Is Fried Food Bad for Toddlers?

Is Fried Food Bad for Toddlers?

Although nutrition is essential at every age, it is crucial to focus on your children diet, especially if they are toddlers. Good nutrition gives your toddlers what they need for health, growth, energy for playing, learning, and moving. Your toddler needs proper nutrients to stay healthy and strong.

The choice of food directly affects your toddler’s physical health and mental wellbeing. Your toddler can eat various food items, such as oatmeal with milk, whole-grain cereal, bite-sized cooked beef, tofu, chicken, and vegetables.

Many mothers ask if their toddlers can eat fried food. In today’s article, we will answer this question. Frying is a common cooking method at homes and restaurants. Some popular fried foods include chicken strips, French fries, fish, cheese sticks, onion ring, doughnuts, hushpuppies, etc.

Although your toddler will like the taste of fried food, these foods are relatively higher in Trans-Fats and calories. Your toddler can eat fried food in low quantity occasionally. Eating a lot of fried foods can cause adverse effects on your child’s health. Read on!

Is Fried Food Bad for Toddlers?

Why should Toddlers not eat Fried Food?

A recent research study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association highlights that toddlers who eat French fries, soda, and pizza get too many calories. Researchers say that French fries are a commonly consumed vegetable for toddlers between the age of 15 and 24 months in the US, leading to harmful effects on their health.

The study further presented that the daily caloric requirement for toddlers aged one to two years is 950 calories. However, the survey of over 3,000 toddlers found that the average calorie intake of this age group was more than 1,200. It means toddlers consume 250 more calories than they need due to fried food.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unhealthy food can lead to various health conditions in toddlers. For instance, the obesity prevalence in toddlers aged 2-3 years is 18.5%.

Obesity can harm a toddler’s body in numerous ways. Toddlers who have obesity have increased risk of high cholesterol, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease in future. Besides, obesity can lead to impaired glucose tolerance, type-2 diabetes, and insulin resistance.

Digestive Issues

Fried, greasy, and fatty foods can lead to heartburn, nausea, and other digestive issues in children aged 1-2. Your toddler may not find it harder to digest greasy, fattier foods. Because the stomach empties slowly, your toddler may have heartburn.

If you notice any signs like coughing, funniness, chest pain, sore throat, and hoarse voice after giving fried food to your toddler, make sure you immediately call the doctor. Instead of giving your child fired food, such as meat, it is wise to provide him with baked, cooked, or braised meat. You can also serve rice and potato with a minimum amount of salt.

Heart Disease

Fried food is often cooked in hydrogenated oil, such as sunflower and soybean oils. These oils contain higher quantities of Trans Fats, which can elevate LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and lower HDL (good) cholesterol levels in children. As a result, your child will have an increased risk of heart diseases.

Final Words

Fried food is bad for people of all ages, including infants and toddlers. It can lead to various health conditions and affect your child’s health significantly. However, if you still want to give fried food, make sure you serve them in moderation.

Besides, you can use extra virgin oil instead of hydrogenated oil in food. Olive oil helps protect the intestinal walls, decrease gastric acidity, and is well-tolerated by your toddler’s digestive system. Lastly, it is wise to consult your doctor or nutritionist for better advice.

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