Food Safety For Preschool and School-Aged Children

Food safety is very important especially when it comes to feeding young children. Babies and children under 4 years of age need to be watched more carefully as they are still learning all the shapes and textures food comes in. In addition to preparing the foods correctly, such as cutting them into bite sized pieces, you will also need to always supervise a child under the age of 4 while eating, never leaving them to eat alone.

Here are some more tips for preparing foods correctly.

1. Food should be cut into easy to swallow, small pieces. Especially foods such as carrots, hot dogs, bananas, and grapes. These can all create a choking hazard.

2. Limit the types of food given to the child. Some foods just do not need to be given to a child under the age of four. Some examples include: popcorn, pretzels, peanuts, chips and marshmallows.

Food safety is equally as important for school aged children. Think about the things that you give your child to take to school in their lunch bag. Make sure that these are items that can remain in the lunch bag for several hours without becoming contaminated. Also, make sure that you prepare the items safely.

Here are some tips for school-aged children’s foods:

1. Use an insulated lunch bag. This type of bag will keep the food cooler longer, ensuring that your child’s food does not become contaminated. You can even include an ice pack to keep items extra cool.

2. Make sure to boil hot foods. Before putting hot foods, such as soup, to a boil before pouring it into a vacuum-sealed container to keep hot in their lunch bag this ensures that the food is safe to eat.

3. Give your child instructions. Encourage your child to place their lunch bag out of direct sunlight so that it does not get too hot. Also, have them keep their foods sealed off so that they stay fresh.

Using these tips should improve the safety of all children’s food from birth through elementary age.

Children can learn about food safety and will know what is safe to eat and what is not. So, teach your children as you go along as well. It is too important of a topic to just skip over in your life. Encourage them not to take food from others which is not prepared correctly or if they are unsure about it. Saying, “No thank you” is a simple polite way to refuse food they are unsure about eating. This will ensure that you know your child is safe when it comes to the foods that they consume.