9 Foods babysitters should avoid serving
June 1, 2023

9 Foods babysitters should avoid serving

  • Honey

    Babysitters should avoid giving honey to children under 1 year old because it can contain spores of bacteria that can cause infant botulism, a serious illness that affects the nervous system. Infants have immature digestive systems and are more susceptible to the bacteria than older children and adults. It is recommended that children under 1 year old avoid honey altogether.
  • Nuts and popcorn

    Babysitters should avoid giving nuts and popcorn to children they are babysitting because they are common choking hazards for young children. Additionally, some children may have allergies to nuts, which can be life-threatening. It's best to stick to age-appropriate snacks that are safe for the child. To learn more about choking hazards and what to do if a child chokes, take a babysitting course.
  • Raw or undercooked meat, eggs, or fish

    Babysitters should avoid giving raw or undercooked meat, eggs, or fish to children due to the risk of foodborne illness. These foods may contain harmful bacteria or parasites that can cause illness such as salmonella, E. coli, or listeria. Cooking these foods to the appropriate temperature can help kill any harmful bacteria and reduce the risk of illness.

    It is important for babysitters to take extra precautions when it comes to food safety. In addition to avoiding raw or undercooked meat, eggs, and fish, babysitters should also take the following steps:

    • Wash hands thoroughly before handling food
    • Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meat, eggs, and fish
    • Store food at the appropriate temperature to prevent bacterial growth
    • Check expiration dates on all food products before using
    • Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw meat, eggs, and fish away from ready-to-eat foods

    By following these tips, babysitters can help ensure that the children they are caring for stay healthy and free from foodborne illness. It's always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to food safety, especially when it comes to young children who may be more susceptible to illness.

  • Hot dogs and sausages

    Babysitters should avoid giving hot dogs and sausages to children because they are high in sodium, nitrates, and preservatives, which can increase the risk of health problems such as obesity and heart disease.

    Additionally, these foods can pose a choking hazard for young children due to their shape and texture. To reduce the risk of choking, make sure to cut hotdogs or sausages lengthwise if parents have requested them for their children. This simple modification adjusts the shape of the food and can make it safer for young ones to consume.

  • Hard candy and gum

    Babysitters should not give hard candy and gum to children because they pose a choking hazard. Young children may accidentally swallow these candies or choke on them if they try to eat them too quickly. Additionally, gum can be a choking hazard if it is not chewed properly. It is important for babysitters to prioritize the safety of the children in their care by avoiding potential choking hazards such as hard candy and gum.

    In addition to being aware of potential choking hazards, babysitters should also be trained in CPR and first aid. This can help them to respond quickly in the event of an emergency and potentially save a child's life. Babysitters should also be sure to keep emergency contact information on hand, as well as any relevant medical information about the children in their care.

  • Sugary and caffeinated drinks

    Babysitters should avoid giving sugary and caffeinated drinks to children because they can cause hyperactivity and difficulty sleeping. Additionally, sugary drinks can contribute to tooth decay and caffeine can cause dehydration. It's best to stick to water and healthy beverages like milk or 100% fruit juice. Remember, it's important to limit the consumption of sugary and caffeinated drinks, even if they are marketed as "kids' drinks". By offering healthier alternatives, you can help children develop good habits that will benefit them in the long run.
  • Raw vegetables

    Raw vegetables can be a choking hazard for babies and young children, and they may also be difficult for their digestive system to handle. It's best to cook vegetables before giving them to young children to make them easier to eat and digest. Cooking vegetables before feeding them to young children is a great way to ensure that they are safe and easy to eat. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when preparing vegetables for young children:

    • Cut vegetables into small, bite-sized pieces to reduce the risk of choking.
    • Steam or boil vegetables until they are soft enough to mash with a fork.
    • Consider seasoning vegetables with herbs to add flavor without relying on salt or sugar.
    • Try incorporating cooked vegetables into other dishes like mashed potatoes, pasta sauces, or omelets to make them more appealing to young children.

    Remember, it's important to introduce a variety of vegetables into a child's diet to ensure that they are getting all of the important nutrients that they need to grow and develop. By cooking vegetables and making them more appealing to young children, you can help to ensure that they are getting the nutrition that they need to thrive.

  • Marshmallows

    A babysitter should not give marshmallows to a child because they are a choking hazard, especially for small children who may not be able to properly chew and swallow them. Additionally, marshmallows are high in sugar and low in nutrition, so it is best to avoid them as a snack.
  • Spicy or heavily seasoned food

    A babysitter should avoid giving spicy or heavily seasoned food to children because their taste buds are still developing, and they may find these flavors overwhelming or irritating. Additionally, spicy foods can cause discomfort or even digestive issues for young children. It's best to stick to mild, simple foods that are easy for children to digest.

    It's important to always consider a child's age, dietary restrictions, and any food allergies when choosing what to serve them. Some other tips for feeding children as a babysitter include:

    • Offer a variety of healthy options, such as fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
    • Avoid giving children sugary snacks or drinks, as these can cause energy spikes and crashes.
    • Encourage children to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
    • Don't force children to eat if they're not hungry, but also don't let them skip meals entirely.
    • Offer small, frequent meals and snacks throughout the day to keep children fueled and satisfied.
    • Become a certified babysitter to prepare yourself for emergencies.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that the children you're babysitting are getting the nourishment they need to stay healthy and happy.