As a baby grows into a toddler, you can teach him or her about handwashing. Practice singing a song like “Happy Birthday” two times while washing to ensure that he or she has washed for long enough. Kids should be washing their hands after using the bathroom, before and after handling food or eating, after playing with pets or visiting a petting zoo, after coughing or sneezing, and whenever they are dirty.
Some foods are more likely to cause foodborne illness in kids, so you should avoid feeding a young child:
• Unpasteurized (raw) milk or any products made from unpasteurized milk, including raw milk cheese
• Raw or partially cooked eggs or foods containing raw eggs
• Raw or undercooked meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish
• Unpasteurized juices (including cider)
• Raw sprouts
Here are some common choking hazards:
• Chewing gum
• Round slices of hot dogs or sausages
• Carrot sticks or baby carrots
• Tough meat
• Hard candy
• Whole grapes
• Cherry and grape tomatoes
• Large pieces of raw fruits and vegetables
To prevent choking:
• Have a preschooler eat at the table or at least while sitting down. Do not let a child run, walk, play, or lie down with food in his or her mouth.
• Keep a watchful eye on a child while he or she eats.
• Cut food for a preschooler into pieces no larger than one-half inch, and teach him or her to chew food well.
–Slice hot dogs and sausages lengthwise.
–Cut meat and chicken across the grain into small pieces.
–Slice grapes, cherry tomatoes, and other round foods in half.
–Cook carrots or celery sticks until slightly soft, grate them, or cut them into small pieces or thin “matchsticks.”
• Spread peanut butter thinly on bread or crackers. A thick glob of peanut butter can cause choking.
Other relevant links:
- 9 tips for getting kids to eat veggies. See: Making Vegetables a Hit with Kids
- Looking for a fun way to involve kids in a fun and healthy project? See: Healthy Recipes: Get Cookin’, Kids!
- Use these simple tips to keep your family healthy. See: Food Safety Tips for Packing and Unpacking Your Food