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aoyster_shellfishTaking Steps to Ensure Food Safety for Babies

Healthy nutrition for the growing child is something every mother spends much of her time thinking about. Keeping in mind the foods babies should avoid is also a concern. The last thing any mother would want to learn is that she was contributing toward making her child sick.

Recent baby articles are now advocating that babies should eat all the foods adults eat as we try to break out of the traditional bland American baby diet. The variety of baby foods on the grocery store shelf is astounding from mango apricot raspberry oatmeal, veggies and lentils, to Alaskan salmon and sweet potatoes. This trend will undeniably put us into uncharted territory in regards to baby diets and influence the list of foods that make kids sick as well as change the pallet of American toddlers as they grow into young adults.

Foods That Make Kids Sick

While pediatricians are continuing to revise their guidelines for young infants and children, a few things remain the same across time and culture about what foods make babies sick. Each baby is different. Genetics and family history play the largest part in deciding what guidance to follow, and mothers usually know best.

The list of foods that make babies sick is considerable. Things not to feed babies include: spicy food, shellfish, nuts and tree nuts, and stay away from eggs and cow’s milk. The list goes on, but it doesn’t take into account that babies who are breast fed are receiving some of their mothers’ diet through the milk. And the traditional list of bad foods for babies doesn’t take into account the two differing reasons not to feed various foods to babies.

There are two considerations when looking at foods that might make baby sick. The first is the biological reaction of a young, sensitive digestive system which might be found in a preemie with an underdeveloped digestive tract. The second main consideration is learning if foods that make your baby sick are related to an allergic reaction.

For a young, sensitive digestive system suspect foods that are hard for kids to digest include: spicy foods, chocolate, citrus, and anything fried. Spicy foods cause irritation of the esophagus, and chocolate and citrus also cause stomach acids to come up. Fried foods are considered complex, and the extra layer is often difficult for a sensitive system to digest. Even though it might be tempting to introduce your baby to the sweet and sour side of life, it is best to stick to simple foods and gradually grow into more complex foods very slowly.

What we are learning about allergenic foods is constantly evolving. In 2008 the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a report showing that research doesn’t back up the thought that parents should hold off feeding babies commonly considered allergenic foods until age 1. Pediatricians and parents alike have come to rely strictly on baby’s reaction, and family genetic history to address allergenic foods for kids.

The most common allergenic foods for kids include milk, cow’s milk, and lactose. Next on the list are eggs, nuts, and fish. Soy and wheat are also top allergenic contributors. Any food that typically causes allergic reactions in adults should also be suspect for infants. And if parents are known to have allergic reactions to certain foods, it is likely their children will also have those allergies.

When considering what foods make kids sick, there are a few over-looked factors. Food-borne illnesses like E. coli, listeria, and salmonella are typically related to poor food preparation and bacteria, and can cause serious harm to children. Tobacco and pet food might seem like common sense things to stay away from, yet sometimes are often overlooked. For the most current food guidelines for your baby, ask your pediatrician.

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