Food Safety Tips for Children

Everyone is at risk of getting food poisoning. However, babies and toddlers have a higher risk and once young children get food poisoning, they have a hard time getting well. You can always avoid food poisoning with the following simple steps.

Food Safety Tips for Children

Preparing And Handling Food Safely

Young children are vulnerable to food poisoning because they don’t have strong immune systems to fight any foodborne infections. According to CDC, children under 3 years of age have a higher rate of hospitalization than those above 3 years of age. That’s why you need to prepare and handle food safely when feeding younger children.

 

When feeding young children, you need to avoid the following:

 

  • Unpasteurized dairy products such as milk or cheese
  • Foods that contain raw eggs or partially cooked or raw eggs
  • Undercooked or raw poultry or meat
  • Undercooked or raw shellfish or fish
  • Raw sprouts
  • Unpasteurized juices

 

Other foods you should avoid giving your child include the following:

 

  • Honey – Give it your child after they turn 1. It contains spores of toxic bacterium that causes botulism, a very sever foodborne illness. The bacterium is often found in soil and children under the age of 1 can’t process it properly.

You should also avoid feeding babies their food right from the jar. Double dipping introduces bacteria from the child’s mouth into the food through the spoon. The bacteria might grow in the leftovers causing food poisoning. Rather, it’s advisable to remove the food from the jar and place it in a feeding dish and feed your child from it. Any jars of baby food that haven’t come into contact with the baby’s saliva should be capped and refrigerated under 40 degrees F or below.

 

Additionally, you should save:

  • Any opened strained fruits for 2 or 3 days
  • Strained meats for 1 day
  • Meat and vegetable combinations for 2 days

Note that, unopened jars of baby food have the same shelf-life as other types of canned food.

 

Choking Hazards

Food Safety Tips for Children

Pre-schoolers, toddlers and babies have a very high risk of choking. That’s because their teeth are not strong enough to chew tough food into smaller and digestible particles. To prevent your child from choking, you should avoid giving children under 4 years of age the following:

 

  • Small Hard Foods – Popcorn, nuts, dry flake cereal, pretzels, seeds, chips, raw peas, raw carrots, raw peeled apples, raw carrots, cherries with pits, cherry tomatoes, pear slices and whole kernel corn. Break these foods into smaller pieces for toddlers rather than giving them whole pieces.

 

  • Slippery Foods – Poultry, large pieces of meats, grapes, cough drops or lollipops. You should chop meat, grapes, poultry or any other food into smaller pieces.

 

  • Sticky Foods – Such as gum, marshmallows, peanut butter, jelly beans, taffy, gummy candies, fruit leathers or peanut butter.

 

You should always practice safety at all times when feeding your children. You should give toddlers finger foods such as cheese, bagels, banana pieces or graham crackers strips. You should always watch young children when they are eating. You should force your children to sit down when drinking or eating rather than running, lying down or walking. Encourage your children to take their time and chew their food properly. You should always look for warning labels on all foods, especially those with high choking risks. You should be prepared to provide first aid whenever your child is choking.

Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi

Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi

Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi is the founder of this blog which she shares her parenting and lifestyle experiences.She is a Contracts Engineer by profession and recently launched her own business Sihela Consultants.(www.sihelaconsultants.com)

4 Comments

Indrani

about 4 months ago

What an important post! Busy mothers often overlook such minor details of safe food. The choking aspect is really scary. My kids are grown up now and I remember following most of these during their younger days.

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Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi

Amila Wickramarachchi

about 4 months ago

yes,choking is something I still consider with my kid.I always watch him when he eats things like grapes...

Reply

LaiAriel R. Samangka ( Thelittlelai: Beyond limits)

about 4 months ago

This is such a helpful tips for all the mothers out there. I truly enjoy reading this as I get some idea on how to prepare a safe and healthy food for my kids as well soon. Yes, we really can't evade that some mothers really overlooked some tiny details in preparing the food for their kids. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

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theresa

about 4 months ago

As I was following Tamang Kain on my baby's foods, I introduced solid at 6 months.. Tried hard on maintaining it and success is coming our way. He can chew solids at 8-9months. The food should have texture so he can explore it on his tongue and tries to chew what he can. I still cook his veggies very soft and tender before, but now I make sure that it's the size choke-like to train him more on how to chew. Just make sure that the food is cooked good.

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