IMPORTANT NOTICE: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months and continued breastfeeding for as long as possible. Growing up milks are formulated to meet nutrition needs of healthy young children older than 1 year and should not be fed to infants.
Food is one of the main and most common choking hazards among children under age 3, who don’t have their full set of teeth yet and are still learning how to chew and swallow properly.
This is why various types of food were categorized to suit each age group. Below is a detailed list of the most dangerous foods for toddlers under three:
- Round-shaped and gummy foods, like whole grapes
- Crunchy foods like nuts, seeds, raw vegetables, apples, popcorn and biscuits
- Hard candy
- Sticky candy, such as marshmallow and caramel
- Big or hard pieces of meat and cheese.
Regarding raw vegetables, meat, cheese and grapes, we advise you to cut them into smaller pieces before serving them to your child. As for the other types of food mentioned in the list, we recommend to avoid them until your baby becomes a more competent eater, starting his second year.
Besides taking precautions, we ask you to follow a few tips and pointers in order to maintain your baby’s good health and keep him safe from hazards:
- Don’t ever let your baby out of your sight while eating.
- Serve your child small quantities of food so he doesn’t try to eat everything in one bite.
- Introduce your child to safe combinations of food and cooked meals before raw ones. Start with cooked apples and carrots, and then move to grated apples and carrots.
- Give food to your child only when he’s in sitting position; don’t let him eat while walking, climbing, running, lying or watching TV.
- Don’t give your child food while he’s in the car seat.
- Instruct your child not to catch food in his mouth.
- Make sure your child is totally awake before you give him food.
- Don’t give your child food while he’s crying or laughing.
- Mash your baby’s food or mince it finely so it’s softer on the gum and much easier to chew.
- When the time comes to introduce finger foods, make sure to cut the fruits, vegetables, meats and the cheese, into tiny pieces before serving them to your child.
- Choose your child’s meals wisely and carefully, avoiding marshmallow, candies, whole grapes, seeds, nuts and popcorn that can obstruct his airways and cause him to choke.
Finally, don’t forget to teach your child the healthy and safe way to chew and swallow food by being his role model in this regard.
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