We all want to feed our children the very best, but some popular “healthy” options may actually be bad choices. Pediatrician Dr. Tanya Altmann discusses three common kid foods that she doesn’t recommend – and she suggests better alternatives.
• White Rice Cereal. This was once the standard “first solid food” for babies, but Dr. Altmann says its day is over. “It has no fiber, little protein, little flavor,” she explains – plus it encourages babies to have a taste for refined white carbs later in life. Instead, she recommends feeding peanut-butter oatmeal. Once dreaded as an allergy trigger, early exposure to peanuts is now encouraged – children who have peanut proteins early are less likely to develop a deadly peanut allergy.
• Teething Biscuits. “They have no nutrition in them,” Dr. Altmann tells ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork. “You’re simply teaching your baby to gnaw on a sweet-tasting cookie whenever they want.” Instead, offer your teething infant frozen melon or zucchini in a teething net to prevent choking.
• Pouches: “Just because it comes a pouch doesn’t mean it’s healthy,” cautions Dr. Altmann. And they can encourage overeating as the baby slurps down food. Plus, babies and small children aren’t learning to eat and chew real foods – and they aren’t learning to stop when they’re full. If you turn to pouches for convenience, read the label to make sure the contents are real fruits and vegetables, and use a spoon so your child learns to control their eating.