Because honey may contain botulism spores that can make your toddler sick, wait until she or he is 12 months old before offering honey. Don’t add honey to baby food, use honey on a soother, or offer foods that contain honey, such as graham wafers. The botulism spores are not a risk for adults or children older than 12 months.
Undercooked Meat and Eggs
Undercooked meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and eggs can cause food poisoning. Cook all meats until they are brown—NOT PINK—and the liquids run clear. Braising, stewing, and sautéing are good ways to cook meats thoroughly while keeping them soft to chew. Cook fish until it flakes with a fork. Cook eggs until hard, with no soft or runny yolk.
Do not offer raw or lightly cooked sprouts (for example, alfalfa or mung bean sprouts). These sprouts may contain harmful bacteria. Check for sprouts in salads or sandwiches from restaurants and vending machines. Only sprouts that are thoroughly cooked in stir‑fries or soups are safe for your toddler to eat.
Choose cheeses made from pasteurized milk. This will lessen the risk of food poisoning. Cheeses made from unpasteurized milk may contain harmful bacteria. These bacteria can cause toddlers to become very sick or even die. Cheese made from unpasteurized milk will say “unpasteurized” on the label.
Fish and Seafood
Fish is an important part of healthy eating. Fish provides many nutrients, such as protein and omega‑3 fats. Omega‑3 fats are important for brain and eye development. When you choose fish, it is important to know that some fish are high in mercury and have recommended serving limits. Mercury is a metal found naturally in the environment. Even small amounts of mercury can damage a growing brain. Mercury cannot be removed or reduced by cleaning, preparing, or cooking fish.
Choose fish low in mercury more often and to limit the number of servings of higher mercury fish. Wild or farmed salmon, shrimp, prawns, rainbow trout, Atlantic mackerel, and sole or Dover sole are low in mercury and have no limits. For more information, see the HealthLink BC file Healthy Eating: Choose Fish Low in Mercury.