10 Ways to Make Solid Foods Safe for Baby

Follow these precautions to prevent choking hazards during mealtime.
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By Nicole Meadow, MPN, RD, Nutritionist
Updated April 10, 2018
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Image: Branislav Nenin/Shutterstock

Kids under age five can choke on food and small objects.  Believe it or not, a lot of the choking prevention advice for babies still holds for children up to 4 to 7 years old!

  1. Baby should sit up while eating, and be supervised at all times.

  2. Don’t hurry your child when eating—allow plenty of time for meals.

  3. Only put a small amount of food on the tray at a time.

  4. Avoid peanut butter—it’s a choking hazard.

  5. Avoid round, firm foods and chunks (hot dogs, nuts, meat/cheese chunks, whole grapes, hard or sticky candy, popcorn, raw carrots, other firm, raw fruit or vegetable chunks).

  6. Avoid foods that are sharp or angular (tortilla chips, potato chips, bagel chips).

  7. Avoid foods that are small enough to be accidentally inhaled instead of swallowed (seeds, shelled nuts, popcorn, raisins).

  8. Avoid stringy foods like string beans and celery.

  9. Do not offer baby honey before one year of age due to risk of botulism.

  10. The size of the pieces of food that you offer baby depends on his or her oral motor skills. Start small, and when you think he or she is ready to progress, make the pieces a little bit larger. If it appears that baby is not able to manage it in his or her mouth, go back to the smaller size, and try again with the larger size in a couple of weeks.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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