Dried apricots are too large and tough for young children to chew.

Are Dried Apricots Safe for Toddlers?

by Maggie McCormick

As your little one starts munching on big people food, you want to expose him to as many foods as possible to provide the greatest nutrition. Apricots are a good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, but only dried and canned varieties are available year-round. Unfortunately, apricots are not always safe for kids, especially for younger toddlers.

1. Choking

Perhaps the biggest concern with dried apricots is choking. A whole dried apricot is a large piece of food for a toddler and he may not have the teeth or skills to thoroughly chew it. If you still want to give your child a dried apricot, cut it into small pieces and stay near him at all times. Apricots may be better suited for a child who is 4 or 5 years old.

2. Allergens

Some children have allergic reactions to dried fruits, including apricots. The most common allergen is sulfite, which manufacturers use to preserve the fruit's appearance before drying. Mold spores are also common in dried fruits, and though many people eat them without a problem, this will cause a reaction in a child who has mold allergies. Some who have tree pollen allergies also have difficulty eating dried fruits.

3. Pits

Most of the time, manufacturers remove the pits from dried apricots before processing, but it's possible that one slipped through the inspection process or that small pieces remain. Pits present a choking hazard for your child, because she will not be able to chew them and may swallow them whole. Check each piece thoroughly, especially if you have a toddler who may not know enough to spit it out.

4. Calories

Calories can be a minor concern when it comes to dried apricots, as they are more concentrated in dried fruits. Though young children need calories to support their active lifestyles, and calories from fruits are preferable to those from artificial sweets, it's smarter to give your child the fresh fruit over the dried variety. Companies sometimes add sugar to dried fruits, which boosts the calorie count as well.

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