By Claire Baseley, Nutritionist at Ella’s Kitchen
It’s important that little ones eat lots of variety, particularly a rainbow of vegetables and fruits as the more foods they try on their weaning journey, the more likely they are to accept new foods as they grow up.
However, there are some foods that it’s best to avoid when your little one is learning to eat from a safety or nutritional perspective.
Tiny kidneys are just developing, so babies under 12 months of age shouldn’t eat more than one gram of salt a day. Avoid foods with added salt, like shop bought sauces, salted savoury snacks or takeaways.
2. Added sugar
Little ones are sweet enough! It’s fine to give babies fruit but it’s best to avoid foods with a lot of added sugar like sweets, cakes or sweetened puddings. Lots of sugar isn’t kind to tiny teeth so it’s important to try and give your baby a balance of vegetables and fruits and go for yoghurts without added sugar.
Honey is fine in small amounts once your baby is 12 months old but for younger babies, it’s best avoided, as it can sometimes contain bacteria that can upset tiny tummies and make your little one very poorly.
4. Some eggs and cheeses
Mould ripened cheeses like brie, Roquefort and unpasteurised cheeses may cause food poisoning. The same goes for raw or lightly cooked eggs that don’t have a Red Lion stamp. Make sure these eggs are cooked all the way through. Red Lion eggs are fine to serve lightly cooked, if you’re making dippy eggs.
5. Rice milk
While it’s OK to give your baby cooked rice, it’s best to avoiding giving rice milk, as it can contain a contaminant called arsenic. All little ones 6 months and over need to drink with their meals is breast milk or their usual formula and water.
6. Hard or round foods
Small, hard foods like whole nuts can be a choking risk, so it’s best to give babies over 6 months nuts in powdered or butter form.
Whole grapes, cherry tomatoes and sausages may also present a choking risk, so try to slice these foods into quarters lengthways before giving to your baby.
Small foods can be great for helping little ones at around 10 months of age to practice their pincer grip. Just make sure these foods are super soft and easy to chew, like halved blueberries or raspberries.
7. Crumbly, brittle and flaky foods
Foods that crumble, break or flake into small bits easily can be a choking risk so steer clear of crumbly biscuits, brittle crackers, flaky pastry or hard crisps. Go for foods that have a soft, melty texture like well-cooked vegetable sticks about the size and shape of your index finger so little ones can grip easily and feed themselves.
You might be surprised to learn that little ones CAN have herbs and spices, even chilli in small amounts. You don’t have to offer bland foods, even during weaning!
- Munchy Fingers (From 9 months+) (£2.00) – available in Mixed Herb and Sweetcorn + Paprika: These crunchy, munchy finger foods are just the right size + shape for little ones learning how to hold + eat flat shapes, giving tiny fingers more control over their grip – plus, these organic new flavours, Mixed Herb and Sweetcorn + Paprika, are really exciting for tiny taste buds to explore! Made with rice, maize and super-duper chickpeas for a tantalising texture combination – they’re perfect as they are, delicious with dips, super with spreads and great on the go! Available to buy now on the Ella’s Kitchen online shop, Asda, Ocado, Waitrose + Morrisons.
- Mini Puffs (From 10 months+) (£2.00) - available in Carrot + Parsnip and Strawberry + Banana: These yummy organic maize Mini Puffs are great on the go, as they’re packed into four handy grabbable bags. They’re deliciously melty, specifically designed to aid development of the finger + thumb, ‘pincer’ grip, whilst introducing little ones (from 10 months+) to yummy taste combinations. Available to buy now on the Ella’s Kitchen online shop, Asda, Ocado, Waitrose + Morrisons.
- Puff Pops (From 10 months+) (£2.00) – available in Peas + Sweetcorn: Our a-maize-ing organic Puff Pops – with a fun mix of two tasty veggie tastes per bag – are just the right size + shape for little fingers to learn how to pick up smaller pieces of food and pop into their mouths (also known as the ‘pincer’ grip). Puff Pops allow parents to help babies practice at mealtimes, and perfect for little tums from 10 months+. Available to buy now on the Ella’s Kitchen online shop + exclusively at Tesco.
Tagged in Babies