With all of the regulations on what must be served and new laws regarding foods for children under four years old, a lot of parents are confused as to what foods are considered a "strangulation"/choking hazard and, therefore, not allowed. Hopefully, in this post we can briefly address some of the issues we have had during this transition while also answering some frequently asked questions. Let's get started!
What should a "well balanced" meal consist of?
Meat or Meat Alternative: Lean meat, poultry, fish, tofu, soy products, cheese, large egg, beans, peas, nut/seed butters, yogurt, etc.
Grains: bread, biscuit, roll, muffin, cereal, cooked breakfast cereal, pasta, etc.
Why do I keep getting "Oops" notes sent home with my child's food?
According to new regulations by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), we a NOT allowed to give children under four years of age any item that is associated with young children's choking incidences. "What foods are considered a choking hazard?", you might ask. Here is a list of some of the specific items listed in DCF's Childcare Facility Handbook. This is not an exhaustive list, but a general idea the types and shapes of foods that are not allowed because they can obstruct the airway.
Any food that is of similar size and shape of the trachea/windpipe.
We are NOT allowed to serve these items to children under four and they will be sent back home.
Food for toddlers (under four years) must be cut into 1/2" or smaller pieces to prevent choking.
All round food items must be cut into bite sized, non-round pieces to prevent possible choking. We understand that these new rules can be a frustrating inconvenience. However, they are for the health and safety of the children, and THAT is our top priority!