There's no denying that sausage is delicious and if you're like many moms, you want to share yummy foods with your little one. Some foods, however, aren't appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers unless you take measures to protect your child when he eats it. Sausages do pose a choking risk so you don't want to just slap one on your child's plate and hope for the best. That doesn't mean that you can't serve sausage, just that you have to prepare it differently.
When to Introduce
You know that new eaters probably shouldn't be eating sausage, but you might wonder when is a good time to let your little one try it. Though readiness differs among kids, most are ready to eat finger foods by about nine months of age, so your 2-year-old toddler is surely ready. However, keep in mind that nothing says you have to give your kid sausage just because he can probably eat it. If you're not comfortable serving it, wait awhile.
Raw sausage, like any type of meat, poses a health risk if not cooked thoroughly. Place the sausages in a pan and cook them whole or crumble them and cook until no longer pink. You can also grill or bake sausage, but cut it to make sure it isn't raw before serving. Once cooked, serve sausage plain alongside toast and eggs or mix it into pasta, gravy for biscuits or soup. Or, use it to make shepherd's pie or creamy noodle casseroles. No matter what you serve it with, the flavor of sausage is pleasing to many kids.
Like hot dogs, sausages are a food that you must be careful feeding to kids, especially toddlers and preschoolers because, as bite-sized pieces could cause choking. Don't let your child eat a whole sausage. Instead, remove the skins and chop the sausage into small pieces. You can also slice the sausages and then cut each slice into quarters. Stay near your child when he eats sausage so that you are close if he needs help. Don't serve sausage with other foods your child has never tried because if he has an allergic reaction, you won't know which item caused it. Wait a few days after giving your child sausage before letting him have something else new.
Sausage doesn't rank too high on the scale of nutrient-dense foods. That doesn't mean he can't ever have it, but understanding its impact on your child's health helps you serve it in appropriate doses. Sausage is generally high in fat, calories and salt. Too much of these increases the risk of unhealthy weight gain and high blood pressure. So don't serve sausage at every meal, but let your little one enjoy it occasionally.
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