Food is what fuels us to go about our daily tasks with an adequate amount of energy. When it comes to kids, food is not just fuel for carrying out everyday tasks, it’s what powers their growth and development too! New parents often have lots of questions when it comes to food safety, which is perfectly normal. In fact, it’s best to learn as much as you can so that you know that you’re making the healthiest decision for your child.
Food Safety Tips for Kids and Babies
Use the following tips to ensure your child is getting the nutrients that they need, safely:
- Stay away from solid foods until your baby is at least 4 months old. From birth to 4 months of age, you should only be feeding your baby with formula or breast milk. At 4 months, pureed solid foods can be added to complement breastfeeding or formula feeding.
- Never take your eyes off your child when they are eating to make sure they aren’t choking.
- Avoid giving little ones too much sugar—including fruit juices and too much milk (milk has sugar in it too!). In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises not to give babies younger than 12 months juice at all. Baby bottle tooth decay often occurs because little ones are given sugary drinks and drink them at will, all day long.
- If you are having trouble getting a baby to switch to solid food, you can try this method: Have them take a sip of formula or drink from your breast and quickly switch them to a very small spoonful of baby food, then go back to the formula or breast milk
- Always cut food into bite-size pieces to avoid choking and make sure the food is cooked enough to easily chew with no resistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s always good to ask questions to obtain more information, especially when it comes to little ones. Some of the following questions are commonly asked by parents:
- When can my baby eat finger foods?
Babies are ready to try soft finger foods when they can hold their heads up without help and bring food to their mouths using their hands. Finger foods should always be soft and cut into small pieces to avoid choking.
- Does it matter what foods I introduce my baby to first when starting solids?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it does not make a difference if you introduce your child to one food before another, unless advised by your child’s pediatrician.
- What should I do if my child isn’t getting enough nutrients, but they don’t like eating foods with those necessary nutrients?
If your child is refusing to eat foods that are dense in nutrients that they lack, speak to your pediatrician about adding a supplement to their diet—including kid-friendly supplement drinks like Pediasure.
Nutrition and food safety are especially important when it comes to babies and children that don’t know any better. During your child’s visit with their pediatrician, the doctor and staff should be providing you with important milestone instructions on the do’s and don’ts.
At Advanced Children’s Dentistry, our pediatric dentist Dr. Sybil Padavathil provides an educational and fun dental experience for all of her little patients. Schedule a pediatric dental appointment at 516-758-KIDS.