How To Safely Prepare Foods That Pose A Choking Risk To Children

When children are moving onto solid foods, it can be a scary time for their parents and guardians. Knowing how to prepare foods properly will decrease the risk of choking. 

This can be a frightening thing to witness. It was all so easy when milk was the only thing on the menu.  

There are certain foods that should only be introduced to your infant at specific stages for safety reasons. For example,honey is not recommendeduntil after your baby turns one. It is also a good idea to keep a close eye on your baby when they try a brand new food due to the risk of allergic reactions.  

For a lot of parents, the greatest fear, when it comes to solid food, is the risk of choking. It can leave parents and guardians feeling very uneasy as their child explores new tastes and textures. The way that food is served plays a very important role in this. There are certain foods which pose a choking risk for children if they are not cut or served in a particular manner.  

Here are five foods that pose a choking risk if they are not prepared and served in the correct way.  


These seemingly innocent fruits can block the airway of a child if they are eaten in their whole form. Grapes should always be cut lengthways before they are served (cutting them around the middle still poses a hazard). Many childcare settings will not allow your child to eat their grapes unless you have prepared them in this way. 

Two bowls of cut up fruit.
These seemingly innocent fruits can block the airway of a child if they are eaten in their whole form


Carrots are a very healthy snack but only if they are served in the safest manner. Ideally, parents should cut them into sticks when they are cooked entirely. Serving carrots in a coin shape can pose a risk of choking as this shape may lead to the carrot becoming lodged in the child’s throat.  


The Jury is out on this one. Many parents completely hold off on popcorn until their child can grasp the importance of chewing their food. Popcorn kernels may become stuck in the throat and cause breathing difficulties.  


According to the HSEthe skin should be removed from sausages, the meat cut lengthways and then served in small pieces. Cutting them in to coin shapes poses a risk of choking.  

Thick spreads such as peanut butter

It is recommended to serve these spreads thinly and evenly as they can lead to difficulty in breathing if they coat your child’s throat too thickly. It is very important that children are in a seated position when they are eating as this reduces their risk of choking. Children should not be left unattended at meal-times and bottles of milk should never be propped up on a pillow due to the risk of infant choking.  

Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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