Forbidden Baby & Toddler Foods

Picky Eaters: 3 Ways To Encourage Healthy Eating
Infants and young children have trouble chewing completely, so certain foods pose a choking hazard until they reach age 4. Check out our list of foods to avoid giving babies and toddlers -- plus tips for worry-free, healthy eating.
Greg Scheidemann
Greg Scheidemann

Avoid: Whole Hot Dogs

Smart Solution: The University of Michigan Health System suggests buying safer nitrite- and nitrate-free hot dogs and cutting them into noodle-like strips.

Avoid: Large Chunks of Meat, Cheese, or Fruit

Smart Solution: With a little more preparation time, meat, cheese, or fruit can be fine for children to munch on. Cut meat into pieces no larger than the length of your fingertips. Cheese can be sliced into the same size or shredded. For fruit, serve well-cooked apple or chunks of very ripe pear.

Avoid: Whole Grapes

Smart Solution: Babies can eat thinly sliced grapes (not just cut in half). Or take an extra precaution and puree fruits before mealtime.

Don't put your baby at risk for choking or an allergic reaction. Here are four foods you shouldn't feed your bundle of joy before her 1st birthday.

Avoid: Hard, Gooey, or Sticky Candy

Smart Solution: Candy is too small and slippery for your little one, but recommends trying French toast without the egg white as a healthier sweet snack.

Avoid: Globs of Peanut Butter

Smart Solution: Sticky peanut butter is especially dangerous for children younger than 2. The Mayo Clinic's tip for satisfying a toddler's sweet tooth is to give your child fat-free pudding instead.

Avoid: Popcorn

Smart Solution: For a dry food that isn't as tough for babies and toddlers to chew, suggests a 1/2 cup of low-sugar breakfast cereal as an easy alternative.

Avoid: Raw Vegetables

Smart Solution: While babies are learning to chew or gum their food, skip crunchy raw vegetables and give them soft-cooked peas, beans, and carrots.

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Here are three healthy ways to please a picky eater.

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