Important Food Considerations for Young Children

When you have young children, one big concern is choking hazards. Following set guidelines on what to feed young children will help you avoid any potential danger. Another concern with young children is poisoning, such as from raw or unpasteurized foods.

Here are our leading tips for children’s food safety.

Foods young children shouldn’t have

Young children and infants have weaker immune systems than adults. This makes them particularly susceptible to food poisoning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that children under five years old are at high risk of food poisoning, with possible infections and serious complications like kidney failure being more common.

Never feed any of the following to young children:

  • Raw or undercooked meat and poultry
  • Raw or undercooked fish
  • Raw or undercooked eggs
  • Raw or undercooked shellfish
  • Raw sprouts
  • Any unpasteurized foods like raw milk and unpasteurized juices and cider

You should also wait until a baby’s first birthday to feed them honey. Honey may have spores of toxic bacteria that can result in botulism, a serious foodborne illness caused by bacteria that occurs in soil.

Choking hazards

Another concern parents have is avoiding choking risks. For children under the age of four, refrain from offering any of the following:

  • Slippery foods: Grapes, berries, cherries, lollipops and cough drops are all potential choking hazards.
  • Sticky foods: Gum, taffy, marshmallows, jellybeans, dried fruits and chunky peanut butter fall into this category.
  • Small, firm foods: This includes seeds, dry cereal flakes, nuts, pretzels, raw vegetables and whole kernels of corn.

Beyond this, it’s important to always supervise your child while they’re eating. Allow them plenty of time to eat, and only put a small amount of food on a plate for them at a time. Cut all food into pieces that are no larger than a ½ inch. Learn CPR and first aid for choking, which hopefully you’ll never need.

What to feed young children

Here are some of the foods that are recommended to avoid choking hazards:

  • Cooked pasta
  • Small pieces of avocado
  • Soft-cooked beans
  • Cooked apple slices
  • Cooked peas not in the pod
  • French toast
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Cheerios
  • Deli meat cut into small pieces

Other potential hazards

Ensure that your child puts no foreign objects into their mouths. The fact is that latex balloons result in more childhood deaths than any other toy. Keep uninflated balloons out of children’s reach, and supervise children while they play with balloons. Any object that can take on the shape of a child’s airway is more dangerous in terms of choking than a solid object.

Lastly, keep all hazardous cleaners and substances out of children’s reach—or put them in a cabinet with a childproof lock.

We hope this guide to children’s food safety has been helpful. Do you need a welcoming preschool and day care for your child? Then turn to Magical Star Preschool. We provide a warm, nurturing, supportive environment where your child will love to learn and grow. Contact us now to find out about enrollment and talk to our team about our curriculum.

Read More

Leave a Reply