Your toddler can eat lots of grown-up foods now. Hooray! But they haven’t mastered chewing quite yet. This means there are a lot of foods out there that pose choking risks. We’ve got five toddler choking prevention tips, plus a list of foods to avoid.
5 tips to prevent toddler choking
- Stay on top of your child's chewing and swallowing abilities.
- Provide utensils so your little one can learn to use a child-size spoon and fork—and slow down mealtime a bit.
- Keep an eye on your toddler while they eat.
- Make sure they sit upright while eating. Your child should never eat while lying down or running.
- Cut their food into bite-size pieces and be aware of foods that are difficult to eat.
Foods to avoid due to choking hazard
These foods are cylindrical in shape making it easy to choke on or are very sticky and difficult to swallow. Some examples include:
- Grapes. Cut whole grapes into four pieces. It’s best for babies to eat grapes without the skin if possible.
- Candy, popcorn, and nuts. These hard foods are difficult for your little one to chew and can pose choking risks.
- Taffy or gum. These should be avoided since they can mold to your child’s throat and block their airway.
- Raw carrots. Cook or mash carrots.
- Hot dogs. Cut these lengthwise, into narrow pieces.
- Peanut butter. Spread it thinly and use smooth instead of chunky.
It’s exciting now that your little one can enjoy a variety of new foods, just make sure to keep an eye on them so that they’re able to try new flavors without the danger. If you feel unsure about the food you’re serving, refer back to our toddler choking prevention list for a refresher or consult your pediatrician.