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20 July 2017

Infant nutrition and cured meats

In infant nutrition it is important to know how to choose each food by its nutritional value.
“Buono a sapersi” (Good to know) edited by Jessica Lops (Dietician)  

Infant nutrition is currently a complicated issue and very often a source of confusion. From the moment of weaning it should be carefully evaluated, since a healthy and well-balanced diet ensures the correct development of children.

Solid foods, and especially the more complex ones, should be introduced gradually according to age to give the gastrointestinal system time to mature.
Opinions on cured meats are contrasting: some parents as well as some doctors have reservations on the matter, while others are more tolerant. Generally speaking, however, moderation is always the best answer and products should be chosen that preferably contain no preservatives and whose origin is known.
It is also important to choose every food for its nutritional value and not simply its appearance or tastiness, and it is essential that this message is also conveyed to our children. The objective is always to guarantee a healthy and varied diet.

Cured meats are mouth-watering and children undoubtedly like them a lot. They can be eaten as part of the main meal or occasionally as a snack. For children cooked ham is definitely a tasty meal, which contains no polyphosphates or lactose and should be served preferably without fat.
Raw ham is an equally valid food although its salt content makes it advisable to limit the amount that is eaten. With regard to cured meat, paediatricians advise introducing it into the diet after six years of age. This does not mean that our children cannot enjoy a bread roll with salami every now and then, provided that it is only an occasional treat.

In general there are approx. 15g of protein and approx. 130 kcal in 50g of cured meat; the caloric intake obviously goes down if top quality cured meats are selected and the visible fat removed.
For a healthy and well-balanced diet it is preferable that cured meats always be accompanied by vegetables or carbohydrates to re-equilibrate the level of sodium and fats.

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