"White" table grapes

“White” table grapes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Which of the Following Foods Is Safe for 18-Month-Old Children to Eat?

Have you ever had a child or grandchild choke on a piece of food?

What if there were some place you could go where all the troublesome foods for 18-month-olds were listed?

There is.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has looked at this issue and given us guidelines.

In a recent survey of 49 grandparents conducted by Dr. Amanda Soong, pediatrician, professor and mother who wanted to help educate grandparents, she asked this question.

She shared the results at AAP’s annual conference.

Moms.today.com reported the story, where my awesome daughter-in-law found it and told me.

Which Of the Following Foods is Safe for 18-month-old Children to Eat?

  • Grapes (6.% of grandparents picked this answer)
  • Crackers (93.8%)
  • Nuts (0%)
  • Hot dogs (0%)

Grandparents aced this question. The correct answer is crackers.

But, the question opened up a conversation with the grandparents about which foods are safe and why.

The reason some foods are not recommended for 18-month-olds is the risk of choking.

What Foods Fall in This Category?

Grapes, carrots, hot dogs or other foods that are round and about the size of a child’s trachea are not recommended

They can be offered if cut up.

Grapes for instance, should be cut in half,  carrots made into small, short sticks, and hot dogs cut up into bite-sized pieces.

We had personal experience with us with our son.

He must have squeezed the middle of the grape out, leaving the tough skin intact.

By the time we noticed he was having a problem, the skin had gotten caught in his throat.

My husband was able to reach in and dislodge it, but it was scary.

Peanuts, hard candies, raw vegetables and other foods that are very hard

Babies don’t yet have the molars they will need to crack down on hard foods.

Instead, they are likely to try to swallow them whole and choke.

Until they are four, they shouldn’t be given hard foods to eat.

Seven years for peanuts.

Pretzels, bagels, gum and other big, soft foods

Again, without molars, babies can’t easily tear these foods into smaller pieces.

They try to swallow them whole and the soft food could block their trachea.


Popcorn is a complex food to eat.

Children below the age of 3 or 4 don’t have the skill to eat a food that is both hard and soft.

Peanut butter on a spoon instead of a cracker

The soft, thick, gluey peanut butter can cover the trachea and pose a choking risk, if you eat a big spoonful at once.

It should be spread on a cracker or piece of bread.

Eating alone or while running.

Children should be supervised when they eat.

This means, you don’t want to feed your children in the car when you can’t see them, as when they are still in a rear-facing seat.

If my son had been in the car when he choked on a grape skin, I never would have known.

Similarly, if children are playing or running and eating, they are at risk of choking.

Cut their food into smaller pieces.

Sit down with them to eat together

Wait for molars before offering hard food.

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Have any of your children ever choked on food?

Do you still cut up food for your grandchildren?

Did you know popcorn and peanut butter could be risky for under-four-year-olds?

To you and helping your grandchildren eat safely.


Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers”


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