In general, experts recommend not giving ice cream to children under 1 year of age. The main reason is that, until then, it is not recommended that any food containing cow's milk or other species' milk, including its derivatives, be introduced into the baby's diet, unless they are special preparations for babies.
From 12 months, milk and its derivatives, including ice cream, can begin to form part of the child's diet.
1. Allergies: It is advisable to exercise extreme caution when ice creams contain certain fruits or nuts. Some fruits, like strawberries, are highly allergenic, and are a very common ingredient in commercial ice cream. Nuts are also highly allergenic, and, due to the risk of choking, their administration is not usually recommended until the child chews properly, so ice creams that contain them in their composition should be avoided. At this point there is some controversy as to the specific age until which the intake of whole nuts or pieces should be postponed, since it is not possible to generalize. The type of diet that the baby has followed since the introduction of complementary feeding and its ease in chewing can give an idea of whether or not it is ready for consumption.
2. Colorants and additives: On the other hand, commercial ice cream also contains colorants, preservatives and other additives that can cause allergies in young children, which is why homemade ice cream is the healthiest option for our children. In particular, homemade fruit smoothies, made with milk or plain yogurt, and frozen either in the form of a tub or lolly, can be attractive to the child, while providing nutrients from the fruit and milk without adding an extra sugar to its composition.
3. Food poisoning: In the sanitary section, in addition to ensuring that the establishment where the ice cream is purchased respects the food safety and hygiene regulations, it should not be forgotten that respecting the cold chain is essential to keep bacteria that can cause food poisoning at bay. Salmonellosis, in particular, can occur from the consumption of ice cream contaminated with Salmonella, a relatively common bacteria in ice cream made from milk when it is not kept at the proper temperature.
On the other hand, it is necessary to take into account that ice creams, particularly commercial ones, have large amounts of sugar in their composition, so their consumption should only be occasional, since high sugar intake is related to dental caries and overweight .
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