Ice cream for children, is it okay as a snack?

Ice cream for children, is it okay as a snack?
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Which kind of ice cream to give a child? From what age? Which flavors to start with? And what is the calorie intake? Better cone or cup?

In this article

The various types of ice cream

Artisan or industrial ice cream?

"There are three categories of ice cream" said Giuseppe Morino, head of the Clinical Dietetics Operating Unit at the Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital in the city -:

  • artisanal ice cream, made on site with fresh raw materials;
  • semi-artisan ice cream, always made on site but using an industrial base, to which fresh fruit, fresh milk or other ingredients that characterize a certain taste are added;
  • industrial ice cream, made entirely by industry and then transported to the point of sale while preserving the cold chain.

The calories

When it comes to calories, there isn't much difference between the three types of ice cream. The difference is given by the basic ingredients:

  • if it is ice cream with cream, a portion will have over 300 kcalories;
  • if the ice cream is made with milk it will have about 200 kcalories,
  • if the ice cream is fruit based it will have about 100 kcalories.

The security

From the point of view of safety, in industrial ice cream a series of rigid controls are carried out upstream, which guarantee compliance with hygiene standards; but if the artisanal ice cream shop scrupulously observes the various hygiene rules, artisanal ice cream is also absolutely 'safe'.

Additives and flavor in ice cream

In both ice creams, artisanal or industrial, there may be additives, such as emulsifiers or dyes: they are often of natural origin and in any case they are always legal substances.

"The real difference can be in taste - says Morino -. Being made with natural and fresh ingredients, artisanal (or even semi-artisan) ice cream tastes better. However, if you need to have ice cream at home available in every moment, the industrial one is certainly more comfortable ".

Read also: Snacks for children

How many times can you give your child ice cream?

Remember that "ice cream is not 'something more' or a simple drink, but a food real, with a caloric and nutritional intake - carbohydrates, fats and proteins - well defined. It can represent a excellent snack, snack or after dinner of a balanced dinner, to be given even every day "says Morino.

"However, if the child tends to be overweight, it is better to limit him to a couple of times a week, giving preference to fruit flavors and in any case avoiding the addition of cream".

Better the cone, the biscuit ice cream or the cup?

Better the cup, "so you don't add the calories of the waffle. Finally, remember that, as soon as you eat, the ice cream has a good satiating power, but the effect does not last long and easily after a while the child will be hungry again : at that point we will be able to give him some fresh fruit, which satisfies him without giving an excessive caloric intake ".

From what age can the child eat ice cream?

At the age of one. "The taste of sweet is innate in the child so it is something that he certainly likes. It can be given as a snack or snack when the baby is 12 months old. Once introduced, it is also okay to give it a portion, albeit small, without making it 'suffer' with tastings at the tip of a teaspoon!

"At the beginning we choose the simpler flavors, such as fiordilatte, and we avoid those containing dyes which, although natural, could cause allergic reactions in predisposed subjects" concludes the dietician. "In the early days it is better to avoid chocolate, exotic fruit, strawberries, cream, dried fruit (hazelnuts, almonds) and of course coffee or flavors that do not exist in nature (such as certain ice creams with unnatural colors, such as light blue !) ".

You can also prepare DIY ICE LOLLIES together. SEE HOW IT'S DONE

  • food
  • summer baby feeding
  • child diet
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  • snack
  • 3-5 children years
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