Photo by AndrisMom The other day I made my six-year-old son a biscuit with honey. As my 14-month-daughter pointed and grunted her wish for some, I instinctively broke off a piece and started to give it to her. Then in mid air, I yanked it back, as BOTULISM flashed through my head.
I knew babies weren't supposed to have honey, but couldn't remember how long that ban is in effect. I did some quick research and found that most experts say after a child is 1 their digestive system is mature enough to handle honey. Phew.
But that got me thinking about other foods that I am and am not giving my daughter and what, if anything, toddlers should NOT eat.
As I wrote last week, dirt is okay, but what about giving your toddler peanut butter?
There are an array of opinions on this one as far as allergy prevention goes. But the current popular thinking seems to be that if you have no family history of peanut allergies, asthma or eczema, then it's okay to introduce peanut butter around age 1. If there are family allergies, then the recommendation is to wait until age 3 and to seek the advice of a doctor.
Big spoonfuls of peanut butter should never be given to any child under 3 because it's a choking hazard. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also lists the following foods as choking hazards for toddlers: hot dogs (unless sliced lengthwise, then across), whole raw carrots, nuts (especially peanuts), raw cherries with pits, round, hard candies or gum, raw celery, whole grapes, marshmallows. (A personal oops on the marshmallows, as I use them to bribe my daughter into taking medicine.)
In February, The AAP even called for warning labels and a redesign of some of the most popular foods that pose a choking hazard .
Then there's sugar. No one recommends giving it to toddlers, but at least in my house, with an older brother (and a mom with a sweet tooth), there's virtually no way I can (realistically) keep it from my daughter. But besides fighting the ubiquitous battle against obesity, here's another reason I should probably try harder -- children who eat sugar are more likely to wind up as criminals.
Pass the broccoli, please.
Are there any foods you don't let your toddler eat?