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.
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.