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The Blessed

Edward Campion Federation

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Shrewsbury Cathedral

Catholic Primary School

Food safety advice for children age 5 and under and Healthy Lunch Boxes

Food safety advice for children age 5 and under

How to reduce the risk of choking

Food preparation:

  • remove any stones and pips from fruit before serving
  • cut small round foods, like grapes, strawberries and cherry tomatoes, lengthways and into quarters
  • cut large fruits like melon, and hard fruit or vegetables like raw apple and carrot into slices instead of small chunks
  • do not offer raisins as a snack to children under 12 months – although these can be chopped up as part of a meal
  • soften hard fruit and vegetables (such as carrot and apple) and remove the skins when first given to babies from around 6 months
  • sausages should be avoided due to their high salt content, but if offered to children these should be cut into thin strips rather than chunks and remove the skins
  • remove bones from meat or fish
  • do not give whole nuts to children under five years old
  • do not give whole seeds to children under five years old
  • cut cheese into strips rather than chunks
  • do not give popcorn as a snack
  • do not give children marshmallows or jelly cubes from a packet either to eat or as part of messy play activities as they can get stuck in the throat
  • do not give children hard sweets

Supervision

Infants and young children should be seated safely in a highchair or appropriately sized low chair while eating. Infants and young children should never be left alone while they are eating, and staff should be familiar with paediatric first aid advice for children who are choking.

The criteria for effective Paediatric First Aid (PFA) training can be found in the Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage, Annex A.

Useful resources

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