Any parent knows that feeding toddlers can be a battle. Whether you’re trying to squeeze in a meal time before the weekly shop, packing their lunch for the next day or just trying to feed a picky eater, it’s often much easier to feed kids a quick, easy (and often unhealthy) meal rather than spend time preparing nutritious foods.

While you may never completely master your toddler’s diet, you may be eager to add variety to their diet and introduce new foods. As your child gets older, they may also be eager to grab food off your plate but did you know that there are certain foods which can be unsafe for your child?

Children under the age of 4 are at the highest risk of choking as they haven’t quite got the hang of chewing. For this reason, many parents can be hesitant of introducing solids and table foods, which is understandable. If you are concerned or would like to find out more, read on for these top 5 foods which can be unsafe for your toddler.

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Hot dogs in particular can pose a real choking hazard due to their compressibility and shape. If you do choose to feed hot dogs to your toddler, it is best to cut them into small chunks, lengthways. 

Nuts and seeds

While we may view them as healthy snacks, nuts and seeds can cause real harm to your toddler due to their inability to properly chew and grind food. While smaller seeds may not be large enough for them to choke on, they can still get lodged in their airways and cause an infection. Remember to remove pips and stones from fresh fruit before offering them to your child.

Whole grapes

Large chunks of food such as whole grapes should be cut into pieces no more than ½ an inch to minimise the risk of choking.


Hard crunchy foods such as popcorn and pretzels are all choking hazards and are best left until your child is over 4 years old and can chew properly.

Sticky foods

Sticky foods such as dried fruit, gummy sweets and jelly, can be difficult for your toddler to swallow and should be avoided.

Use caution when you are feeding your toddler but try not restrict what they eat too harshly. If you are ever unsure either cut the food up small enough for your baby to enjoy or try something different!

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