List of Foods to Avoid for Babies Under 12 Months by Liza Huber

I found an awesome list of foods to avoid for babies under 12 months and beyond. The list was put together by Liza Huber of Sage Spoonfuls and is super handy. Even though my daughter is my 3rd child, it was nice to have a reminder now that she is in the solids stage.

Here is her list:

No honey until 12 months
It can contain botulism spores that your baby’s immature immune system can’t fight off.

No cow’s milk until 12 months  
It contains casein which is a known allergen.  While you need to wait until 12 months to introduce cow’s milk, you can introduce whole milk yogurt and hard cheeses at 7-9 months, because the culturing process breaks down the milk proteins making them easier to digest.

No soy or vegan cheese until 12 months
Most brands contain casein.

No chocolate until 12 months   Chocolate contains caffeine and is also an allergen.  Chocolate makes a great treat for your child’s first birthday!

No whole wheat until 12 months   Gluten is an allergen.

Avoid citrus fruits until 12 months
Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemon and lime are very acidic and can be a little rough on your baby’s sensitive tummy and sore gums.

Avoid added sugar or salt until at least 12 months   Let your baby enjoy the taste of food in its natural state.

No processed or fried food until at least 12 months
Whenever possible, avoid giving these kinds of food to your children altogether.  They are one of the primary causes of childhood obesity.

No Peanuts, Seeds or Tree Nuts (Walnuts, Pecans, etc) until given the okay from your child’s pediatrician  Currently, when to introduce these foods is being widely debated due to the steady increase of food allergies in children.  Please consult with your pediatrician before introducing.

Avoid making baby food with canned fruit or veggies
Use either fresh or frozen fruit and veggies for your homemade baby food.  Canned fruits and veggies are processed and lack the nutritional value, taste and texture of fresh or frozen.  Additionally, most cans contain BPA.

No artificial sweeteners  It is best to avoid giving these to your child (and yourself) as much as possible.  Artificial sweeteners are known carcinogens. Avoid drinking diet sodas and diet juices as much as possible.

No low-fat or fat free foods until at least 2  Your baby’s brain is growing and developing the first few years of life.  Fat is essential in brain and nervous system growth.

Avoid pesticides and buy organic produce as much as possible
Organic fruits and vegetables are grown without the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers and are not genetically engineered or modified in any way.  Many chemical pesticides are known to contain carcinogens, suspected hormone disruptors and neurotoxins.  Scientists now believe that even small doses of these harmful pesticides can have lasting negative effects on your child’s health.  In 2005, the USDA Pesticide Data Program found 42 different pesticide residues on conventionally grown apple samples. These standard chemicals can be up to 10 times more toxic to children than to adults, because children ingest more toxins relative to body weight.  They also have vulnerable developing organ systems that are less able to detoxify these chemicals.  For a complete list of which foods are best to buy organic, visit The Environmental Working Group’s website,

Avoid deli meats and hot dogs preserved with nitrates or nitrites
Nitrates and nitrites are often used to preserve cured meats and hot dogs.  Unfortunately, when cooked, these preservatives are known to be carcinogenic.  It is especially important for pregnant women and young children to avoid these preservatives.  Look for brands that do not use these preservatives in their deli meats and hot dogs.  I like Applegate Farms,

Avoid giving your child juice until at least 12 months  It is full of sugar and will fill her up with empty calories, not to mention that too much sugar is not good for her teeth.  When giving your child juice, dilute it with purified water 50/50.  Infused waters are a terrific juice alternative, they have no added sugar, but do have the extra flavor that babies and toddlers love.  To see my recipes for infused water, visit

No unpasteurized soft cheeses until 12-18 months  They put your child (and pregnant women) at risk for listeria poisoning.  These cheeses include: Blue Cheese, Roquefort, Mexican cheeses, Camembert, Brie, Feta and Goat Cheese.

No raw sprouts for babies, young children or pregnant women  They are often contaminated with Salmonella, E. Coli and Canavanine toxins.

No fish containing high levels of mercury  Avoid giving your child and yourself (especially if you are pregnant) these fish altogether. Currently they include: Swordfish, Tuna (including canned tuna), King Mackerel, Marlin, and Bluefish, among others.  Mercury poisoning is very dangerous and can cause delayed development, heart damage, mental retardation and nerve disorders.  For the most up-to-date information on safe fish go to the Environmental Defense Funds site at  

No raw fish until at least 2 years  
Raw fish is known to carry parasites.

No shellfish until at least 2 years  Shellfish are highly allergenic

Beware of choking hazards! Do not give these foods to your baby until about 18 months.

*Pieces of hot dog
*jelly beans
*nuts or seeds
*soft bread
*dried fruit
*hard raw fruits and veggies like apples and carrots

*If you have a family history of food allergies, be sure to consult with your child’s pediatrician before introducing any foods of concern.