - baby fruit purees and juices , not sweets or confectionery.

The puree contains a sufficient amount of natural fruit sugars , useful for a growing organism. It is better to choose fruit drinks and compotes for a baby up to a year of industrial production with the marking “for feeding children from so many months”, juices are also special for children from the store marked “no added sugar” 2, 3 . Chocolate for babies up to a year is also banned. nine0078 Cocoa in its composition belongs to strong allergens , besides, it can invigorate the baby to overexcitation.

Salt and pickles

Pediatricians recommend mothers to accustom the baby to the original taste of foods when complementary foods are introduced. This is a reliable foundation for proper nutrition and health for many years. Vegetables and cereals are tasty on their own, without flavor enhancers such as sugar and salt 4 . It is better not to add salt to complementary foods at all, but it is strictly forbidden to salt them the way they salt adult food . The "salt" norm of an adult is about 5 grams per day, a baby from six months to a year can receive no more than 0.3 grams of sodium chloride per day. This dose is contained in complementary foods and breast milk or milk mixtures that are given to the baby. There is no need to salt his food. For the body of a baby, an adult dose is an overabundance of almost 17 times, which loads the kidneys, liver and blood vessels and retains fluid in the body. For the same reason pickles and other very salty foods such as pickles, straws, nuts or fish should not be given to babies.


Undoubtedly, seafood is very useful: rich in protein, trace elements and other important compounds. But squid, mussels, shrimps and other inhabitants of the deep sea are strong allergens for the child's body . In addition, seafood protein is unusual for the gastrointestinal tract of the baby and will be poorly absorbed. Modern pediatricians warn that even fish puree in baby food appears last. His healthy baby starts to give at about 10-12 months 5 .

Allergenic vegetables, fruits and berries

Pediatricians classify vegetables, fruits and berries as allergenic red and orange . Strawberries, wild strawberries, sea buckthorn, raspberries, pomegranates, pineapples, melons, grapes, red apples, persimmons, peaches, tomatoes, red and orange bell peppers, all citrus fruits and even carrots are potential highly allergenic foods for a baby up to a year old 6 . Allergenic also include exotic fruits and vegetables - kiwi, avocado, passion fruit and others. For a healthy child, they are introduced into the diet after a year, after consulting a doctor. nine0003

Gas generating products

Bloated tummy and gas are a concern for any mother. It is better to exclude foods that provoke them from the baby’s diet: legumes, cabbage, grapes, and even white or rye bread. Dryers, cookies or biscuits are suitable for a child up to a year - special children's ones.


Mushrooms are chemically similar to both vegetables and animal products. They contain B vitamins, vitamin D, biotin and many other useful substances. Mushrooms are rich in protein - from 2 to 9%. In white mushrooms, protein, for example, is 3.7%, and in champignons - 4.3%. However, mushroom protein is poorly absorbed even by the body of an adult due to chitin, which is also present in mushrooms. Toddlers should not eat mushrooms to avoid digestive problems and allergies.

Whole milk

Breastfed baby eats mother's milk, which contains 0.91-1.3 g of protein per 100 ml 7 . Manufacturers adapt dry adapted milk formulas, that is, they make them close to the composition of women's breast milk. Adapted infant formula is a low protein product. For example, MAMAKO 9 infant formulas0081 ® Premium in goat milk are adapted for a protein component that is easy to digest and assimilate. But whole cow's milk, like whole goat's milk, are high-protein foods: cow's milk contains about 3.2 g of protein per 100 ml, in goat - up to 3.6 g per 100 ml.

In addition, regular milk contains nutrients in amounts that are not adapted to the needs of the child. Therefore, it is not worth giving whole milk to children under one year old 8 , and if you want to feed your child with milk porridge, it is better to choose ready-made industrial production. Such porridges, for example, MAMAKO porridges ® with goat milk prebiotics, designed for comfortable digestion, enriched with vitamins and easy to digest.

Read also
  • milk or formula - which is more useful for children after a year.

Products with gluten

The problem of food allergies in babies today is one of the most acute. Infants are often observed intolerance to wheat germ proteins - gluten . Gluten is found in many cereals, but most of all in wheat, which is used to make semolina, flour and pasta. In the first year of a baby's life, it is important to reduce the risk of developing food allergies, including gluten allergy 9 . Therefore, semolina, pasta, white bread and bakery products made from wheat flour are foods that are best excluded from the diet of children under one year old.

Honey and nuts

Both products are very useful, but nuts, like honey, are highly allergenic food, unsuitable for children of the first year of life.

Carbonated drinks

Carbonated drinks should not be given to children under one year old due to:

  • too much sugar: sodas are usually very sweet,
  • carbonic acid, which creates "bubbles", that is, makes the drink carbonated. It irritates the mucous membrane of the walls of the stomach and causes severe discomfort in babies,
  • flavors, colors and preservatives - these may cause an allergic reaction.

Fatty meat

Fatty meats include pork, lamb, goose and duck. It is extremely difficult for the baby's developing digestive system to digest dishes from these types of meat. It is better not to take risks in order to avoid a heavy load on the liver and a breakdown in the digestive tract. Sausages and sausages should also be excluded because of preservatives, flavor enhancers and other artificial additives. nine0003

The habit of healthy and high-quality food - without dyes and preservatives, with a reasonable minimum of sugar and salt - is the basis for the health and successful development of your crumbs. Healthy eating is a serious matter, but there are no special secrets. Parents, armed with knowledge, are always able to provide the baby with a varied and healthy diet for full development.

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