LOVE IT FOODS: watermelon, grapes*
LIKE IT FOODS: steak*, popcorn*
LEARNING IT FOODS: cherry tomatoes*, dark chocolate
*Read post for more on potential choking hazards
A PSA on Choking Hazards
Today's lunchbox compels me to share a little PSA on choking hazards like grapes and popcorn.
PSA: I'm afraid I have not done a good job highlighting the appropriate caution and concern that should be taken with such foods, especially when I show us giving it to our toddler at an age earlier than many would recommend. I recognize I am more liberal than many, but I never want to advocate unsafe feeding practices. Instead, I think it is important for each parent and family to evaluate the recommendations (like the AAPs below), assess risk:benefit when feeding such foods, and establish safe feeding practices that discourage the occurrence of choking.
WARNING: The American Academy of Pediatrics says that children under 4 years old should not eat such foods (due to increased risk of choking): hot dogs or sausage; hard, gooey or sticky candy; peanuts, nuts and seeds; whole grapes; chunks of meat or cheese; marshmallows; thick gobs of peanut butter; popcorn; chunks of raw fruits or vegetables (such as carrots or apples); and chewing gum.
RECOMMENDATION: Even if your child seems to be a more competent eater (as I often fee inclined to argue with my own), there's still a chance they may choke on their food. Since their windpipe is only about the diameter of a regular straw, such foods could block a child airway if inhaled. For this reason, use caution when sending such foods to school where supervision may be split among many kids, as well as when your child is walking, in the car, watching television, or doing anything else that might distract them from their meal/snack.
YOUR THOUGHTS: I would love for you to comment and share what questions, concerns, and/or approaches you have when it comes to introducing and offering your young kids foods that are potential choking hazards. Do you wait til at least age 4 to offer?