Toddlers delight in feeding themselves. However, there are certain foods that can be unsafe for toddlers. To be on the safe side, consider the following to be cautious:
- Avoid giving hard or difficult-to-chew foods: A chunk of food larger than a pea can get stuck in your child’s throat. Avoid foodstuff such as hard candy, dried fruits, lollipops, and peanuts until they are at least 3-4.
- Modify the shape and texture of firm foods: Mash or grind food so itâ€™s soft enough for your baby to gum or chew. Hard vegetables and fruits such as carrots, grapes and other crunchy vegetables should be chopped, shredded and cooked up. Veggies can be boiled until soft and shredded into small pieces.
- Avoid sticky foods: Avoid giving soft, sticky foods like chewing gum, jelly, gummy candies that might get lodged in your childâ€™s throat. Usually nut butters are thick and can be difficult to swallow. You might want to try thinning it with any other sauce.
- Supervise: Ensure your tiny ones are never left unsupervised, especially when eating. Small children may eat in a hurry, stuff too much food in their mouth, or not chew their food which is not the right way to eat, and sometimes may even lead to choking.
- Focus on food alone: Keep kids seated when they are eating. Make sure they are in a relaxed atmosphere and focused on eatingâ€”not watching TV or playing with toys. Donâ€™t let kids eat while lying down, walking, climbing, or running.
- Chew, Chew and Chew some more: Train toddlers to chew their food thoroughly before swallowing.
For older kids:
Continue to avoid the things listed for 2 year olds. Increase the portion of the food as the childâ€™s teething capacity builds. Keep cutting his food into small pieces. Discourage your child from eating while walking, watching television, travelling or doing anything else that might distract him from his meal.