Skip Navigation
Child Nutrition
Main Content
Office of Child Nutrition logo

Choking Hazards

The following foods, if served whole or in chunks, are considered choking hazards for children under four years of age. 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.

*Foods that are not reimbursable. †Food that may only be served once every two weeks
Choking Hazard Make It Safe By
Nuts and seeds Chopping finely
Hot dogs† Cutting in quarters lengthwise, then cutting into smaller pieces
Whole grapes Cutting in half lengthwise, then cutting into smaller pieces
Raisins Cooking in food
Chunks of meat or cheese Chopping finely
Hard fruit chunks (like apples) Chopping finely, cutting into thin strips, steaming, mashing or pureeing
Raw vegetables Chopping finely, cutting into thin strips, steaming, mashing or pureeing
Peanut butter Spreading thinly on crackers or missing with applesauce and cinnamon and spreading thinly on bread (use only creamy) (not chunky) version)
Choking Hazard DO NOT SERVE
Dried fruits or vegetables Do not serve
Popcorn* Do not serve

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.