Some Food Safety Rules for Children Under 4

Grapes of different grades

Avoid giving babies and small children certain foods to avoid choking hazards and a potential toxin.  Here are some food rules of the road by age:

Under Four Years Old 

No round, firm food unless it is chopped up completely.  That means:

  • Whole grapes
  • Fruit chunks – like apples
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Chunks of meat, hot dogs, cheese (if you do feed a small child a hot dog, to avoid making a dangerous shape, make sure to cut it down the length and then across)
  • Raw vegetables

Also avoid:

  • Hard, gooey, or sticky candy
  • Chewing gum

Under Three Years Old

  • No Popcorn
  • No Raisins

Under Two Years Old

  • No peanut butter

Under One Year Old

  • No honey (because it can have “Clostridium botulinum spores,” causing botulism poisoning)

–Janell Mayo Duncan

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