A. No. Processed meats are not good for your one year old and neither is it good for you.These packaged meats are there for your convenience but they are full of chemical additives such as nitrates as well as tons of salt. I eat Spam like most other Filipinos but starting a young child on the path of fatty, salty food paves the way for unhealthy eating habits as they get older. So try to delay the bacon, Vienna sausage, and ham as long as you can. Also, hotdogs in particular are actually a no-no for kids less than 3 years old as the tough skin on the hotdogs makes it a choking hazard for toddlers. If you must give your toddler hotdogs since they are being served at someone’s party, try to peel them and cut them up into bite sized pieces.
Yakult is a probiotic drink from Japan that has been around since the 1930s. There have been no studies that support the benefits of drinking Yakult among one year olds. That being said, probiotics are supposed to have health benefits (from better digestion to decreasing eczema) and have not been shown to harm children. Given that it has been in Japan since the 1930's, I would imagine that it has been given to young children in the past. The only absolute no-no is if your baby has any milk protein allergies or is lactose intolerant.
Yoghurt also has bacterial cultures and has recently joined the probiotic bandwagon. My only concern with flavored yoghurt is the amount of extra sugar in it. Why not just buy plain yoghurt and mix in some honey, fresh bananas or mangoes?
About the author: Rosanne Sugay, M.D., is an Internist and Pediatrician at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.