Do you get a little panic when your friends or relatives give food to your little ones without asking for your consent? In my opinion, I would say it is absolutely acceptable to politely remind your friends and relatives about your little ones’ food allergies and your personal preference of “please ask me before giving food to my child”.
Here is a list of festive snacks that adults cannot resist but not necessarily healthy snacks for children:
Flavoured dried plums
The tasteful flavoured dried plums are irrisistible (for adults). Did you know that it is actually made of lots of artificial flavoring and preservatives? Take a look at the ingredients list and I’m sure you can find very little natural ingredients.
It is bad for children as children’s detoxification system is yet to be mature. Moreover, children might risk swallowing the small seeds, a serious choking hazard.
Salted vegetables & dried meat related products
The high sodium content in this category of festive food can easy surpass one’s daily recommended sodium intake. Marinated food products are often packed with nitrite, aflatoxin and benzopyrene, that are the main cancer causing culprits.
Nuts & Seeds
Many parents might assume that as long as children have a mouthful of teeth, they should be able to safely consume nuts and seeds. In fact, children below 3 years old have yet to fully developed their chewing and swallowing skills, therefore they might not be able to productively chew the nuts and seeds into a digestible form. In rare cases, children suffer from choking hazard especially when they are eating while playing.
Honey is not suitable for toddler below 1 years old due to the risk of Botulism. Botulism is a rare and potentially fatal illness caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The disease begins with weakness, blurred vision, feeling tired, and trouble speaking.
The colourful and tasteful jelly is another artificial food that you should not be giving to your children. Not only that it contains little or none nutritional values, it is also one of the common choking hazard.
It’s absolutely not all right to have a two-year-old sipping wine and beer, it provides absolutely no benefit to the child and it can be quite harmful.
Alcohol has very specific effects on the body that can be particularly harmful to a child. It causes the blood sugar to fall to levels that can cause irritability, confusion, and even seizures. It lowers the body temperature, and since children’s bodies have such a large surface area relative to their weight, they lose heat rapidly and can become hypothermic very easily. Additionally, alcohol has very direct effects on the brain. Since most of a person’s brain growth occurs during the first few years of life, repeated exposure to alcohol could interfere with brain growth and cause delayed development and lowered intelligence.
Ginkgo is known for containing a small amount of toxin, more if consumed uncooked. However if a child consumes uncooked ginkgo, the risk of food poisoning and fatality is much higher than adults.
Caffeine in coffee may hinder children’s brain and bone development. Who needs an even more hyper child when your child is already active without caffeine?
Glutinous Rice Balls, Rice Cakes
The main ingredient for this festive snack is glutinous rice. Although it is a relatively healthy option, but children’s delicate digestive system may not be able to handle them well yet. Overeating this category of snacks will cause bloated stomach, nausea and poor digestion. Definitely not recommended for toddler below 3 years old.
Sashimi, medium rare beef, alcohol-cooked seafood etc
Most of the sashimi slices on top of the Yee Sang are not hygienically prepared, so you can imagine the risk level of food poisoning, especially for those with poor digestive system and children.
Children do not have a mature digestive system to protect them against food-borne disease.
Keep an eye on them
Better be safe than sorry. Remind your children if they have any food allergies, give gentle reminders to your friends and family on your take of giving food to children.
Seek immediate medical assistance if needed. Better be safe than sorry!
Know your limits
It is impossible to ban your children to snack on every single type of less healthy snacks. Set your limit and educate your children to consume these snacks responsibly and sensibly. After all, the big part of CNY is food sharing, right?