After a supermarket expedition or during a long road trip, a bunch of grapes might seem like the perfect distraction for a tired child fussing in the car seat. Eating in a moving vehicle, with a driver who's herself distracted, is already a choking hazard. Adding something like grapes to the mix increases the risk.
Foods like grapes, olives, cherry tomatoes and raw peas are softer than candy disks. Yet, they're still too firm for the chomp-and-swallow technique young children employ. Like hard candy, they have a slippery feel and small size that might fool a child into thinking the food can be swallowed whole. Some children even try to, just to see if they can. In reality, they're the right size for lodging in the throat.
These foods can be made safe. As with bigger fruits and vegetables, cut grapes and other small fruits into halves or quarters. Cook and mash peas. Or let the child smash them: Kids take more interest in foods they help "prepare" themselves.
Our next entry asks the question: Can an all-American sandwich favorite be a health hazard to the schoolkids who made it famous? In a word, yes. And that's not "spreading it on thick." Read on to see what we mean.