20 Foods You Should Never Feed Kids Under 3 Years Old
If the food contains nutritional benefits does not mean it's a good choice for your kids. After babies start growing, they develop an interest in new food products, and some parents are unsure about the food that's best for their child's health.
If you want to introduce your babies under 3 to some new tastes and textures, be aware of the foods which may cause serious illness.
Let's find out 20 foods you should never feed kids under 3 years old.
1. Raw Milk
Although milk and its products supply nutritional benefits, you should never let your children consume raw milk or unpasteurized dairy products. These raw milk from cows, goats, sheep, and other mammals can pose some harmful microorganisms leading to serious health risks for your child.
Raw milk likely causes food-borne diseases as it cannot kill hazardous pathogens like listeria, salmonella, and campylobacter by itself. So, to avoid these diseases, give your child 100% boiled milk, which helps to kill the dangerous organisms that cause tuberculosis, typhoid fever, and diphtheria.
Cheese has health benefits as it is rich in protein, calcium, and vitamins, but some cheese may contain bacteria. You should avoid feeding your kids mold-ripened soft cheeses like sheep milk blue cheese Roquefort and surface-ripened cow's milk cheese Camembert, as it shows a higher chance of carrying listeria.
However, the child can consume cottage, milk cheddar, and cream cheese. Check the levels, as many kinds of cheese have been created from raw milk, and avoiding cheese decreases the risk of consuming bacteria and prevents diseases.
3. Whole Piece Of Nuts And Peanuts
Nuts and peanuts deliver various health benefits, but never let your kid under five years have whole nuts and peanuts as it increases the chance of choking. To avoid the risk, give your child this nutritious food after crushing them into small pieces or forming a smooth butter paste.
You can also serve these healthy foods from 6 months old, only if they are soft and crushed nut or peanut butter. However, you should also check if your kid has some food allergies before giving them nuts and peanuts.
4. Hot Dogs And Sausage
Hot dogs are harmful food for babies under age 4. The dish has a high amount of sodium and nitrates, which is not fruitful for your kids, and there is a high risk of choking. On the other hand, this food offers our body plenty of fat, protein, vitamins B, and zinc.
So, you can give your child hot dogs by cutting this sausage lengthwise into quarters which lowers choking risk and confirms that your child is seated while eating. Also, keep your eye on kids and stay near them while having foodstuffs with this danger.
5. Soft Drinks And Soda
Sugar-sweetened drinks like soda, flavored milk, soft drinks, juice drinks, and sports drinks include added sugars. Having zero nutritional benefits, these soda and soft drinks only increase calories in your kid's daily intake.
These drinks are very different from the drink made with 100% fruit. As a result, it shows consequences in teeth, and your babies may depend upon the sugary drinks for lifelong. Besides, studies also disclose that these sugar-sweetened drinks affect your child's brain development.
Don't give kids foods high in salt, as they are not a better choice for kidney health. So, while making food products for them, avoid using gravy and stock cubes and add low salt as much as possible.
High salt intake in childhood may show an impact in the future by increasing blood pressure, and even it can result in heart disease and stroke. So, avoid canned foods, bacon, sausages, salt-added chips, crips, crackers, and processed meals. Also, check the nutritional label to locate the food with low salt.
7. Sugar And Sweets
Feeding sugar and sweets to your children cause various negative impact on their tooth, learning capacity, and health condition. At first, having excessive sugar slowly decays their teeth. Secondly, it adversely affects your kid's knowledge, academic performance, and memory.
Also, it can show metabolic outcomes such as diabetes, heart & liver disease, and inflammatory conditions. So, avoid giving them mini candies, snacks, and drinks, which include a high sugar level, to bypass unhealthy influences in your kid's intake.
8. Excessive Honey
Children under three can only take a limited amount of honey, and an extreme amount can cause various negative effects on their health. It can also lead to tooth decay. The doctor recommended zero percentage for under two years old, as it includes toxic bacteria which can cause food poisoning and even serious condition.
Honey also may lead to the risk of pollen allergy development in kids. So, never let the babies under one have even a tiny amount of honey, but the children up to one and two years can have a little, while over two can have a limited amount of 6 teaspoons of honey.
9. Uncooked Shellfish
It is a better choice if you do not let your babies have some raw or partly cooked shellfish like clams, oysters, and mussels. Although this seafood is packed with omega-3 fatty acids and protein, inhaling this uncooked food may cause food poisoning.
Besides this, it also contains possible risks of hepatitis and other infections as the kid's immune systems may not be able to fight harmful organisms. So, parents should wait until they reach 3 to 5 years to introduce this seafood.
10. Food High In Saturated Fat
Although saturated fat supplies essential nutrients like Vitamins B and calcium, parents should limit food with high saturated fat as it builds unhealthy fat and generate serious health problems in kids.
Saturated and unsaturated fat is rich in calories, leading to an increase in weight, which cause the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers. So avoid food like butter, crips, cheese, burgers, sausages, cakes, pastries, chocolate biscuits, and ice creams, and check the nutritional label before feeding your child.
11. Uncooked And Lightly Boiled Eggs
From 6 months, babies can consume eggs, but they should avoid raw eggs as they have weak immune systems. Having raw eggs cause a risk of food poisoning and food-borne disease like salmonella. Besides kids, ill and pregnant individuals should not consume raw and partly cooked eggs.
Undercooked eggs include harmful bacteria that cause children easily sick as they are vulnerable. So, don't give your children uncooked eggs and products containing raw eggs, like homemade ice creams, lightly cooked cake mixtures, and desserts.
12. Rice Drinks
As a replacement for breast milk, cow milk, or other infant formula, young kids up to 4 years and infants should not consume rice drinks as these products include high levels of arsenic. Although arsenic is organic and inorganic, rice drinks have low levels of inorganic arsenic.
As a result, rice-based products may show an effect on your child's brain development. As rice-containing formula does not meet nutritional requirements for children, they are not legally allowed to trade on the European market.
Marshmallows are delicious sweet treats having extremely high sugar levels that pose a serious choking risk for kids under 3. The texture of the marshmallow will be moist when combined with saliva, which could be difficult for a child to sallow easily.
These fluffy white puffs are spongy, which may block your child's airways. Although these sweets do not provide more nutritional value, the kid's preference can be more for the taste of sugary treats after consuming more marshmallows. This results in the decaying of teeth.
14. Chew Gums
Giving your small children gums is harmful as they could sallow the gum, which results in dental and other health problems. Our body cannot digest the gum but don't worry, it does not affect your stomach as it will come out through the bowel movement.
Moreover, gums are not a healthy option for kids. The regular chewing of gum creates digestive tract problems, mouth ulcers, stomach pain, and jaw pain. Also, you should be concerned about its sugar quantity as it could cause cavities and dental decay.
15. Rare Meat
Rare, raw, and lightly cooked meat has health risk regardless of age, but children are more sensitive, which result in serious illness. Kids under five cannot produce stomach acid more than adults as they cannot fight bacteria contained in rare meats.
As a result, it shows a high chance of being sick after having rare beef or lamb. If you want to feed them meat, ensure meat has cooked properly and provide a safe environment to have it by cutting them into small pieces.
16. Meat With Bones
Small bones discovered in the meats like fish and chicken pose serious choking hazards for kids. According to Cornell University studies, children who intake bones are more aggressive. They researched that the kids who consume bone meat will likely disobey the adults more than the children having boneless chicken.
Also, don't provide large pieces of meat to your kids as it develops an eating obstacle for them alongside a choking hazard. Before serving to your children, cut it into small pieces and side bones to prevent them from choking and improving their behavior.
17. Raw Vegetable And Fruits
Although vegetables and fruits are packed with potassium, proteins, vitamins, and other necessities for nutrition, it is better not to serve raw food. Raw vegetables like carrots and radishes are not best for them, as they lead to choking risks for young children.
At age 3, they cannot chew properly and can swallow a large portion of food which will block their airway, and they even can inhale the piece in their lungs. Besides, they are not big enough to regulate the raw fruits, fibers, and sugars.
18. Coffee And Tea
A small amount of coffee can lead to serious negative effects in young children. Although some tea has health benefits, some may not be a good option for kids. Coffee and tea retain caffeine, which considers harmful to the brain, heart, liver, kidney, and overall health.
It directly impacts brain health and causes headaches, increased anxiety, higher blood pressure, and upset stomach. Research suggests that children under 12 should not consume coffee, and adults should have it in limited amounts as it could affect their sleep and health.
Although kids can have pickles after turning six months old, you should limit the number as they contain high sodium. On the positive side, it will improve gut-friendly bacteria, boost immunity power, and help digestion.
Nonetheless, you cannot let your kids ingest extreme amounts of pickles, as it causes health issues like the risk of cardiovascular disorder and high blood pressure. Also, before serving pickles, be assured that they have naturally fermented as store-based, and vinegar pickles have no health advantages.
20. Unpasteurized Foods
Unpasteurized foods are dangerous for kids as they contain harmful bacteria that can cause food-borne infections like cryptosporidium, brucella, and listeria monocytogenes. Kids under 3 have a low immunity power and are vulnerable, so it will develop health risks for them as they cannot battle these bacteria.
These bacteria can cause fever, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and more. So, parents should not let their kids dine unpasteurized juice, cider, milk, meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, and sprouts.
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