7 Harmful Foods We Typically Give Our Children
Some parents may not consider that the foods they find healthy and satisfying are actually quite dangerous to give to a child. These are foods that adults may consume on a daily and weekly basis and are healthy for an adult but can be harmful for a child who is 5 years of age or younger because their immune system is still developing immunities to bacteria that adults can fight off among other health risks to consider for the following food items:
Not only do the overall ingredients in milkshakes have an overabundance of fat and sugar for any child, but it can lead to a child developing a risk for heart disease. Many parents look at milkshakes as an easy way to entice a child to drink their milk, but in fact, a diet that includes the daily consumption of a milkshake for a child will more than likely give them gas and even diarrhea as it acts to change the makeup of intestinal flora during a child’s digestive process.
2. Children’s Multivitamins
Many parents will opt to give their child vitamins when they are a picky eater or have not been introduced to a variety of foods yet. What you could be doing instead is giving your child too much iron that leads to constipation or other digestive issues. Most babies are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need in their diet. The exceptions are usually for babies that were born premature and have a low birthweight or babies with diagnosed metabolic disorders. Then, a doctor will prescribe specific vitamins that will supplement what the child needs.
3. Grapes and Cherries
Grapes, as well as cherries, are two popular fruits to give to children because they contain an abundance of vitamins and minerals that children need as well as natural sugar in just the right amount. Unfortunately, both of these fruits are also choking hazards for children.
Not only do they have slippery external skin, but cherries even when advertised as pitted, can contain errant pits that were missed in the pitting process. They are also two fruits that are actually difficult for most children to digest properly.
Just like the milkshake, adult cereals claim to be healthy and maybe for adults, but for children they contain more sugar than mineral and vitamin benefit. Studies that have tested the healthy value of cereals that claim to have all the necessary daily nutrients for any adult, actually don’t even have the minimum requirements.
It is also considered a “filler food” that will satisfy a child’s hunger for a short period of time only because of the abundance of carbohydrates and sugar, so a child will be hungry a short time later and begin a cycle of overeating. This includes those “kid cereals” that are advertised as healthy but are really mostly sugar.
Because yogurt is made by fermenting bacterial cultures, it is very important to choose a yogurt for your child that is refrigerated instead of just on the store shelves. There are also differences between Greek yogurt products and regular yogurt. Greek yogurt is strained of its liquid whey which holds most of the calcium that would benefit a growing child.
Also, if you choose a regular, dairy-based yogurt that also contains fruit, then you have to consider the added sugar and fat that your child is consuming.
Without exception, honey should not be consumed by a child who under the age of 2 years old. Infants and toddlers are still developing the what is called “helpful bacteria” in their intestinal tract. Honey can quite easily contain bacterial spores that lead to botulism developing in a honey container that has been kept in a cupboard for an extended period of time after it has been opened.
7. Packaged Juices
So many box, bag, and bottled juices are specifically marketed to parents as healthy alternatives to soda for their children. Not so, in most cases, as the majority of these juices contain a high concentrate of sugar and very little natural fruit juice. On average, there is a minimum of 5 teaspoons of sugar in 8 ounces of most children’s juice products. This leads to not only obesity, but it has been shown to accelerate tooth decay in children.
The alternative is freshly squeezing a fruit into a blender, adding milk, and making a smoothie instead.
Do you have alternatives to any of these food products that your children love? Tell others about them and pass this article their way!
Our content is created to the best of our knowledge, yet it is of general nature and cannot in any way substitute an individual consultation with your doctor. Your health is important to us!