feeding toddler...

Cheyenne - posted on 06/17/2011 ( 38 moms have responded )

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my son is 16 months old and he will pretty much eat anything i give him. but some people think( my sister in law) think i shouldnt let him feed himself like he does. recently i started giving him grapes and he eats the whole thing, skin and all. my sister in law is one of those parents that cuts up food into little pieces when its a baby. her youngest daughter is 3 years old and she still tells her how to eat. i mean i know there are moms out there who have strict diets, vegiterians, eat whatever, for there kids. but i think its the parents desion on how to let there child eat. i trust my son, and its not like im not there when hes eating his food. im close by if i have to leave. i just think its funny because my sis in law is telling me hot dogs are the #1 cause of choking for kids, and grapes are # 2. if you cant learn to trust your child from when they start feeding themselves then how are you going to trust them later down the road when they want to borrow the car, or want to walk down the street to there friends house?

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Krista - posted on 06/18/2011

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And like Joy said, this isn't about telling you how to be a parent or policing your life. If I was doing something unsafe with my kid, and every single other person was telling me it's unsafe, and if I looked online and every single parenting resource told me it was unsafe, then why dig in my heels and continue to do it just out of defiance?

Parent however you like -- but as moms, we all have a responsibility to try to prevent dangerous situations as much as we reasonably can. And where whole grapes and hot dogs are a very real, very serious danger, that can be mitigated with the simple act of cutting them up, then why not do it?

[deleted account]

I noticed that you closed the conversation (this same topic) you had going on the DM board. Before you close this one too, I just wanted to let you know that no one's attacking you or saying you're wrong. You posted what appears to the rest of us to be a dangerous situation and we're just trying to help. If you saw another mother doing something that was putting their child at obvious risk, wouldn't you say something to her or try to help? That's all we're doing here. There are reasons why any doctor, nurse, or nutritionist will tell you the same info we've been telling you. It's not because anyone wants to tell you how to parent or to police your life. It's because it's factually proven to be unsafe. Sorry if it upsets you but I stand by what I originally said. It takes very little of your time to cut your child's food. Such a simple thing. Why take a risk with something so precious as your baby? Especially when you've got other mothers, as well as every professional around, saying that it isn't safe. Best of luck to you.

Stifler's - posted on 06/22/2011

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Cutting some bloody grapes in half is not wrapping your kid in cotton wool. it takes 5 seconds and reduces the risk of choking.

Stifler's - posted on 06/23/2011

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Oy. It's nothing to do with laws. It's got to do with common sense.

38 Comments

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Sherri - posted on 06/23/2011

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Why bother they just don't get it what-so-ever. You might as well talk to a brick wall.



Sadly the only way these people will understand is when they find out the hard way what we are all trying to protect them from ever having to experience.

Lucy - posted on 06/23/2011

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I agree completely with Sara, which is exactly why I honestly don't think you can make a law about something like this... If you think your child may not manage it, please cut the food up, but if you feel they can (obviously after watching them carefully for a while), why not let them? For some kids this may be at 16 months, for some it may not be until 4 years... I would never advocate negligence, I just honestly think kids mature at different rates and who better to know their own child than the mother? I find all this cutting up food unnecessary, but if it's something that worries you, by all means do it. It goes much along the same lines as child-proofing your home - some make sure every sharp corner is padded and every coin removed, while others take a more relaxed approach, and hey, to me, so long as they are paying attention to what is going on in their homes, everyone is doing the right thing - for them.

[deleted account]

Driving a car and walking down the road is about mental maturity of an individual child. Chewing a grape is a physical milestone that cannot be taught. Huge difference.

Sherri - posted on 06/22/2011

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It has nothing to do with moving around. It has to do with sometimes it slips down there throat before they manage to chew it. But each to there own. I would most certainly air on the side of caution why take the risk, especially with one so young.

Lucy - posted on 06/22/2011

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You guys seriously have no idea how to help a child who is choking? I suggest you take a first aid course. Honestly, I understand it is possible to choke on small bits of food, but I also think a mother can assess for her own child whether he or she will manage to eat a particular food in a particular way. A friend's child has eaten whole raw carrots since before he was 2, but I don't think my son could manage that, so I don't give them to him that way, but I do think he has enough control to eat a grape, and if Cheyenne thinks her son can do the same, I believe her! Do you think you are likely to choke on a grape if you are sitting still and chewing it properly? Then why think a child who has enough teeth, and enough practice eating, will do so? I have read the choking statistics just like all of you have, but do they say under what circumstances the children choked? Because I have serious doubts it was while sitting at the dinner table under the watchful eye of their mothers.

Shannintipton - posted on 06/22/2011

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Just because you are right there doesn't mean you will be able to help him. You are just watching him choke. Why not prevent it from happening at all. OMG.

Lucy - posted on 06/22/2011

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Honestly, if you are watching your child eat and he is sitting down while eating, I see no reason to cut up grapes and things like that, and didn't for my son either. I would be more diligent about it if you can't keep an eye on him while he eats or if he is moving around because, well, realistically choking can happen, but there is such a thing as being too safe... Have some common sense obviously, but I don't think there's any reason to wrap kids in cotton wool.

[deleted account]

She has two threads on two different boards (exact same thread) and we've been trying to advise her for two days that cutting food is the better way to go. I wasn't trying to be rude to you at all and sorry if you took it that way. I was just letting you know that you're telling her the same thing we've ALL been telling her and she won't listen. She still thinks it's ok to not cut grapes or hot dogs and that's what we've been focusing on. No one ever said for her to not let her child self feed.

Louise Faith Donelan - posted on 06/19/2011

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Joy... Trying to help and make her feel better but at the same time state that some foods need cutting up. Your comment was not needed.

[deleted account]

Louise, no one ever said she shouldn't let her kid feed themself. What we've been trying to get her to understand (and what her SIL was trying to get her to understand) is that cutting the food (like YOU said) is what's best, and safest.

Louise Faith Donelan - posted on 06/19/2011

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Ignore your sister in Law, your doing the right thing by letting your little one learning to eat themselves and your there when there eatting, she's the one thats still going to be feeding her kis when there 9 years old, my step brother is 13 and has only just learnt how to use a knife and fork because his mum was like that with him. Your being a good mum and you do what you feel is right for your baby and you, not what suits everyone else....

P.S. you can let your baby feed themselves but be careful about chocking, cut grapes in half.

Kate CP - posted on 06/18/2011

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What's the point of peeling hot dogs an grapes? I just cut them up small enough and my daughter could chew them just fine.

[deleted account]

A 16 month old is probably old enough to be feeding himself but mom has to use some common sense. Grapes and hot dogs should be peeled and cut up before feeding to a child this young. I don't advise hot dogs for a young child at all as they are not very nutritious and are way too salty. However I realize that they are easy for a busy mom and kids do like them, but take the time to peel the skin off or buy skinless ones and cut them up into small pieces until at least 2 yo. As for grapes, for a child under 2 they should be peeled and quartered as even seedless grapes will sometimes have a small seed that can be a real choking hazard.

Rosie - posted on 06/18/2011

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cut the food up. it's common sense. i'm not understanding why you would deliberately want to increase your childs chance of choking.

Shannintipton - posted on 06/18/2011

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I was the other extreme. I would cut everything up so tiny it was almost mashed. My MIL says you know she does have teeth. Better safe than sorry. Off topic, they barely eat anything I give them anyway. Really makes me made. lol

Amy - posted on 06/18/2011

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My son is 5 and just finished pre-school, one day I sent him to school with whole grapes and he came home and informed me the school policy is they need to be cut up into quarters because they're a choking hazard. Looking back I completely understand because there were kids as young as 3 in his class. I think I cut his food up till he was about 3 and now do the same thing for my 15 month old. Your SIL is right hotdogs and grapes are the number 1 and 2 choking hazard for toddlers, my doctor even reminds us at every well check-up!

Kirsten - posted on 06/18/2011

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I would defiantly recommend cutting up grapes and hotdogs. That's what my dr has always said. It is a very serious chokig hazard. I'm son has had feeding issues and it is so terrifying having to see ur baby turn colors and have to give him the himilick(sp) . I let him self feed but only bite sizes things with me present. Just don't risk it. It's not worth it.

Krista - posted on 06/18/2011

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Like the others said, this has nothing to do with not trusting your children. They're small, and still learning. I wouldn't trust my kid with a steak knife, either.

And your SIL is not lying to you. Grapes and hot dogs HAVE caused a LOT of kids to choke to death.

So why not cut them up? Why risk it, just to prove a point?

[deleted account]

It's not the size of the grapes Cheyenne. It's the fact that they are small and round and could easily get lodged in a child's throat. Why take the chance, is all we're saying. And it's not about not letting your child feed themself. Of course, let them feed themselves. But give them safe things to eat.

[deleted account]

There's no reason why you can't let a 16 month old feed himself. My son is 9mo and mostly feeds himself. He uses a spoon, and he picks up finger foods.



But certain foods are dangerous. Grapes, hotdogs, hard candy, etc. are firm and the perfect shape for lodging in little throats. It has nothing to do with trusting your child. It's a physical limitation.



Come on, use your common sense. There's a reason why Cheerios are recommended as a finger food (dissolves in mouth) and grapes are NOT.

Stifler's - posted on 06/17/2011

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I let my kid feed himself, he's the same age. My mother in law thinks I should be spoon feeding him and not letting him eat with his fingers... I think that would be hindering his development to be honest. I didn't read the other responses before posting but yes I cut up his food into bite size pieces. I don't actually give him hot dogs, we never eat that sort of stuff. But he loves grapes cut in quarters or halves and sausages or curried sausages (not hot) cut up into small rounds.

Kate CP - posted on 06/17/2011

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So, because you didn't like the answers you got on another forum you posted it here hoping to get the answers you wanted?

Reply: You need to cut your kids food up for him. It's common sense.

Sherri - posted on 06/17/2011

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Be extremely careful. I truly hope you will never have to experience what we are all trying to explain to you.

Cheyenne - posted on 06/17/2011

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a child can choke on anything. usually i give him the smaller grapes but he does tend to get them himself.

[deleted account]

I agree with Sherri & Teresa. My son has choked on things you wouldn't think a kid could choke on. Banana, watermelon. Ice. Watching your child turn blue is the scariest thing imaginable. 16 months is still pretty young to take risks and it's not about trusting your child. It's about keeping them safe. And it's such a small thing to do, really, to cut the food.

[deleted account]

My girls ate all the choking hazard foods long before the 'recommended' age, so when they were about a week shy of turning 3.... I thought nothing of letting them have a hard candy. Not even 10 seconds in the mouth and one of my girls was choking. They didn't eat another hard candy for a LONG time. Choking is very scary and your child is barely past the infant stage. Please be careful.

[deleted account]

How wierd. I JUST posted on this thread like 10 minutes ago and now it's gone. Someone else had already posted on it before me......theirs is gone too....

Sherri - posted on 06/17/2011

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I am not picky about feeding my children but I will tell you, you definitely should be cutting grapes at least in half and then he can feed himself and hot dogs are another one that need to be cut into itty bitty pieces. She is not kidding when she says that those are the biggest two choking hazards with children. If he were to choke on them and they were to get lodged just right you could lose your child. Why not take the two seconds and be safe and then your child can still feed himself with the cut up food.

It has zero to do with trusting your child that is ludacris. It is simply that if it accidentally goes down the wrong way etc and it lodges so deep in their throats they choke to death.

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