Choking Risk Foods & How To Serve Them

There are certain foods that pose more of a risk of choking than others, so it is best and safest for us to modify how we serve these foods so that they are as safe as possible. This is just a guide and you as a parent can then decide how best to offer these foods. You may also be interested in my first aid blog post on choking which explains what to do if a baby is choking. Luckily this is very rare but it is always good to be prepared.

Grapes
From 6 months old chop grapes into quarters. From 2/3 years old chop in half and then from 5 years old you can offer grapes whole.

Nuts
From 6 months old serve nuts using nut butters containing just nuts (no added sugar or oils) spread thinly on toast or mixed into yogurt or porridge. You can also offer ground nuts mixed into things. From 2/3 your can offer nuts chopped up small. Avoid offering nut butters off a spoon as the texture means it can clog up in a child’s throat. From 5 years you can offer nuts whole.

Seeds
Larger seeds can be served ground from 6 months old and stirred into foods such as yogurt and porridge. Smaller seeds are fine, but if in doubt ground them down. Remember sesame seeds are a potential allergen. 

Cheese
Hard cheeses like cheddar should be grated from 6 months old and then from 2/3 years chopped into small squares.

Carrots
From 6 months old you can cook carrot (steam or roast) and serve it in fingers that are easy for your baby to pick up. You can also grate raw carrot for them. From 2 years old you can slice raw carrot very thinly to serve to your child and from 5 years children can have raw batons of carrot.

Blueberries
Large blueberries should be chopped in half or squished between your fingers from 6 months old.  Continue to do this with large blueberries until your child is 5 years old.

Olives
For olives follow the same guidance as grapes. From 6 months old chop olives into quarters. From 2/3 years old chop in half and then from 5 years old you can offer olives whole.

Apple
From 6 months offer apples either raw and grated or peeled, chopped thinly and cooked. From 2 years old you can start to offer raw apple in thin slices. 

Large beans
From 6 months old either chop in half or squish with a fork or your fingers slightly. Continue to do this with large beans until your child is 5 years old.

Cherry Tomatoes
For cherry tomatoes follow the same guidance as grapes and olives. From 6 months old chop cherry tomatoes into quarters. From 2/3 years old chop in half and then from 5 years old you can offer cherry tomatoes whole.

Dried fruit
Chop small or cover in boiling water for a few mins and then drain and puree.

Sausages
Cut lengthways into strips.

Foods best to avoid for children under 5
Popcorn
Gummy sweets (including gummy vitamins)
Boiled sweets
Mini eggs 
Marshmallows

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