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.