Foods to avoid: Newborn to 4 to 6 months
All solid food: The AAP recommends feeding your baby only breast milk or formula for the first four to six months.
Foods to avoid: 4 to 12 monthsHoney: Honey can harbor spores of Clostridium botulinum, which causes botulism. An adult's intestinal tract can prevent the growth of these spores, but in a baby the spores can grow and produce life-threatening toxins.
Peanut butter: The sticky consistency of peanut butter and other nut butters can make it tough for a young child to swallow safely.
Cow's milk: Stick with breast milk or formula until your child's first birthday. Why? Your baby can't digest the protein in cow's milk for the first year, it doesn't have all the nutrients he needs, and it contains minerals in amounts that can damage his kidneys.
Choking hazards to watch for
Large chunks: Pea-size pieces of food are safest — they won't get stuck in your child's throat. Vegetables like carrots, celery, and green beans should be diced, shredded, or cooked and cut up. Cut fruits like grapes, cherry tomatoes, and melon balls into quarters before serving. Cut meats and cheeses into very small pieces or shred them.
Small, hard foods: Nuts, popcorn, cough drops, hard candies, raisins, and other small dried fruit and seeds are potential choking hazards.
Soft foods: Soft foods like marshmallows and jelly candies can get lodged in your child's throat.
More choking prevention:
- Avoid letting your child eat in the car. It's too hard to supervise while driving.
- If you're using a rub-on teething medication, keep a close eye on your baby as it can numb his throat and interfere with swallowing.
Foods to avoid: 24 to 36 months
Choking hazards: Even though your child is becoming a more competent eater, there's still a chance he’ll choke on his food. Continue to avoid the choking hazards listed above, and discourage your child from eating while walking, watching TV, or doing anything else that might distract him from his meal.
Foods to avoid: age 3 and up
Choking hazards: Your child is a very competent eater now, but you should still be on the lookout for pieces of food that he could choke on. Keep cutting his food into small pieces, especially things like grapes and pieces of hot dog that could completely block his airway if inhaled.
Continue to avoid popcorn, whole nuts, and chewing gum, and discourage your child from eating when distracted.
Credit to BabyCenter