Baby and toddler safety
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Katrina Phillips
Baby proofing and Child Safety Expert. Chief Executive of the Child Accident Prevention Trust.
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Will my baby or toddler choke on finger foods?

Babies usually gag food back up before they choke on it - but they can choke if you're not careful. Follow these guidelines and know the risks involved with different foods.
Video Tutorial
In Short
To reduce the chance of your baby choking:

Cut spherical foods like blueberries and grapes in half.

Avoid whole nuts until your child is at least 5.

Popcorn is also a high risk choking food.

Learn baby emergency first aid.


Always supervise your baby when they are eating snacks or meals. They cannot cry out to you if they have something stuck in their throat and will not know how to get your attention.

Finger foods and choking

One thing you do need to remember when you are giving your baby finger foods is choking. A concern many parents share is that their baby will choke and they won’t know what to do.

However, it is worth remembering that a baby’s gag reflex is very, very far forward in their mouth. This means that babies will frequently cough, and spit things up, but it doesn’t mean that they’re choking. Rather, it’s just their way of preventing themselves from choking.

How do I stop my baby choking?

To reduce the chance of choking, there are certain ways to cut up your baby’s finger food. For example, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, and grapes should be chopped in half as they are the high choking risk foods.

Avoid whole and chopped nuts until your child is five years old as again they are a high choking risk and can be inhaled.


Choking First Aid

If your baby chokes on food you will need to perform first aid to clear the blocked food. Please see our lesson on first aid for babies choking to learn how.

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This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Essential Parent has used all reasonable care in compiling the information from leading experts and institutions but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details click here.