It might be overwhelming to become a parent. While we have an unfathomable amount of love for our children, it can also be a time when we are afraid to make a mistake, including what we feed them once they are old enough.
Unfortunately, children don’t come with an instruction manual, so choosing what to feed them can be difficult. What not to feed kids, though, is possibly much more concerning. Although we might unintentionally give our kids a small portion of what we’re eating, is that the correct thing to do?
No, never. Here are our top recommendations for foods (and drinks) that you should not give your children, supported by research and science. Speak to your doctor or a nutritionist for guidance if you have concerns about your child’s food.
Sugary cereals for breakfast
sweet cereals for children
Sometimes it seems like the only thing to do during a hectic morning before work and school is to eat a bowl of cereal. However, a lot of breakfast cereals are loaded with sugar, especially those marketed for kids with their vibrant colors, cartoon characters, and artificial flavors.
Too much sugar consumption as a youngster can result in dental decay, adult weight control issues, and juvenile obesity. (Source: National Health Service of the United Kingdom.) It’s not good for learning to have a sugar rush to start the day because the initial high will quickly be followed by a low when blood sugar levels fall. More sweet foods are the only way to fulfill cravings that can result from this.
Instead, start your day off right with whole grain toast and diced bananas or whole grain cereal with no added sugar. This will keep your youngster satisfied and energized until lunchtime, both physically and psychologically.
Drinks that fizz
Each serving of typical carbonated beverages contains many teaspoons of sugar, and regular use of too much sugar can cause weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and teeth damage. Giving your children fizzy beverages is just not a good idea, especially given that after they’ve been introduced to sweet sweets, youngsters might frequently develop a craving for them.
Even “diet” carbonated beverages should be avoided because they are sweetened artificially. Artificial sweeteners and weight growth are related, according to a 2013 Harvard study. The reason for this, according to the experts, is that after consuming “false sweetness” from artificial sweeteners, the brain causes us and our children to seek sweet foods.
Fast food is a quick fix and a tasty pleasure, but it’s also high in sugar, salt, and saturated fat, all of which can be harmful to a child’s health.
Children can consume an additional 300 calories on average while eating fast food as opposed to food prepared at home, according to studies like one that was published in the Archives of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine in 2013. Weight gain, obesity, and chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes may result as a result.
In addition, additional research, including this one published in the journal Thorax in 2012, have linked frequent fast food consumption to childhood eczema and asthma. Therefore, it’s better to put off introducing fast food to your children for as long as you can.
Raw fish, shellfish, and fish
Raw fish, shellfish, and fish
Food from the sea should never be given to infants less than two since it poses a serious risk of food allergies or food poisoning. So refrain from giving your child any shellfish, including prawns, mussels, clams, oysters, etc. The same holds true with smoked salmon, sashimi, and other raw or raw-flaked fish dishes.
Due to high amounts of mercury, a hazardous heavy metal, other seafood that is often cooked can also be problematic for infants and young children. Shark, swordfish, and marlin are examples of this. Mercury can be detrimental to a child’s brain development, according to studies, including one from 2009 that was published in the journal Current Opinions in Paediatrics.