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What Not to Feed Your Baby

As excited as you might be about introducing your baby to different types of foods once you've gotten them used to eating solids, there are still a few items that you should keep your baby clear of during that first year of his or her life. These include:

1. Nuts and Peanuts
Nuts are highly allergenic and should be avoided during your baby's first year of life especially if you have a long history of allergies in your family. Put off feeding your baby any nuts or peanuts until your doctor gives you the go-ahead, and once he or she does, start your baby off slowly with smooth varieties of nut spreads and butters. While peanuts can cause allergies for some, they are also very healthy and contain a lot of protein.

2. Egg Whites  
Egg yolks are fine for babies between the ages of 7-10 months, but egg whites on the other hand should be removed as they are also allergenic. Most doctors tend to recommend against feeding babies under one year old whole eggs, and encourage mothers to keep their babies away from foods that contain egg products.

3. Honey
No one can deny the health benefits of honey, but for your young infant it might not be a wise source of nourishment; honey contains spores of clostridium botulinum, which though harmless to adults can cause botulism in babies. The toxins secreted by the spores can lead to constipation, muscle weakness, poor appetite, a weak cry, decreased muscle tone, and even paralysis in young infants.

4. Cow's Milk
Babies under one year should not consume cow's milk, as it can be difficult for them to digest and contains high concentrations of proteins and minerals that can stress a baby's kidneys. Cow's milk should be fine in moderation once your baby grows past the one-year mark.

5. Wheat
Wheat contains gluten, which is a difficult-to-digest protein that can cause constipation, loose stools, skin rashes and an inability to fall asleep in some infants younger than a year old. Wait until your child is older than a year before you introduce wheat into his diet.

6. Citrus Fruits and Juices
Citruses such as oranges, grapefruits and tangerines are very acidic and can cause stomach discomfort and even allergies in some young infants. If you want your baby to get a taste though, you can dilute apple, pear or white grape juice with water for a milder alternative.

7. Shellfish
Since shellfish is another allergenic food source, introduce it to your baby gradually after he or she becomes a year old. However, you might have to wait until your baby is over 3 years old to begin feeding him shellfish if you have a family history of allergies. Talk to your pediatrician for more information.

8. Strawberries
This healthy and delicious fruit is not only acidic, but also a potential allergen and can cause rashes or other negative physical reactions, even in babies that are not sensitive to foods. That is why doctors recommend postponing feeding infants strawberries until they're over a year old.

9. Chocolate
At no point should you have your baby consume chocolate even if it's just for a taste before they are at least a year old. High in both sugar and caffeine, chocolate is hardly a healthy food item or nutrient source for your growing infant.