Healthy living

Foods and drinks that are not suitable for your baby

Foods that are not suitable for your baby

Do not add salt, sugar, butter or margarine to your baby’s foods. He enjoys simple tastes.

The bacteria in honey can be harmful to babies. Honey is not recommended for children younger than 1 year.

Whole nuts, seeds, raw carrots, celery sticks and chunks of apple are not recommended for infants and young children because of the danger of choking.  Nut pastes (for example peanut paste) can be used from 6 months even if there is a previous family history of nut allergy.

Drinks that are not suitable

Cow’s milk and goat’s milk (until 12 months).

Skim or low-fat milk.

Soy beverages (except soy infant formula) and other plant based beverages (for example rice, oat, coconut or almond) are not recommended as alternatives to breast milk or infant formula for the first 12 months as they are not nutritionally appropriate.

Follow-on formulas are not necessary.

Fruit juice may cause tooth decay and loss of appetite, stomach problems or runny poo, which may slow your baby’s growth and development. Juice is not recommended for babies under 6 months, and older infants should be encouraged to eat whole pieces of fruit rather than juice.

For infants over 6 months of age, drinking cool, boiled water is a better choice than fruit juices and fruit drinks.

Tea, herbal teas, coffee, chocolate drinks, and cola drinkscontain tannins and/or caffeine that are not suitable for children.

Soft drinks or cordials are high in sugar. Intake of these drinks has been linked to obesity and tooth decay.

Energy drinks claim to have ‘energy enhancing ingredients’ including vitamins, amino acids and caffeine/guarana in amounts that are not safe for children.

Where to get help

Local community or child health nurse

  • See inside your baby's purple All About Me book
  • Look in the service finder for child health centres
  • Visit your nearest child health centre

Local family doctor

Dietitians Association of Australia

Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)

Ngala Helpline

  • 8.00am – 8.00pm 7 days a week
  • Phone: (08) 9368 9368
  • Outside metro area – Free call 1800 111 546 (free from land line only)
  • Visit the Ngala website (external site)

Raising Children Network



  • Your baby likes simple foods, so do not add sugar, salt, butter or margarine to his food.
  • Cow’s milk is not suitable for your child until he is 12 months old.
  • A drink of cool, boiled water is a better choice for babies over 6 months than fruit juices and fruit drinks.


Child and Adolescent Health Service

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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