Food safety for kids

Food Safety for Kids – Top Tips & Rules

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Food safety for kids may refer to many things that concern food. Thus, food safety may refer to nutrition, among other things such as foods that kids should avoid, and hygiene concerns that relate to the kids.

Food safety is divided into various categories and can be targeted towards parents raising toddlers and older kids. Toddlers may not be in a position to ensure food safety, and this responsibility falls to the parents. Older kids, on the other hand, can be introduced to the rules of food safety, which should be beneficial not only in their childhood but also in different life stages.

Food is a basic need, and hence, this means that children of all ages will interact with the food. Thus, while food can be healthy, there are food safety rules that kids and parents need to follow to ensure that the kids are safe and that they have a healthy development.

Food safety begins from the preparation stage and involves the exercise of caution throughout the stages. While individuals ask why food safety is important, there are multiple answers, but the key takeaway is that it is a preventative tactic against dangers that kids might face around food.

Food Safety Guidelines for Children 

Food safety for kids

Role of the Parents

#1. Type of food

Children under the age of 5 years have a weak immune system than adults. This means that there are specific foods that the kids should avoid. The parents have the responsibility of ensuring that food is safe as food poisoning is dangerous for kids. Aside from food poisoning, there are other risks that the kids face regarding the food they consume. Hence, parents should consider avoiding various foods which include;

  • Partially cooked eggs or raw eggs;
  • Undercooked or raw fish;
  • Honey, for kids under the age of one year;
  • Leftovers as they catalyze the growth of bacteria. This is especially dangerous for children under the age of one year.

#2. Safe food storage

Food storage is an essential part of food safety. Cooked foods should be stored at less than 4 degrees Celsius, which prevents the growth of bacteria.

Part of the food safety guidelines for children is the storage of leftovers in the freezer. However, it is important to note that the child should not be fed from a container that will be used to store the leftovers.

#3. Supervise the Children

There are plenty of rules that parents need to understand and teach their children. Involving the children in the talks about food safety is essential, especially when they start to take more responsibilities in the future.

Food safety for children

Involving the children does not mean that they have to prepare whole dishes or recipes. There are simple tasks that can enable the child to feel engaged in the kitchen, and this allows the promotion of food safety around the home.

  • Asking children for opinions on what to cook can allow you to teach them about nutritious food.
  • Washing salads, fruits, and other vegetables are also simple tasks that can expose the child to the importance of keeping a clean environment in the kitchen.
  • Let the child work in their kitchen stations and supervise their activities.
  • Keep sharp objects away from the kids and let them use plastic knives unless you have been training them for a while.

Caution: Labels on the packages are vital in ensuring that the foods do not have any high risks of choking for young kids. However, while you may succeed in keeping away such foods from the kids, the kids may still be chocked. In such a situation, the parent must be prepared to act quickly, and knowledge of first aid and CPR is essential. How you, as the parent, react, is essential to ensure the safety of the child.

Rules Children need to follow

As a parent, the safety of your child is of uttermost importance. Thus, it can be difficult to create a comprehensive list that tackles the food safety concerns of the child. In truth, such a list is non-existent, but it is crucial to conduct adequate research. Such research allows a parent to explore the various options that exist for ensuring food safety.

The Institute of Child Nutrition Food Safety is one crucial resource that parents can utilize to ensure they get the basic knowledge about food safety. There are a couple of basic rules that parents can introduce to the children. These rules should be simple enough for the child to understand and remember consistently.

#1: Wash Your Hands! Wash Your Hands!

Food safety for kids - wash your hands

This is one rule that every kid should be taught. Insisting on hygiene is a rule that will prevent the contamination of food, and this will safeguard the kids throughout their lives. This is a practice that the kids can pass on to their friends.

#2. Wash Vegetables and Fruits

Unwashed fruits and vegetables are a source of bacteria, and this may lead to many problems for kids. Thus, teaching the kids about the importance of washing fruits will allow them to follow suit. Teaching the kids these rules from an early age, instills it into their behavior.

#3: Chew Slowly and Correctly 

Kids eating pizza - food safety

Teaching kids the correct way of chewing will prevent preventable cases of choking, which can be devastating, especially when the parents are not around.

#4. Other Rules

There are plenty of different rules that children need to know. These rules will allow the creation of a clean environment that supports food safety for kids.

  • Do not play around the kitchen when food is being prepared;
  • Wipe any food spills;
  • Ensure the food preparation surfaces are clean;
  • Never use electrical appliances without asking your parents;
  • Do not play with knives.

The Bottom Line!

Ensuring that food safety is observed at home is crucial in preventing any hazards. This is not the responsibility of just the parents but also the children who need to be educated about food safety. Involving the kids in the rules of food safety is critical as they are partly responsible for many activities that the parents might not have the time to supervise.


Robert is a father of a young daughter and has developed an expertise in child car seat safety. He is a keen supporter of the use of child safety systems having seen his daughter come away from a side impact collision unscathed due to the use of a child car seat. When he's not spending time reviewing child safety systems he works as a Technical Manager on major construction projects.

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