Food Safety and Other Is­sues

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Kids -

hil­dren who sam­ple a wider ar­ray of food tend to de­velop a more ad­ven­tur­ous palate when they grow up and are more likely to en­joy dif­fer­ent cuisines. This greater va­ri­ety also means they take in more nu­tri­ents, says Susie Rucker, a nu­tri­tional ther­a­pist from Body With Soul, a holis­tic health-care cen­tre.

If you make ex­plor­ing these foods a fam­ily ac­tiv­ity, it be­comes a great way to bond with your chil­dren – kids like it when they eat the same things as Mum and Dad. You can also teach them about the ori­gin or cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance of a dish, how it’s pre­pared or served, and so on. Susie says that while it’s good to start your kids early on a va­ri­ety of foods, re­mem­ber that they also have del­i­cate tum­mies – you might want to save ex­otic, spicy or un­cooked items for when they’re a lit­tle older.

Food qual­ity and safety are also big is­sues, says Dr Benita Perch, a natur­o­pathic physi­cian from the In­te­grated Medicine In­sti­tute in Hong Kong. Tuna, for ex­am­ple, is high in mer­cury, while farm-raised sal­mon is high in toxic chem­i­cals called poly­chlo­ri­nated biphenyls – so if your kids like these fish, limit their con­sump­tion to no more than a cou­ple of times a week.

Also make sure the food is prop­erly pre­pared. If it’s raw (for ex­am­ple, sashimi or carpac­cio), the in­gre­di­ents must be very fresh (an “off ” smell or a dull colour are signs that it isn’t fresh).

If you’re wor­ried about your child suf­fer­ing from nu­tri­tional de­fi­cien­cies as a re­sult of eat­ing these foods, don’t be, says Dr Perch. “As long as their di­ets are gen­er­ally healthy and bal­anced, and in­clude plenty

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