Pack a Safe Lunchbox

** Scroll for our safety video prepared for us by Mini First Aid's Founder Kate Ball **

Choking is a major concern for parents when they start weaning. Children’s airways are a lot smaller and narrower than adults’ and learning how to chew food, breathe and swallow at the same time is tricky! Young children are particularly vulnerable to choking because they don’t have a full set of teeth and are still learning to chew properly; their swallow reflex is still developing and their airway is very small.

But we also know that choking hazards are a significant safety concern for parents of older children too, and when it comes to packing your child’s lunch safety is a top priority.

The handy compartments in our Yumbox range encourage parents to chop foods to manageable sizes and make it easier to prep nutritious lunches.

Follow our essential tips and practices below to ensure your child's lunchbox food is prepared and packed safely to prevent choking incidents, and check out the information video below prepared for our sister company by Kate, the founder of Mini First Aid.

Be Mindful of Food Texture: Consider the texture of the food you pack. Sticky or gooey food items like peanut butter or marshmallows can pose a choking hazard. Opt for spreads with a thinner consistency or use thinly spread nut butter instead. Marshmallows should be avoided for under 4s completely. When mixed with saliva, their consistency becomes sticky and can be challenging for younger children to chew and swallow.

Be Mindful of Food Size: Avoid uncut small, smooth round foods such as grapes or cherry tomatoes. They are the perfect shape to block a young child’s airway and can be very difficult to expel because of their smooth skin. Avoid packing these items whole and instead cut them lengthways into quarters. The size of these types of food means they can completely plug a child’s small tight airway. And the tight seal produced by the grape’s smooth surface makes them difficult to dislodge with standard first aid techniques.

Be Mindful of Food Shape: Cut large fruits and vegetables such as cucumber and celery into narrow long batons. Round foods can block a child’s airway.

Be Mindful of Environments: Create a safe and calm eating environment. Encourage your child to sit while they eat rather than wander around the room and try to eliminate distractions like the TV.

Supervise mealtimes: Promote safe eating habits by encouraging your child to take their time while eating and remind them not to rush through their meal. Encourage them to take small bites and not to talk or laugh with a mouthful of food. Promoting slower eating and proper chewing reduces the risk of choking incidents. This will set your child up well for nursery and reception when they’ll be eating apart from you.

Be prepared for emergencies: Learn basic first aid techniques, such as infant CPR and choking manoeuvres, to be ready to respond quickly in case of an emergency.

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