Foods to avoid

Content supplied by NHS Choices


Babies shouldn’t eat much salt as it isn’t good for their kidneys. Don’t add salt to your baby’s food and don’t 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.


Your baby doesn’t need sugar. By avoiding sugary snacks and drinks, you’ll help prevent tooth decay. Use mashed banana, breast milk or formula milk to sweeten food if necessary.


Occasionally, honey contains bacteria which can produce toxins in a baby’s intestines, leading to a very serious illness (infant botulism), so it’s best not to give your child honey until they’re one year old. Honey is a sugar, so avoiding it will also help prevent tooth decay.


Whole nuts, including peanuts, should not be given to children under five years old as they can choke on them. As long as there’s no history of food or other allergies in your family, you can give your baby peanuts as long as they’re crushed or ground into peanut butter.

Low-fat foods

Fat is an important source of calories and some vitamins for babies and young children. It’s better for babies and young children under two to have full-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese rather than low-fat varieties.

Saturated fat

Don’t give your child too many foods that are high in saturated or ‘bad’ fat, such as crisps, chips, cheap burgers and cakes.

Shark, swordfish and marlin

Don’t give your baby shark, swordfish or marlin. The amount of mercury in these fish can affect a baby’s growing nervous system.

Raw shellfish

Raw shellfish can increase the risk of food poisoning so it’s best not to give this to babies.


Eggs can be given to babies over six months old, but make sure they’re cooked until both the white and yolk are solid.


NHS Choices

Published Date 2010-12-15

Last Review Date 2009-07-28

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