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Should young children be allowed to eat ice-cream?

12/07/2019

Should young children be allowed to eat ice-cream

In a cone or a cup? Fruit or creamy? What’s the best flavour? Everyone loves ice cream especially kids who ask for it all the time in summer. When can kids start eating eat ice cream?

We’re often told that young children should not be allowed to eat ice cream, above all strawberry or chocolate, because they might develop allergies. As a matter of fact there is no reason why your baby should not be allowed to taste a little ice cream even before you start weaning, and as early as 10-months: start with simple flavours like fruit, but just a taste mind. A few teaspoons are more than enough.

Remember that ice cream is not just a creamy delicious snack but nutritious food; the ice-cream you choose should be of good quality, produced according to strict health and safety rules.

And because ice-cream is food and not just a snack, it should be included in the daily diet of your children in a proper manner, so as not to create any qualitative and quantitative imbalances in the nutritional requirements of children or adults; remember that ice-cream is nutritious and high in proteins and also contains phosphorus, calcium and fibres. 

What sort of ice-cream should your children be eating: shop-bought ice cream? Or home-made ice-cream? What are the best flavours? Shop-bought ice cream is produced according to specific health and quality standards, which is why it is the best choice for our kids. Make sure the ice-cream you buy does not contain colouring agents and flavouring, and opt for yoghurt or creamy flavours, bearing in mind that the fat content is slightly higher than average, but is perfect for 1 or 2 year olds whose fat requirements are higher than those of adults.

Home-made fruit ice cream is also a great choice, as long as you do not put too much sugar into it. 

How much ice-cream should a one or two-year old child be allowed? How many times a week? Should ice-cream be snack or a meal?

Firstly, remember that a child's diet should be based on his or her weight, build and lifestyle. For a child of one or two years, we suggest a half or mini portion of ice cream, which, in the case of shop-bought ice-cream is about 40-50 grams. Your child should be allowed to eat ice-cream 2 or 3 times a week, as a snack in the mornings or afternoon.

There are many flavours to choose from: fruit ice-cream is an excellent snack, and perfect in summer rather than more fatty foods; creamy ice cream is a lovely choice for a summer outing by the sea, rather than buying fast-food, and goes well with vegetables and fresh fruit. In terms of energy and nutritional value, ice-cream is an excellent snack that gives you energy without making you feel too full.

So, parents, don't hesitate! Let your children experience the joy that only a delicious ice cream can give!