Choking Hazards & Allergy Warning
The following foods, if served whole or in chunks, are considered choking hazards. Use these simple changes to make them safe options. Some foods cannot be safely altered, so it’s recommended they not be served at all.
ACTION STEP: Be sure all foods are cut into bite-size pieces, steamed or mashed. Encourage children to chew completely before swallowing to ensure safety.
Because food allergies are common in children, it is important to be aware of the ingredients in all foods before serving.
The eight most common allergens are:
- Milk • Eggs • Peanuts* • Tree nuts* • Fish • Shellfish • Soy • Wheat
*Note: Tree nuts, peanuts and nut butters are excellent sources of protein for growing children, are reimbursable meat alternate options and are strongly encouraged if feasible for your center. If your center in nut-free, and nuts listed in the following recipes are optional.
ACTION STEP: If a child has a food allergy, a doctor’s note must be kept on file stating the allergy and any appropriate substitutions. Be sure to speak with all parents/guardians about children’s food allergies. If allergies are severe, ask for a list of foods the child is able to eat.