Be aware of these ingredients
In fresh herbs such as parsley or chives, as well as leafy herbs like spinach, lettuce, kale, etc., there’s the risk of nitrite forming from dirt bacteria – even after a thorough rinse. Nitrite can be toxic to young children and can worst case cause infants to vomit and get a blue tinge to their skin due to lack of oxygen.
For that reason, the health organisations recommend that NO fresh herbs or leafy greens are used as pretty green garnish on the hot dinner for babies and toddlers. The smallest in the family can join for dinner, if the “green stuff” gets a proper simmer before serving, so in warm sauces, stews, bakes, or if pan-fried or sautéed.
Leftovers with herbs and leafy greens
If you want to save leftovers containing (cooked) herbs or leafy greens (spinach, kale, etc.) it’s important that the food is cooled quickly and placed in the fridge or freezer directly after cooking, as bacteria multiply quickly when food is left out. Such dishes can be eaten cold, but if you’re warming it, make sure it bubbles plenty.
Herb sprinkles on cold food
0-3 year olds, so infants and toddlers, can have fresh herbs on their cold food. E.g. chives on eggs and freshly chopped parsley in cold salads, but leftovers from these snacks and salads shouldn’t be kept for the really little ones, as the bacteria will form if left out – even in the fridge.
Summary of tips for herb sprinkles:
Don’t give babies and toddlers herb sprinkles on their hot meals.
Babies and toddlers are allowed fresh herb sprinkles on freshly cooked cold food.
Don’t feed babies and toddlers leftover cold food or cold salads containing fresh herbs.
Don’t save the leftovers from the child’s plate, just bin them.
Herb sprinkles for adults and kids older than 3
Bigger kids and adults are fine to eat freshly chopped herbs as a garnish on hot food. But if you’re saving the leftovers, it’s a good idea to leave out the herbs in the dish itself – as the bacteria can form rapidly while the dish is hot – but instead sprinkle onto the individual plates. the bacteria will form even when food is chilled in the fridge.