During this age children need to be supervised at all times when eating. Any food during this time (as well as little parts of toys and games) can be seen as a choking hazard. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests not giving children hard foods (such as peanuts and whole raw vegetables) until the age of 4. You should not give your children round hard foods such as hot dogs and carrot sticks unless they are chopped properly. If you do chose to give your children carrot sticks, chop them into bite size (1/2 inch) pieces and encourage your children to chew thoroughly. My best advice would be to monitor your children while eating at all times, chop all foods up into very small pieces, and choose cooked, canned, pureed or mashed fruits and vegetables whenever possible.
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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.Read Her Full Bio