Choking Hazards & Safety Tips

Expert tips & videos

Choking Hazards and Safety Tips for Babies & Toddlers

Simply put, choking hazards are objects that block a child's airway. The most concerning foods are hard, small, round and slippery, and/or sticky. Most foods can be adapted to be safe for babies, but there are some that are best avoided altogether until children are older.

MODIFY until age 4

modify hard veggies and fruit for your newborn
Hard veggies & fruits

Like what? Apples, hard pears or plums, carrots, celery, etc.

How to modify? Grate, finely cut, or soften by cooking

modify firm cylindrical foods for your newborn
Firm cylindrical foods

Like what? Cheese sticks, sausages, etc.

How to modify? Pull into thin strands; cut into tiny uneven pieces

modify gooey sticky foods for your newborn
Gooey/sticky foods

Like what? Marshmallows, peanut butter, etc.

How to modify? Bake into foods or offer as thin spread

modify round firm foods for your newborn
Round, firm foods

Like what? Grapes, olives, cherry tomatoes, cherries, big blueberries

How to modify? Cut into quarters or smush flat

modify hard, small foods for your newborn
Hard, small foods

Like what? Peanuts, tree nuts

How to modify? Offer ground, crushed, or as thin spread

modify dried fruit for your newborn
Dried fruit

Like what? Raisins, dates, cranberries, etc.

How to modify? Soften by cooking or soaking

Safety Tips!

Always supervise your child when they are eating

Allow child to eat only when sitting up straight (not crawling, walking, running)

Avoid snacks in the car; if you can't, be extra careful to avoid choking hazards & have an adult in the back seat

Require all caregivers take a CPR class


American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP); Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE); Johns Hopkins Medicine; Center for Disease Control (CDC); Nemours KidsHealth

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