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    Child-Friendly Christmas Eve: What to Include and Exclude

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    The holiday season brings forth a myriad of festive dishes, but when it comes to young children, caution is key. Ewelina Poźniak, a specialist in infant and toddler nutrition, shares insights on crafting a child-friendly Christmas menu.

    Fish on the Festive Table

    Despite parental concerns about the quality of available fish, fatty marine species like halibut are rich in essential DHA for a child’s eye and brain development. Traditional fish dishes may be laden with fats, so exploring alternatives like Greek-style baked salmon is advisable. Ensuring all bones are meticulously removed is crucial.

    Dried Mushrooms

    Edible mushrooms fall into two categories – wild and cultivated. Wild mushrooms, prone to confusion with toxic varieties, are not recommended for children under 12. Cultivated varieties like button mushrooms can be introduced after 6 months but are best delayed until the 10-12 month mark.

    What to avoid:

    • Fish with bones
    • Fish from uncertain sources
    • Predatory, long-living fish, such as tuna
    • Fish in oil and sauces based on mayonnaise and sour cream
    • Fish fried in deep fat
    • Borscht with added sour cream, salt, sugar, and vinegar
    • Heavy, hard-to-digest dishes with cabbage, like bigos
    • Wild mushrooms until around the age of 12
    • Dried fruits and whole nuts, especially those large enough for a child to choke on
    • Poppy seeds in the first year of life
    • Large amounts of poppy seeds
    • Honey before completing the first year of life

    What to serve:

    • Baked and steamed fatty sea fish, e.g., cod, devoid of bones
    • Vegetable soup with cooked beets
    • Dumplings or dumplings with finely chopped, cooked cabbage filling
    • Cultivated mushrooms, e.g., mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, preferably cooked or stewed, but not at the beginning of diet expansion
    • Cooked dried fruits in Christmas compote
    • Ground nuts in noodles with poppy seeds or kutia
    • Honey after the age of 12 months

    Refer to the “First Holidays with Your Child” e-book by Nestlé Baby&me for more holiday planning insights.

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