Top 10 Food Choking Hazards For Babies

Feeding your baby solid foods can be a bit scary at first. Most new moms are worried about choking hazards. So, what do you need to keep in mind when you're feeding your baby new foods? What can we do to help modify these foods to make them safer? And what are the most common choking culprits out there that we may want to avoid?

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Episode Transcript

Sunny Gault 0:00
It's time for your baby to start solid foods. You're ready, your baby is ready. But there's still that small voice in your head that's terrified of feeding your baby anything that could be considered a choking hazard. We get it we've all been there. So what do you need to keep in mind when giving your baby solid foods and what are some of the biggest choking culprits out there? When feeding your baby food? We're breaking things down today and hopefully giving you a little extra peace of mind. This is Newbies!

Sunny Gault 1:05
Welcome to Newbies! Newbies is your online on-the-go support group guiding new mothers through their baby's first year. I'm Sunny. I'm a mom of four. My kids are a little bit older. Now. I don't have any more newbies. I guess that's old BS. I'm not I'm not really sure their elementary school age, but I remember what it was like to have brand new kiddos, and I'm really happy to be with you guys. Today. We've got a great show. We're talking about choking hazards for your babies. That's just something that I know parents freak out about a lot. So I want to make sure we're gonna give you a top 10 List guys, we're gonna break things down for you. In today's episode now, if you haven't already, be sure to visit our website and subscribe to our weekly newsletter. It's going to keep you updated on all of our episodes that we release each week. Keep in mind, we have other podcasts besides newbies, we have Preggie Pals, if you are in the pregnancy phase, Parents Savers, if you've got a little bit older kids like the toddler age, The Boob Group if you're breastfeeding or providing breast milk for your babies, we also have a show called Twin Talks if you are a mom or dad of multiple. So I want you to check out all that great information on our website. And then another great way to stay updated is to hit that subscribe button on whatever platform you're on. So you never miss another episode of newbies. We also have a membership club. It's called Mighty Moms. So if you guys want to dive into the topics that we talk about on our podcast episodes a little bit more if you want to have a chance to actually be on our shows as a guest then join Mighty Moms and you can check that out on our website. There's a bunch of banners there. Alright, stay right there mamas. We'll be right back.

Sunny Gault 2:46
Today on Newbies we are talking about food we're talking about your baby's food. And odds are you've been feeding your kiddo the mushy stuff for a while now. Now it's time to transition into what I'm calling solid foods. You know, it's a little more chunky, you know, you may give them something Hall. And it's a time that many mamas dread because of the various choking hazards, right? So what you need to keep in mind to make sure this doesn't happen in your home. While our expert today is Renee D'Andrea, from new ways nutrition. She is a dietician who focuses on child and family nutrition. Thank you so much for joining us, Rene. And welcome to Newbies!

Renae D'Andrea 3:23
Thanks for having me.

Sunny Gault 3:24
Yes, and I didn't mention this before, but you also have a podcast. So tell everyone, what's the name of your podcast?

Renae D'Andrea 3:30
The podcast is "Just Eat" a little bit of a play on how much as parents we want kids to just eat. And that tends to be the worst thing that we can actually end up doing. So it's, you know, a little tongue in cheek there.

Sunny Gault 3:44
Yeah, it's really like... "just eat for the love of God" in parentheses, right? Okay, well, you guys make sure to check out our podcast. Renae, how do we know when our babies are ready for what I'm calling solid food? Maybe we should break that down. What does that mean?

Renae D'Andrea 4:01
So it depends on who you ask when you are talking to someone like me who you know spends a lot of our time in child feeding areas. When we say solid foods, we're really meaning anything that is not milk, not breast milk or formula. So that can be purees. That can be finger foods. Anything else would be what we would consider solid food. Okay. Obviously other people also think of solid foods as those finger food. Right? Right. It really depends on who you're asking. So I guess when I say solid foods, I'm thinking about maybe a stage beyond that. I don't know if there was an official term for that. I'm thinking of something that isn't mushy. That's more like, hey, I want to give you something that a normal person would eat, but maybe tailored a little bit more for your age. So I don't know what that's called. Yeah, and I think the distinction really has to be made that now that you know, baby led style of feeding has become so much more popular. So where you know there isn't that standard mushy phase. And so solid foods, I think that's where that distinction comes in is it can be pure raised, which is your traditional thinking around feeding babies. But it can also mean, you know that finger foods that you're referring to, but that can be given right around that, like, six months beginning mark.

Sunny Gault 5:18
Okay. So it might make sense to back it up and be like, okay, because I, you know, I breastfed, I've got four kids, I breastfed all my babies. What's your advice for parents, as far as you know, kind of getting out of the milk phase then and starting to incorporate some of these other foods? How do you know when your baby's ready for that?

Renae D'Andrea 5:33
So it's really about developmental markers. It's not about a specific age, no, there's no magic number, your baby turns six months old, and all of a sudden, they're ready for either any type of food, that's not how it works. As easy as that would be. So we're really looking at some of those developmental things. Like, they're interested in food, they're reaching for food, which is important, not the number one thing we want them sitting up, we want them to be able to like control their trunk, some because that can actually really help with choking hazards. We want them to be able to like put things from the table, you know, grab it with their hand and put it into their mouth. So it's really more about watching for some of the cues that they're ready for, for solids more than you know, hey, they're six months old hold, hey, they're four months old. Now let's just feed them.

Sunny Gault 6:29
And then how do you begin this transition? Like what do you typically recommend for moms that are kind of freaking out at this point going? Man, I've never done this before. I don't know what to expect. Like, what do you recommend?

Renae D'Andrea 6:42
I mean, knowledge is power, right? And there's so much out there now. So it really is about kind of delving in a little bit in our sleep deprived mom brains and parent brains. But delving into, you know, now we have the two different kinds of feeding, like the camps, if you will. So we have baby led feeding, and we have more traditional, and you have kind of the purists on either side, who will say you have to go with one, I say go with whatever works for your family, any combination of them, however it works. My biggest key is that we want to start from the beginning of incorporating our kids into how we eat as a family. Yeah, so not just, you know, off to the side eating and that, that can be hard to wrap our heads around of how do we kind of get them into feeding, when they can take a little bit more consideration, they, you know, have foods that need to be safe for them. But we really can, regardless of whether you're feeding purees, or finger foods, they can still be a part of the family kind of food environment. And that is one of the best things that we can do for them.

Sunny Gault 7:52
And you never know what they're picking up on. You know, they're little sponges, no watching us on, you know, I'm picturing a family at the dinner table or whatever, and you bring up the baby, you know, and they're watching us grab our fork. And, you know, I don't know, there's some things with my, my kids, I don't know that I'd want other babies picking up. For the most part, you're part of the family experience. And I think if we can kind of get ourselves in that kind of mindset, we may also be saving ourselves some time because I really didn't do that all that well, when my kids were young. So I like had a separate time when I would feed them. And then a separate time where I feed myself. And I was kind of just duplicating the whole process, you know, I'm saying like multiple times per day, which is kind of silly.

Renae D'Andrea 8:33
Well, and it can be really hard because you know, we're used to feeding ourselves. So we're used to feeding older kids. And so it's hard to get into that habit of like doing everything at once. And it can seem a lot easier at first to separate it out. But you know, what I always really encourage parents is, it can seem like a bit of a steep learning curve at first, but it really does, like you said saves time in the end. And not only that, it really helps our kids to learn how to eat. You know, they always use the example of like broccoli and whether you start with baby led weaning, or, you know, you transition from purees into finger foods. Think about broccoli, like you look at it, it's like how the heck do you eat this? You know, you've got a stock, you've got a tarp? Like if any of you just handed me a piece of broccoli with no one eating it around. Yeah, they're gonna be like, What do I do with this and they're gonna, you know, we want them to explore, that's good. But if they are watching someone else, eat it, like, oh, I pick it up, and I do this. And that is the best way that we can help them to develop their eating skills. It's for them to be watching other people.

Sunny Gault 9:40
Yeah. Oh, gosh, that makes a ton of sense. Now you mentioned baby led weaning, and our audience should know you know, we throw around these terms quite a bit. But just in case you guys aren't familiar with baby lead weaning is we have done some episodes on this. But Rene, can you quickly break that down for for people who haven't heard of it before?

Renae D'Andrea 9:57
So baby lead weaning is really just it's the skipping puree is skipping the traditional mush. And saying that at six months old, which is generally when most babies are starting solids, regardless of how it's right around that age that they are developmentally ready to have finger foods in appropriate textures and appropriate serving manners. And so it's just not having to puree not having to do that stuff, they still can have piercings, they can still have those textures, it just kind of takes away a little bit of the the extra extra puree, if you will. And we're back to time again, right? Because it takes time to lay all that stuff. I mean, we still want our kids to be safe, obviously. And that's really the whole point of today's episode, we want them to be safe. But at the same time, if you can shave off, you know, some time and your whole prep and stuff, why not do that? I think as always, if we have to feed the kids, then that's taking away from our time and our ability to feed ourselves at the table. So I'm all for like, put the food down and let them explore and do it themselves can do that with puree, but it's a little easier with finger foods too.

Sunny Gault 11:05
Yeah, it's a little tough in the beginning for them to like, you know, with the puree stuff, if they have to hold a spoon, you know, that's a whole other, we could do a whole episode series on that kind of stuff, right? Let's talk about choking, because it's not just having to do with baby led weaning in general, like we are. We're terrified of this. And I think rightfully so we've all seen movies, or God forbid, been in situations where someone has been choking right in front of us. It is very, very scary. And as a parent, you know, you always think of what's the worst case scenario that could happen here. And so when you're talking about food, most of our minds immediately go to some sort of choking. But Renee, there's a difference between choking and gagging. Can you explain the difference to our audience?

Renae D'Andrea 11:51
Absolutely. So choking is when there is actually the airway is blocked. So there's food down there, there it is down in the airway, gagging tends to be when a food gets to the back of their throat. So think about your gag reflex yourself. However, I will say that babies their gag reflex is actually much further to the front of their mouth. So it seems like they can gag a lot more and that's why it gradually will go back to where it is for us as adults. But usually when we think choking, we're actually think get thinking gagging. So gagging is that like, the loud. The retching the, a lot of times, you know, if you have a light skinned baby, it's going to be the red face, that kind of stuff like that is really gagging. And gagging is think of it as, like a warning mechanism. It's a safety mechanism for our babies, as they're learning to manipulate food in their mouth, sometimes they're gonna lose track of it, you know, their tongue isn't gonna know where to do it, there's, they're still figuring that out. And sometimes the food will get further back than they want it to. And that's where the gagging comes in, to get it out and to keep it safe. Once it gets past that gagging. That's, you know, it gets the gagging doesn't work, and then they choke. That's what we're really looking to avoid.

Sunny Gault 13:15
So gagging it's obviously scary when that happens, right? But should we be doing anything? Like if our, if our kid is gagging, they're not choking. So air is getting through? It's just a little garbled, right? It's not happening the way it probably should? I mean, should parents be hands off? Or is there anything we can do during that time to help our babies because that's our gut reaction, right is to pat them on the backs or something like that.

Renae D'Andrea 13:38
That's actually one of the worst things that you can do. Because that can actually cause them to choke. If you can imagine, you know, you're hitting them on the back, and then the food will dislodge and go down and make them choke instead of having it be able to be, you know, taken out the other way. So the best thing you can do, I always say this is sit on your hands really hard. It's really nerve racking, which is why I literally mean sit on your hands. And it's really important to be calm and almost coach them through it. Like, you know, that said, you can do it, like cough it up, spit it out, you know, just you being calm helps them to know that it's okay, and that they're safe. As soon as we, you know, become not calm, then they can get scared of it. Yeah, don't want that to happen because we don't want them to be scared of food. Obviously, you know, we all have that happen sometimes. So I don't want anyone to think like oh my god, I reacted to gagging really bad. And I've now my baby is now never gonna be the same. It's not like that. It's just we just want to be mindful that we need to be calm and help them work through it calmly.

Sunny Gault 14:47
Yeah, babies are so much more resilient than I ever knew. You know what I mean? We get a lot more scared. It's the same thing with animals too. I've learned it we have a fairly new puppy. She's like seven or eight months old, and we went through dog training lessons total sidebar here, but we went through dog training lessons with her and the trainer kept saying she is picking up on your reaction if you would just calm down and not get stressed out. If she gets off leash, she would come right to you. It's because she is picking up on and I think at some level, our kids are doing that too. Right. Thank you very much. So yeah, when we're freaking out, and they're like, oh, mom's freaking out. I guess I should freak out, right?

Renae D'Andrea 15:25
No, yeah, absolutely. very congruent.

Sunny Gault 15:31
All right, awesome. Okay, we're gonna take a quick break. You guys, when we come back, we are going to talk about some of the biggest choking culprits for babies, when they're starting foods, we actually have a top 10 list for you guys. So we'll be right back.

Sunny Gault 15:48
Welcome back to Newbies, we are continuing our discussion with Renae D'Andrea, from new ways nutrition. Renae, before the break, we started to talk a little bit about choking versus gagging, and you know, all the things that our kids pick up on when we start freaking out about this kind of stuff. But now I want to focus on some of the culprit some of the choking culprits that we may come across as parents and you know how we can get around that. So I have a list here. And guys, we're going to include this link to this list on our website, because I know a lot of you guys are multitasking doing other things. And Renae has some great information as well that she has on her site. So I'm going to post all those links to the episode page. What we're going to list here are choking hazards. And this was given to us by the US CDC as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics. And again, we're gonna focus on the top 10 Food choking hazards for babies. Before we dive into this, Renae, you know, one thing that we should say off the top, and I'm sure you've got something to say about this is when you cook food, and when you cut up food that is obviously going to impact how well something goes down your baby's throat. So let's kind of get that out in the open because some of the stuff we're gonna mention they're gonna be like, Yeah, but if you cooked it, it's going to be okay. So what do you usually recommend to parents when it when it comes to cooking things cutting things up? What's your advice on that for their babies.

Sunny Gault 17:09
It's really important to know how to modify choking hazards to make them safe, right. And part of that is cooking and cutting it because most of the time when we say it's a choking hazard, it's not just, you know, absolutely, you can never give this to babies. It's just it needs to be modified in a form that's safe. So just something to keep in mind. It's not like absolute never give this it's just be mindful of, of how you do it in most cases. And when we are cooking it, we're usually talking about steaming stuff, I think, right? Steaming stuff. And then do we want it? Like what consistency? Do we want it? Do we want it like machine? Or do you know, I mean, if we're trying to teach them to eat bigger, bigger pieces of food, I would assume that's not the case, right? You don't want it mushy, do you?

Renae D'Andrea 17:53
Well, so here's where it kind of can vary based on who you're asking, and what type of feeding they're recommending, but in general across the board, especially towards the beginning of starting solids. So the beginning of any type of foods, you want it to be smashable between, like a thumb and forefinger. And so that kind of simulates the tongue and the roof of the mouth. So if you can smash it there, then that makes it really easy for babies to manipulate with their gums. That's one of the biggest roles of like baby led weaning, right? It's not just give your baby anything, it's give them something sociable. And so as they get older, and they get more adept at eating, so that would be you know, as they're transitioning away from purees. And they're stepping up like you could think of them in that sense, too, you can start to make it gradually harder. And a lot of times, it's the texture, but it's also the shape as they get older that we're looking at. So it's kind of a combination. There's not necessarily an across the board, like always do this, a lot of different foods can have, you know, this is safe, but that one's not safe. So it can be really confusing as you're starting to learn.

Sunny Gault 19:06
Okay. All right. Well, let's dive into our list here. The first item and this isn't any, you know, in any particular order, guys, but raw vegetables and fruit, and I saw a lot of list apples get thrown in there. Yeah, yeah. So what do you think about that?

Renae D'Andrea 19:21
So that's because when you think about it, so let's imagine like an apple wedge that we normally would give to a kid and this goes for not just in the first year, I mean, this is up to the age of four, technically, when we're thinking of like a wedge of a apple getting snapped off. You think about it, it's like an inch cube essentially, right and babies. Like if it's raw, it's really hard for them to break that down. And a lot of times they're just going to try and swallow it and it's the perfect size to get launched there. You know another when we say raw vegetables, another common one that you see given to kids all the time is the like baby carrots, which is the perfect diameter for lodging in a throat really. And you see that for kids all the time. So it's just being mindful of those hard chunks breaking off that babies and young kids are just not able to manipulate and break down. I saw it mentioned on one site when I was doing research for this, it said one option for carrots might be to cut it more in strips, like really thin strips, I don't know how you feel about that. So absolutely, that makes it safe. Doing anything hard that you can do the same thing for apples, but I will caution with that of no imagine like I cut for an 18 month-old apples into thin slices. I mean, we're talking like, you know, a couple millimeters thick slices. And then that's not going to get lost in their throat. But it might be kind of frustrating for them. If they're younger, that they can't actually chew that easily, because they don't have that ability. So the raw, even in thin, they can have it, it's safe, that doesn't mean that it's not going to be frustrating for them. So just keep that in mind from an age range there. You know, don't give that to a six month old.

Sunny Gault 21:17
Gotcha. Okay, next on our list, hot dogs, meat sticks, and sausage.

Renae D'Andrea 21:22
That's a really most people know that by now. And that goes I want to remind every week goes all the way up to like four to five years, it's really important, that's one of the biggest culprits. And those, you can make them safe by slicing them lengthwise into quarters. And then you can cut them like bite size there. When you think about it, it's it's soft on the inside, but it almost like kind of expands. So if a if a baby or young kid bit off part of that, they could get it down into their throat and then it kind of expands to take up space. So that's the issue with those right and it's hard to bite through it. So if they have like an outside skin, it's not going to be as easy for them to break that down. So they're more likely to get it in their throat and then it expands in their throat blocking their air. Yeah, totally. And so that's, that's a really important one to make sure that always cutting those types of things up.

Sunny Gault 22:19
Yeah, I didn't even think about the casing on the you know, sausage, hot dog, but yeah, okay, grapes, berries, cherries, or melons, it's all kind of grouped together here, obviously. You know, with grapes, it's, it's easy. I don't know, when I think of choking, I think of a grape. I don't know what that's the first thing that comes to my mind is a grape.

Renae D'Andrea 22:39
We've got that messaging across, so that's great. You know, I always say cherry tomatoes are right in there, too. Yeah, and that's the same thing. It's almost similar to a hot dog in the sense of it has the outside casing and the soft inside. So it's a similar thing that happens with not being able to break it down in the mouth, and then getting stuck in the throat. Berries, it's really a shaped thing. So if it's like a soft berry, that, you know, I think like frozen, and then defrosted raspberries, or something like that, right? That's not a concern. So we're not talking all berries. But, you know, nowadays, you see blueberries out there that are the size of grapes, that is going to be the same as a great cherries, if they're fresh, you know, they have the pit. So if they're pitted, then you're still looking at the outside skin. So you can see kind of commonalities in these things. The melon, it's going to be it's not melons, per se, it's like melon balls, okay, and stuff like that in. So again, a lot of it's the shape that we're serving them in, it's not the food itself. So if you were to cut melons, like we were talking about with apples into thin slices, or you know, a size that they have to essentially nibble off of like, they can't just swallow it, then that's going to be safer.

Sunny Gault 23:58
So you mentioned seeds that are part of the fruit, you know, I'm thinking like, sometimes grapes have seeds, but those are pretty tiny. Do we have to be worried about the seeds that are in the fruit too, I mean, obviously, cherry seeds are bigger, but like orange seed seeds, you know, like that, we got to be concerned about that.

Renae D'Andrea 24:16
I mean, there's, there's a fine line, an orange seed I would be worried about so you know, like corn is actually a choking hazard. So if you think of a whole corn kernel and the size of that of the seed is that size, then I would be worried about that. If we're talking, you know, right now, hemp seeds and chia seeds are super popular and I love those for babies. Those are that's the type of seeds that we're worried about, you know, sesame seeds, not worried about those. So it's really kind of evaluating, but I definitely say that like corn kernel size and bigger I would be I would be concerned about.

Sunny Gault 24:51
Okay, and since we're talking about seeds, we that was kind of a separate line item, but I kind of jumped ahead so along with seeds. What about nuts, right because I'm thinking like peanuts.

Renae D'Andrea 25:00
Yeah, and things like that, obviously, that could get lunch pretty easily it can. And the reason that it's such a concern as you think about how hard they are right? And yeah, younger kids, again, this is anytime under four don't have the chewing pattern to break that up, like even once they have molars, which happens a little bit later, but they don't have the ability for that circular chewing pattern that can grind up nuts. And so when you have bigger ones, it just makes it a much higher risk.

Sunny Gault 25:29
Okay. What about cheese? You know, I feel a lot of this stuff gets marketed to younger kids, I guess maybe it's more the toddler age, you know, you think about lunches for kids. It's like string cheese and hot dogs and grapes, and all of this. Obviously, it depends with cheese, it kind of depends on how you cut it up. But even with like the string stuff that's advertised mainly for kids. I mean, I feel like some of those pieces are pretty long. Couldn't that kind of feel like it gets not lodged like a grape or something but kind of stuck in their throat and create some sort of gagging.

Renae D'Andrea 26:00
But I think there's definitely that aspect, I just want to point out that like, there's not really any regulation around how companies advertise their food, like to what age if they're choking hazards, you know, with toys, we have to say like, under three here in the US, it's a choking hazard. There's not really anything like that for food. So unfortunately, a lot of things are marketed to kids that are very unsafe. So it's just something to have in the back of our head that we can't necessarily trust that we need to be mindful of it ourselves like string cheese, when you think about it, think of it like a hot dog, right. And we're not necessarily worried about if the baby or the child peels off a piece of the cheese, it could be long, it could cause gagging, but that's not necessarily the concern that concern is of the kid were to take the string cheese and bite it off. It's the same kind of malleable texture that just like a hot dog, it's going to then expand in their throat like it can be softer and then expand. Same thing with like chunks of cheese like cubes and stuff like that. harder to break down in their mouth and then can just lodge in there. So anything like that, you know, cutting it thinner, is going to be important. Alright, so we've made it through halfway through our list guys so far, just in case you're keeping tabs.

Sunny Gault 27:27
Alright, number six, I guess if we're numbering these would be beans. So is it all? Is it all beans give us the lowdown on beans.

Renae D'Andrea 27:34
So this one is a little interesting. And I would definitely put this one is like very early age by the time they're one I wouldn't necessarily consider beans a choking hazard. So keep that in mind. You know, I think of beans, a lot of us buy beans and cans. If they're harder. Like think of a chickpea, some chickpea cans can be pretty hard. And I wouldn't give a kid that under one because of the chance that they're going to miss it in their mouth. Remember, we talked about they're learning to manipulate with their tongue and they can lose track of it. So if they just swallowed that, it could get stuck in their throat and cause them to choke. You know, like a bigger, soft kidney bean. Yeah, that's not as much of a concern from a choking standpoint. Okay. Those I always just recommend, like, mash them up with a fork real quick, even chickpeas, just super quick. It doesn't have to be anything huge. And again, that one's a small timeframe, you know, your four year old does not need to worry about eating beans.

Sunny Gault 28:33
So the next one on our list kind of surprised me, I guess kind of not but kind of surprised me. So peanut butter. Again, it's something that's marketed towards like, kids, you know? Yeah. And I guess the stickiness of it, you know, I guess I guess that's where they're going with that. Because I would think that they would kind of be able to easily, you know, kind of mesh that with their tongue, get it out of the way, but maybe I'm wrong.

Renae D'Andrea 28:57
So this goes back to exactly how it's served. Right. So spread thinly on a piece of bread, totally safe. If you give a kid a spoonful of peanut butter or any type of like, glob of it, that's when it becomes a choking hazard. And that like thing about if you view yourself as a glob of peanut butter in it kind of like you can't really move your mouth, it's kind of stuck together and like you have a hard time manipulating that as an adult. So imagine with a kid who doesn't have that experience. And then a comparison that I've seen before is actually comparing it to like a latex balloon, right? So it can kind of like, get stuck back there and just occlude the airway. So it's a little bit of a different thing. It can also you know, if it's a chunk and it's sticky, it can also go down the throat. But just the important thing to know is just spread it thinly. Like that's our, if you want to give it as a spoon, you can thin it out. Yeah, so it's, you know, kind of a dripable texture.

Sunny Gault 30:01
And then watch them kind of like if you give your dog peanut butter, then just watch. Have fun with it right?

Renae D'Andrea 30:09
As long as we're safe, we're good.

Sunny Gault 30:11
Exactly. Always be safe, always be safe. Okay, so the next item on our list, I kind of grouped a bunch of these into one, snack foods. And what I mean by that, I saw popcorn on the list a lot, which makes sense. We talked about nuts and seeds and things like that. Potato chips, and how potato chips can have those like harsh like edges and stuff like that, I can totally see how that could get lodged. And then another one that's always marketed to kids is pretzels. So what do you usually tell moms when it comes to snack foods that, quite frankly, are advertised directly to our kids?

Renae D'Andrea 30:43
They are right? And it's just, it is being aware of the reasons. So tortilla chips are another really big culprit. And they're you know, you can think of the corners of them that stamp off and can really just get swallowed as a sharp item. Yeah. And it's just, it just want to point out to as I've been talking about, like, how they're cut. But it's important to remember that even if your kid can handle like a potato chip, we see kids having potato chips, all the time, when we would technically say that those are choking hazards. And the thing to remember is that 90% of the time, like kids are going to be totally fine. You can say like, my kid's gonna handle it, it's no problem. And it's really that's not what we're concerned about. It's those like unusual time. So if your kid is startled, if you know they jump, if they start laughing, those are the times that the choking hazard become pretty dangerous, because your kid doesn't have the ability to manipulate it in their mouth, and be distracted without choking. Like that's what we're concerned about. And so that's the, the real thing to remember with snack foods is a lot of kids have had popcorn, a lot of kids have had potato chips, pretzels are marketed. It's not that they necessarily can't handle it, it's that it's a pretty risky food because kids don't have that multitasking ability and that maturity in their eating patterns to do that.

Sunny Gault 32:09
Okay, so we got two more guys on the list. Chewy fruit snacks. Again, the marketing, it's always to kids. And you know, I don't know, I feel like I've gotten that stuck in my throat a little bit too. So you're right, it totally depends on what they're doing. But I mean, that's something what like with some of these items, we talked about how it can expand, you know, you squeeze squeeze those you could see just with your hands, just take, you know, a little piece of the fruit snack, squeeze it and imagine that in your kid's throat.

Renae D'Andrea 32:36
And then you get it wet. And it's even more of an issue, right? Saliva from the mouth. And so yeah, it's all it's all that kind of expandable things that we're really concerned about in that instance.

Sunny Gault 32:48
Okay. And then the last one, guys, it's kind of, you know, self explanatory. I think we all kind of know this, but something sneak in, and that is round and hard candies, what I mean by that some of the smaller things could be jelly beans, the small like the mini marshmallows, like I don't know, depends on where you guys live. But I know like in the winter time, my kids love those little mini marshmallows. And they're a little bit older now. But it can be kind of tempting, you know, if they're brothers and sisters or having something like that to you know, throw some to your baby or whatever. And then the other thing that was on this list is caramels or caramels however you however you want to pronounce it, but I feel like that kind of has the same impact as the peanut butter that we were talking about. Right?

Renae D'Andrea 33:30
Exactly. So that's where we can start to see kind of the similarities here. And what we're really worried about the other one that I would throw in there that is incredibly common. I mean, my dentist tried to give my kids this a sucker. Yeah, because those are hard candies, you know, peppermints like circular candies, anything that is hard and can break off can easily be a choking hazard. So that's another thing that we're really concerned about, too.

Sunny Gault 33:56
Yeah, that's just it is that it has the initial appearance of being more safe because it's quote unquote, secured onto a stick. But we all know we've all had those suckers that were now it came apart in my mouth when when the world's going on. So obviously we just have to take that into consideration for our kiddos.

Renae D'Andrea 34:15
We talked about cutting things up at the beginning, but it really is about like how you know we are presenting it to if your kid is running around with a soccer that's way more dangerous than if they are sitting stable, you know, not moving and having a soccer though. So that's something else to keep in mind with these choking hazards is if you do want to, you know it's up to it's up to you as the parent you can make the call of what you were willing to, to have as your risk level. But I just always encourage parents to keep in mind how you're serving it and that goes from six months, all the way you know up to grade schools. It's if they're sitting and not running and not walking and not eating in a stroller, things like that. The new exponentially decreasing their choking risk.

Sunny Gault 35:03
That just happened in my house the other day. So I don't usually let my kids have gum. They're in elementary school, but I don't usually let them have gum, but I don't know, like, you know, it was gum was at the store, you know, we're going through the checkout line. Yeah, that is they see everything and they want to sound like okay, you know, I'll get you guys some gum, we got home. And I said, Okay, here's a stick for you. Here's a stick for you, mister, for you. So we went through the line. And I said, I want you to go down, I want you to sit while you're chewing it, usually go outside and play. And I said, No, no, no, no, you're gonna sit and chew it. And if you get bored, and you know, throw it in the trash can before you go out and play. So yeah, we just had this situation in my house. And I, you're right, it is all about what they're going to be doing. You know, and, because I'm not thinking, and honestly, even we, as adults, I remember choking. This is a long time ago, but I had one of those peppermint candies in my mouth. And I was just doing something really stupid, but I was active, and it kind of got lodged in my throat. I was by myself, Oh, my, and my gag reflex kind of kicked in. And because like, you know, it's kind of like gagging, and I got it out. But I've never been so scared in my entire life, because there was no one coming to my rescue. And thank God, it wasn't a true choking, like it didn't get down so far. So I always, you know, no one wants to go through that. But that's in my head. Every time one of these you know, potential situations could happen. I, I think back to that time when I went through it, right. I'm like, okay, sit down, don't do anything. When you're eating gum and throw it away. When you don't swallow. It's really, it's really important

Renae D'Andrea 36:41
And I would say like, as much as I like, like to talk about choking hazards and all of that one of the best things you can do is have them sit and but sitting that the caveat for this age group is don't have the beat and strollers okay, you could go over a bump in a stroller, you know, you're not having eyes on them at that age, you should really they should be eating when you're able to watch them. I know that's not convenient. But it's really important that you know, remindful of reducing choking risks in that way as much if not more, so then, you know, knowing the top choking hazards, because and I hesitate to say those, but any food can be a choking, right? Right, because we can choke on absolutely anything. And I don't say that to make you know it more of a stressful issue. It's that there are many other things outside of focusing on exactly how to serve the food that we can do to decrease risk. And that's what's really important, you know, no strollers while eating have them sit, you know, I remember I was visiting a preschool when I was looking to put my oldest daughter in it, and they were running around having snacks that were tortilla chips. And you know, my dietician, I was just like, what is happening? You know, it's like, some of them were over four. And I was like, that could be one thing. But you know, I have two risks here. And if they had been sitting, then it would not have been that big of an issue because they were older. Right? They were running around not supervised. I mean, remotely supervised. But yeah, things like that. So it really is it's about how as much as what specifically you're feeding?

Sunny Gault 38:16
Yeah, and let's be honest, your babies are never sitting still completely okay. Babies are like unless they're sleeping. You can't tell a baby... okay, you just well, because, you know, most of the time, they don't really even understand what you're saying. Yeah, aid, right. They're constantly moving. And so there really is no 100% just kind of sit there like an adult could do or whatever. But you know, strapping them into the high chair really important having them sit there while you're you know, that's, that's one of the keys to reducing the risk. Alright, guys, you have your top 10 list. But like Renee said, anything could be a choking hazard. We're not trying to scare you. But I think that the information is really important. So you know that so it's not just like, oh, I don't need to do this or whatever, because it's not on the list. The list is there to help us and to guide us. But obviously, we there was a parenting factor to this well, as well. And I know you guys know that. But I just wanted to throw that out there.

Sunny Gault 39:06
So, Renee, thank you so much for the information and for joining us today. We really appreciate having you on our show. Mamas, be sure to check out Renae's website, it's Actually, Renae why don't you tell them real quickly about your course because you you do have a course where you talk about these why no choking comes up a lot, but it's about introducing foods to your baby, right?

Renae D'Andrea 39:27
It is I have a starting solids course it's called starting solids setting the foundation, like I've been talking about today, you know, it's more than just the food. It's about how you're serving and it's about, you know, sitting on your hands while your child is gagging, but knowing how to be safe so it's about a lot more than just a specific food to give. But in this course I do go a lot into the different choking hazards exactly how you can serve them safely. The textures are looking for the shapes you're looking for. So to alleviate your mind, I go through that in the course while also teaching all about you know the other things that we don't necessarily think about, like how to act at tables as parents, things like that. So all the things that are really important for setting your kids up to have this amazing relationship with food and making meals fun for the whole family, which is the goal.

Sunny Gault 40:14
Exactly. All right, well, Renae's website is We're going to link to that on our site, guys. So if you're familiar with going to our site, on this episode page, we'll have all of our resources there and she'll, you know, have her own expert page as well. So if you want to connect with Renae, you can do it that way. So check out Of course, that's our website. We have all of our podcast episodes there. We've got videos, blog posts, anything you could want specifically focused on pregnancy all the way up through ages four or five, which is where I think most of you guys fall in there. So check out our website for more information.

Sunny Gault 40:50
That wraps up our show for today. Guys, we appreciate you listening to newbies. Don't forget to check out our sister show Preggie Pals for expecting parents, Parents Savers for moms and dads with toddlers, The Boob Group for moms who give breast milk to their babies, and Twin Talks for parents of multiples. Thanks for listening to Newbies -your go-to source for new moms and new babies!

Disclaimer 41:12
This has been a New Mommy Media production. The information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Will such information and materials are believed to be accurate. It is not intended to replace or substitute for professional medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating healthcare problem or disease or prescribing any medication. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health, or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider

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