Foods to be careful with

Most foods are fine in moderation, but there are still a few you will probably want to limit - or avoid altogether.

Foods to limit for toddlers

Toddlers can be demanding at times – trust us, we know! And of course, most foods are fine in sensible amounts. However, there are a few foods it’s wisest to limit, or avoid altogether if you can manage it.

  • Salt
    You should watch the amount of salt in your toddler’s meals. Children from one to three years old should have no more than 2g salt per day (which equates to 800 mg sodium). Check a few packets, and you'll soon realise that's not a lot.
  • Honey
    If your child is less than 1 year old, honey is a sweet treat that's best avoided altogether. It can sometimes contain natural spores of bacteria that can make young babies sick.
  • Raw or partially cooked eggs
  • Fish containing mercury
    Steer clear of fish that may contain high levels of mercury, such as shark, swordfish and marlin. The smaller bodies of young children are more vulnerable to the effects of these pollutants.
  • Whole nuts
    Children under 5 shouldn’t have whole nuts, as these can cause choking.
  • Caffeine
    Avoid giving tea or coffee to your little one, as these drinks can reduce the amount of iron toddlers and children absorb. (Plus, as we're sure you've already realised, naptime is precious for both toddlers and their parents!)
  • Fizzy drinks
    Most fizzy drinks are acidic or contain large amounts of sweeteners and can damage your toddler’s tooth enamel.

It’s easy to check the salt or sodium content on ingredients labels - but it's an even better idea to choose snacks that don't contain lots of salt. For a list of foods that often contain “hidden” salt, check out the NHS's Change 4 Life website.

Little ones are more prone to food-borne illnesses, so it's a good idea to cook all eggs thoroughly to remove the risk of salmonella.
Our handy downloadable weaning simplified leaflet is a great way to keep track of the best foods for your baby, and which are best left on the shelf.