Food Safety

Choking Hazards

Some foods are easy for your preschooler to choke on when swallowing them.

These include foods that are round and about the size of the throat –about the size of a nickel. Prevent choking by avoiding these foods or cutting them in small pieces--no larger than one-half inch (½”).

 Foods that may be choking hazards:

  • Peanuts
  • Chewing gum
  • Popcorn
  • Chips
  • Round slices of hotdogs or sausages
  • Carrot sticks or baby carrots
  • Tough meat
  • Hard candy
  • Whole grapes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Large pieces of raw fruits and vegetables

 To prevent choking:

  • Have your preschooler eat at the table, or at least while sitting down. Do not let your child run, walk, play, or lie down with food in their mouth.
  • Keep a watchful eye on your child while he or she eats.
  • Cut food for your preschooler into pieces no larger than one-half inch (½”), and teach them to chew their food well.
    • Slice hotdogs and sausages lengthwise.
    • Cut meat and chicken across the grain into small pieces.
    • Slice grapes, cherry tomatoes, and other round foods in half.
    • Cook carrots or celery sticks until slightly soft, grate them, or cut them into small pieces or thin “matchsticks.”
  • Spread peanut butter thinly on bread or crackers.  A thick “glob” of peanut butter can cause choking.

More information about choking hazards.