Health Buzz: Introducing "Problem" Foods

I'll never forget the first time Keegan had honey. We were at a birthday party for my Sister-in-Law. I was 7 months pregnant with Lochlan, and feeling exhausted. My picky-eater Keegan has decided he will only eat the fruit bowl. He was acting so giddy, I joked and asked if the fruit was marinated in brandy.

"Nope," my sister-in-law answers. "Honey."

Oh. My. God. I went ballistic. "Honey" was on my list of foods to avoid. I didn't know why, I just knew that little ones shouldn't have it. Everyone except my sister-in-law's husband looked at me like I had two heads. But he recalled hearing something similar, so he searched online. Phew. We were safe. Honey is okay to introduce after the age of 1. Keegan was 16 months.

Now, I know I can not be the only person who might look at a strawberry or a shrimp and wonder when it is really "okay" to give certain foods to babies and toddlers. So I did some research online and compiled a list of common allergen or problem foods and the age you can introduce them:

8 Months: Meat

9 Months:
Egg Yolk, Soy, Cheese, Yogurt, Milk, Legumes

1 Year: Egg whites, Fish, Tomatoes, Citrus fruits, Strawberries, Honey*

* A note about honey. You don't want to give a baby under 12 months honey, because honey may contain botulism spores which can lead to botulism poisoning. Adults can eat honey, because our intestines contain enough acids to counteract the production of toxins the botulism bacteria produce.

1 - 3 Years: Peanut Butter**

**Peanuts are a common, dangerous food allergen. The reason there is an age range for the time you can introduce peanut butter is because it truly varies, depending on your family history. You will want to delay introducing Peanut Butter if:
  • Anyone in your child's family has a food allergy
  • Anyone in your family has an allergic type disorder (asthma, eczema)
  • Your child has had a food allergy in the past
But, if there is no history of allergies in your family, then you can introduce peanut butter when your child turns 1.

1 - 2 Years: Shellfish***

***Shellfish can be a high allergen food. Like peanuts, delay it as long as possible if anyone has allergies in your family.

If you have a family history of food allergies, be careful when introducing any of these foods. If your baby exhibits a reaction to any food, wait a few months before trying it again and consult your pediatrician.

If you want a chart that you can print out with similar information, I found one at Wholesome Baby Food.