9. The most popular movie time snack is microwaved popcorn — and it’s not healthy.
Microwaved popcorn is often a family’s go-to snack while spending an evening together or watching a movie. It is usually a favorite and quick, flavorful choice for kids’ snacks. It is quick and easy to throw a popcorn bag into the microwave and press the popcorn button. However, you should be aware that the bags used in microwaved popcorn can potentially release dangerous chemicals. The bags contain perfluorinated chemicals. When heated on high, they emit compounds in the process that can be potentially harmful to a child’s development and long-term health issues. Rather than choosing a pre-packaged bag of microwave popcorn, try popping some of your own kernels. Not only will you avoid toxic chemicals, but it can also be a fun experience for the family to do together.
Most households contain at least some canned foods from canned green beans, soup, and even canned tomatoes. However, it is vital to know the risks associated with canned food products when it comes to a child’s development. BPA is a toxic element that can be found in many packaging materials like plastic. However, in cans, it is detected in much higher amounts. Since BPA is located in the packaging of cans, this also means that it is emitted into the foods. The dangerous element of BPA can affect the development of the child, including their reproductive system. If you are looking to make pasta with a tomato sauce, you may want to look for a glass jar or use freshly chopped tomatoes. Additionally, rather than using canned vegetables, look to use fresh vegetables.
7. Hot dogs are a choking hazard — and processed meat.
Processed meat, specifically hot dogs, should be avoided given to children as much as possible. Although most kids love hot dogs, and they are often a popular quick meal while out and about, eating too many processed meat increases the likelihood of long-term health issues, including cancer. In addition to health concerns, hot dogs are more likely to lodge themselves in a child’s airway. A healthier alternative to the processed hot dogs is fish-based products. Even while out and about and with fast food, fish is a much healthier option for a child’s development than the processed meat in hot dogs. Therefore the next time you are at a sporting event or looking for a quick lunch idea, consider the alternatives.
6. Popular fruits such as cherries and grapes need to be cut in a particular way for toddlers.
It may seem contradictory advice not to feed a child whole fruit since they are incredibly healthy for their growing bodies. Although way more beneficial healthwise for their diet than processed sweets, some foods such as cherries and grapes can be hazardous. Whole fruits such as cherries and grapes can increase a child’s risk for choking by an exponential amount. These bite-sized, naturally sweet treats are perfectly shaped to slip into a young child’s airway and cutting off their oxygen. Parents can cut these fruits into quarters, making them less dangerous. However, provide them to children with extreme caution. You should always be sure to keep an eye on any child while he or she is eating.
5. If cautious, citrus fruits may be an excellent snack for children.
Oranges, tangerines, and other citrus fruits are terrific sources of vitamin C and fiber for growing children. While they can be a healthy snack in general, they can also be dangerous for small mouths. You should never provide children whole citrus segments. Even the sweet little clementines can increase their risk of choking. Like cherries and grapes, the choking hazard can be reduced drastically by cutting the citrus into smaller segments. However, even cut up citrus snacks should be heavily monitored when given to children.
4. Avoid peanut butter and other nut butters until a certain age.
A popular topping for toast or crackers, peanut, and nut jars of butter can be extremely dangerous. A spoonful of peanut or nut butter might seem like a great way to serve the creamy, protein-packed spread, but it also increases the risk of a young child choking. In addition, feeding peanut or nut kinds of butter to children may cause a peanut allergic reaction. It has since been recommended that babies younger than six months of age be introduced to peanut butter to reduce the occurrence or likelihood of peanut allergies, but that is a personal decision. It is best to consult with your physician and, if provided, spread it thinly.
3. While popular, babies and toddlers shouldn’t eat marshmallows.
A common component in both s’ mores and a large variety of sugary cereals, marshmallows should be avoided where possible. As a spongy substance, marshmallows are an obvious choking hazard and risk blocking a child’s airway. In addition to being a choking hazard, marshmallows are fluffy, sweet treats that are incredibly high in sugar, and not much else. Marshmallows offer very little nutritional value and can also increase a child’s taste preference for sugary treats. Increased consumption of sugary treats can then lead to tooth decay and possibly a refusal to eat their veggies. Their palettes should avoid sugary foods, so they do not become accustomed to them.
2. Do not feed children raw eggs and raw egg products.
For similar reasons that children should avoid eating rare beef, they should also avoid raw eggs or products that contain raw eggs. Although most eggs in the United States are pasteurized, which removes many of the health risks, they still carry a risk of salmonella. Underdeveloped immune systems, such as those in children, have a hard time fighting should it be contracted. This means that children should never be fed raw cookie dough, eggnog, and running egg yolks. These risks are difficult for adults to fight off but more so for children who have an immune system that is not as strong.
1. Like raw milk and egg products, children don’t need raw fish.
Sushi, sashimi, and poke are considered delicious, protein and omega-3 fatty acid packed foods. However, children should avoid eating any raw fish at all costs. There are many risks associated with eating raw fish that can be harmful to children. Eating raw fish contains potential hazards such as hepatitis, parasitic infections, and salmonella. The emerging, developing immune systems in children can’t always fight these risks. It is more important to be safe and not take the risk. Children’s immune systems have not fully developed, and issues such as hepatitis or salmonella are too intense for them to fend off.