5 things not to feed your toddler
It's an adventure introducing new foods to your weaning toddler, but give these a miss for now.
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Peanuts A handful of peanuts and raisins is a healthy snack, but not for toddlers. Any small, hard food is a choking hazard for children under 5, who aren't that good at chewing yet. One of the worst culprits is whole viennas, as the sausage is the exact size and shape to block the baby's windpipe. Soft foods like marshmallows can also cause a problem for babies who can't chew well.

Coffee or cola Drinks with a high caffeine content aren't the best choice for toddlers. Nor are fizzy cold-drinks in general. Let's face it, who needs a toddler with a caffeine or sugar buzz? Instead offer water, diluted juice or rooibos tea - but don't forget milk is still an important food for small children.

Sweets Most human beings have a sweet tooth, and it's only natural for toddlers to enjoy the taste of sweets. But with such small tummies they can't take in much food, so it's better to emphasise foods with a high nutrition value and satisfy that sweet tooth with fruit. It's not necessary to ban sweets altogether forever, but for toddler birthday parties the emphasis can be on more nutritious options.

Sugar-free foods Artificial sweeteners are useful for adults who have a problem digesting sugar. But there's no benefit for a toddler to be given sugar-free foods as a substitute. Low-fat or fat-free foods are also not necessary for toddlers - rather offer full-cream dairy products.

Highly salted foods Given half a chance, toddlers will make a beeline for the crisps like any other child, but try to keep highly salted foods out of reach. Their bodies can't metabolise too much salt. You also don't need to salt meals too highly, as your baby won't have the same taste expectations yet.

Are there any foods you don't allow your toddler to eat?

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