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Growing children have different growing needs. While your child might be eyeing on the servings of different dishes on his plate, they may not be safe for him to eat. Big chunks of fruits or whole nuts may cause choking in kids.
As a parent, you need to know that there are certain foods that may prove to be a choking hazard. Know more about different food items that should be avoided at various age groups.
Age Group: 1-2 Years
The following points will help you in understanding how to prevent choking when your child is 12 to 24 months old.
- Avoid giving him food larger than the size of a pea as it may get stuck in his throat and lead to choking. Carrots, celery, and green beans should be sliced into small pieces and cooked until very soft to chew. Similarly, cut fruits into pieces that can be easily eaten by him.
- Candies that are hard to bite, chewing gum, nuts and popcorns that may easily get stuck in the throat should be avoided at this age. These are likely to cause infections as well.
- Coarse peanut butter and other nut butters are difficult to swallow, and may contain pieces of nuts in them. So you need to be extra careful with them.
Age Group: 2 – 3 Years
As his age progresses, so will his eating habits. Even though he is capable of digesting more complex foods now, it is best to avoid food items that you have been keeping away from him till now. This is because the chances of choking are still high. Apart from this, discourage him from eating while travelling in a car, speaking or laughing while eating, and watching television or doing anything else that may distract him.
Age Group: 3 – 5 Years
Now that he has crossed the age bar of 3, he is a competent eater and is capable of eating a lot more food groups than before. However, you need to be vigilant about his food needs and demands. Let him avoid:
- A full hot dog, instead cut it into small pieces.
- Hard candies, including jelly beans as they are most likely to get stuck in the throat.
- Raw peanut butter, instead spread it on a bread as it makes it more chewable.
- Popcorns and nuts
- Too spicy food as it may upset his stomach.
- Whole grapes, cherry tomatoes. Cut them into halves or small pieces.
- Big chunks of meat, potatoes, or raw vegetables and fruits. Again, cut them into smaller pieces before giving him.
During the early years of life, the food pipe of the kid is the size of a straw. Any food item of a considerably larger size would pose a choking hazard. Therefore, adult supervision is required when small kids are eating their meals, while parents need to ensure that the food item is properly cooked and is in a form that does not have the potential to cause a choking hazard.