Feb 7, 2010

Five healthy food you shouldn't feed to your baby

One day, I came across this information on Wikipedia:

Honey sometimes contains dormant endospores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can be dangerous to infants as the endospores can transform into toxin-producing bacteria in the infant's immature intestinal tract, leading to illness and even death.

I had to read it twice, but upon second reading, this Filipino mom realized it was saying this:

"If you give honey to your baby, your baby could die."
Now that was shocking for me. Who would have ever thought that something as healthy as honey could be deadly for babies?

That got me interested: What other "healthy" foods are unsafe for my baby?

Here's what I found out:

Dangerous food #2: Soft boiled eggs. At six months, we are excited to give solid food to our baby, and at our house, I found out they were giving the baby soft-boiled egg! I was mildly shocked when I found that out. Hello, salmonella! The heat used to soft boil an egg is not enough to kill the salmonella bacteria that may be lurking in the egg. So I told the yaya -- and Grandma! -- to hard boil the egg, please!

Dangerous food #3: Egg whites. One thing I did not know about eggs is that you're only supposed to give baby the yolk. Well, my father-in-law did tell me that, but I thought it was just some old wives' tale. Then one morning, we found rashes on the baby's cheeks. We showed it to our in-house doctor (a.k.a. Doc Ivan, my brother) who immediately asked: "What do you feed him?" So I listed: Cerelac, potatoes, carrots, saluyot, rice, soup, eggs ...

"Hold on," he said. "You feed the baby eggs? Including the egg whites?"

"Uh-huh ..."

The verdict: allergies. No more egg whites.

Dangerous food #4: Citrus fruit. When it comes to small babies, there are really just three major categories of dangerous foods that this mom can think of: the toxic, the choking hazard, and the allergy triggers. Citrus fruit are allergy triggers. Yes, just like egg whites.

So as much as you wish to give your baby calamansi juice and freshly squeezed orange juice, better hold off until baby is one year old. In the meantime, give him apple juice instead.

Dangerous food #5: Peanut butter. Another allergy trigger. And I guess that's all I need to say about that.

Dangerous food #6: French fries. What? French fries are not healthy food? You don't say!

Fine. They aren't. But I'm adding them to my list anyway because I've recently had a close encounter with them, and want so badly to share it.

French fries are actually classic choking hazards. But we passed through a McDonald's drive through, and everyone was having their McDonald's meal, and baby looked bereft, so his mom couldn't help it: I gave him a fry to suck on.

And like a classic textbook case, baby promptly gagged on it.

I never fed the baby fries again after that.

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