It is highly suggested to keep hard and solid foods like popcorn away from kids till the age of four. Kids under the age of four do not have all of their childhood molars and they are still in the process of learning how to chew the food correctly. So giving popcorn might be a little risky.
We know popcorn is a staple food in many households for all the movie nights and late-night jammings, but it is best to wait till the age of four as for young babies popcorn is regarded as a choking hazard. So, once your kid grows enough and knows the right way to chew, it won’t be considered a hazard anymore.
The main reason why toddlers should not be allowed to eat popcorn is because it might prove to be a choking hazard. However, it does not form part of the most dangerous foods for kids, but it is still advisable to hold off till the age of four. The sharp shape and texture of the popcorn make it even more dangerous for the kids as it might choke your little one’s airway.
The Dangers Of Popcorn For Kids
We know popcorn is delicious, easy to make and can be served within two minutes. However, despite all of these, it is still not the right option for your kids, at least till the age of four. Popcorns have sharp edges and hard kernels in it which can get stuck in your child’s throat and cause them to choke.
However, this is the case only for kids who haven’t reached the age of four as kids under this age are regarded as immature chewers. They still haven’t grown the molar and therefore are unable to chew things and grind them down. Popcorns also do carry the risk of getting stuck in the lungs of a child and further cause infections and even pneumonia.
Is Popcorn A Healthy Snack For Kids?
Popcorn is nothing but fresh corn with lots of vitamins and minerals in it. So, yes, popcorn is definitely a healthy snack for the kids. It is healthy, easy to cook, and even delicious. It is made up of insoluble fibre, so it is digested slowly in its own way and does not lead to the formation of any unhealthy condition within the body.
For kids, homemade air-popped popcorns are the best choice since the parents are in total control of the oil, butter and salt that goes into it. Even though this is a more fun and healthier option for the kids, you should still look out for the choking hazards it comes with.
Popcorn Alternatives For Toddlers
There are a variety of other delicious snacks for the little ones out there that are safe to consume yet scrumptious. Some other crunchy snacks include mini rice cakes, puffed corn cakes, snap pea crisps and softer types of crackers etc. These little crunchy yet yummy snacks are a lot safer than the popcorns and parents can let their kids enjoy it without much worrying. Some other delicious safe snacks include:
- Rice cakes broken into bite-sized pieces
- Peanut puffs
- O-shaped oat cereal
At a young age, it is best to serve food that is soft, mushy and easy to digest for better health.
The Major Choking Hazards For Kids Under 4
Some of the major choking hazards for kids under the age of four are:
- Hot Dogs
- Nuts and seeds
- Huge pieces of meat and cheese
- Whole grapes
- Sticky candy
- Chunks of peanut butter
- Chunks of raw vegetables
- Chewing gum.
You must keep these foods away from your kid until he/she reaches the age of four. Make sure you serve soft, easy to chew and mushy food at least till the age of four to five.
Check out for food allergies that your kid might be suffering from. The common symptoms of food allergy are hives, itchy skin rashes, swelling, nausea, vomiting and pale skin. If you notice any of these symptoms, then consult the doctor immediately. Even though popcorn is not listed as one of the top allergenic foods, avoid serving these to your kids until they learn the proper way to chew and eat it.