Between four and six months your baby may begin to develop an interest in solid foods , and from then on they are allowed to eat and taste a wide variety of foods, with the exception of some unsuitable foods in the first year.
Cow’s milk products should also not be on the menu too early
Absolutely unsuitable foods for babies are, for example, honey, which can be dangerous for small children. Other foods – for example cow’s milk – cannot be utilized by the child’s organism in this development phase, or not optimally. Nutritionists recommend taking the transition to solid foods slowly and not offering your child too many different foods at first.
His digestive system is still very sensitive in this phase and must first learn to deal with the new food. In addition to baby food , fruit and other solid foods, your child will of course continue to receive breast milk or its bottle – when weaning or weaning from the bottle, you can follow your own rhythm and that of your child with complete peace of mind.
The second reason why your baby does not tolerate all foods well in his first year of life is that his immune system is not yet fully developed and antibodies against unwanted substances are only gradually being formed. It may still react very strongly to germs that it ingests with food and that are later completely harmless.
Many parents also fear that their child will develop allergies through unsuitable foods . Just a few years ago, doctors and dietitians advised to completely avoid potential allergens in food during the first year of life. In the meantime, the view has prevailed that it is important for babies to slowly get used to their environment. Total shielding from allergens can make your child more predisposed to allergies later on.
Unsuitable foods for young children
Cow’s milk and cow’s milk products (quark, cheese, cream) should not be given to children in their first year of life too early. Breast milk and mixed baby milk are compatible with babies. Cow’s milk puts a strain on the intestines and, due to its high protein and mineral content, also on the kidneys.
In sensitive children, the protein from cow’s milk can – albeit very rarely –
lead to allergic reactions on first contact. Milk and dairy products also often contain pollutants from animal feed. Goat or sheep milk and soy milk are also unsuitable foods in the first year of life.
Even experts do not agree or are sure when cow’s milk can be given without problems – the times vary between the eighth and 15th month of life. If you want your child to try cow’s milk products from the eighth or ninth month , it’s best to start with a special baby yoghurt from a jar. These yoghurts have a lower proportion of cow’s milk protein than normal yoghurt and are therefore better tolerated.
Honey is considered one of the healthiest foods, but it is absolutely taboo for children in the first year of life when preparing baby food at home or in its pure form. As a result of its processing, it can contain bacteria that, in the worst case, can lead to a life-threatening intestinal infection (botulism) that can be fatal.
On the other hand, if ready-made baby porridges have been prepared with honey, they are harmless, since the manufacturers continuously monitor the purity of the ingredients and products and control them very strictly.
Cold Pressed Oils
Cold-pressed oils can contain pollutants that can overwhelm young children’s livers. They should only be used in organic quality on babies to avoid contamination.
Salmonella risk in eggs
Soft-boiled or raw eggs should be avoided in the first year of life because of the risk of salmonella infection.
vegetables and spices
Aubergines are a vegetable that small children probably won’t love very much anyway – they are harmful to babies’ health due to their high nicotine content. Children in the first year of life can only chew lettuce insufficiently – but there is nothing wrong with cucumbers and tomatoes if the child likes them. Caution is advised with nuts, as they can easily choke on them. Food that causes flatulence (lentils, peas, beans, cabbage) and hot spices are often difficult for babies to tolerate. Salt can put a lot of strain on young children’s kidneys and should only be used in very small amounts.
Better to avoid sugar
Unsuitable foods for babies are also sugar, sweeteners and artificially sweetened drinks (sodas, juices with added sugar). Unsweetened fruit or herbal teas and water are suitable as drinks). Caffeinated drinks – i.e. coffee, black tea or cola – are forbidden by themselves.
But – please don’t panic: If your child does come into contact with the above-mentioned foods, it is very likely that nothing will happen to them. The corresponding warnings are primarily intended to help minimize or completely eliminate risks.
Swimming for families
Grain products – yes or no?
Until recently, many grain products were also considered unsuitable foods for babies. On the one hand, it was assumed that children’s intestines cannot process grain products properly until the end of the first year of life. Wheat, rye, oats, barley and spelt also contain gluten (glue protein).
Medical statistics show that one in 1,000 children will develop gluten intolerance (celiac disease) – avoiding gluten-containing foods in the first year of life should reduce the risk of this. Some experts also suggested that giving grain products early increases the likelihood of diabetes later in life.
Such views are outdated today: if children gradually get used to small amounts of cereal products containing gluten from the age of five to seven months , their risk of celiac disease even decreases. Type II diabetes – the so-called adult-onset diabetes – is primarily prevented later in life by a balanced diet and plenty of sport and exercise. However , diabetes has little to do with nutrition in infancy .
Food additives and allergies – what is important?
Artificial additives in food
Most of our food today is produced industrially – many of them contain colourings, preservatives, flavor enhancers and artificial aromas. In small children, they often lead to intolerance reactions. It is best if you can largely avoid products with such additives in your toddler’s diet.
Commercially available baby porridges are harmless – the ingredients for them usually come from controlled cultivation, and production is strictly monitored.
The most common allergy-triggering foods in childhood are cow’s milk, chicken eggs, peanuts, soy and fish. According to current knowledge, avoiding these foods in the first year of life is not recommended as long as no allergy has been clearly proven. “Getting to know” these substances early on may even prevent the development of allergies.
The gentle habituation to possible allergy triggers has already begun via the umbilical cord , and breast milk also plays an important role here.
If a food allergy does occur, it can manifest itself through skin irritation, gastrointestinal symptoms, but also through asthma-like symptoms.
The appropriate diagnosis always belongs in the hands of the doctor. Once the cause has been found, the substance in question must first be strictly avoided. However, the allergy may “grow” after a few years.
- There are a few foods that should be strictly avoided during the first year of life due to various dangers. These include honey, flavor enhancers or preservatives, as well as raw meat, raw fish or raw eggs.
- The rule also applies to many things: the dose makes the poison, ie small amounts of, for example, salt, spices and cow’s milk are no longer harmful with increasing age, but can cause problems in larger concentrations.
- The complementary food recommendations in different countries and cultures vary very significantly, which already indicates that there is not just one “truth” on this topic. The recommendations of the responsible nutrition committees change every few years when there are new findings on certain topics.