We get lots of e-mails and messages each month. One of the most frequent questions we get asked is 'Can I give grapes to my baby/toddler/child?'
So let me start by saying, grapes in my opinion are juicy, tasty, packed full of antioxidants and nutrients such as vitamins C and K.
They are fabulous for helping our baby led weaned kids with their fine motor skills too. Imagine being so new to this thing they call gripping, and someone gives you a slippy grape! But unfortunately, they also come with a warning, they are a major choking risk.
Now this post isn’t intended to put people off from serving grapes to children, you absolutely should continue to serve them as they are a fantastic fruit, but just follow the health and safety guidelines of cutting them in half lengthways before serving them to children. Lengthways is very important because if you cut them across the middle of the width, then they can still pose a choking risk. This is because of the grapes shape, the way they are long and slightly rounded means that if they get stuck in your throat as a whole piece, they can create a vacuum in the trachea, which is why it is extremely difficult to release the fruit when choking if this happens. This can also happen with baby plum/cherry tomatoes, strawberries and blueberries.
Another good method of serving grapes safely to BLW children (or any children for that matter, not just BLW’d kids), is to crush them before serving. I find this better with the really small grapes that we sometimes get in a bunch, but always make sure the skins are completely split and the shape does not resemble anything rounded anymore.
I've written this post as a colleague recently witnessed the devastating effect a whole grape can have on a family when a child chokes on one. Whilst they had a happy ending, it'll be an event which will impact all involved for life. I also know that a lot of people are unaware that they should be cutting their grapes lengthways for their kids, there is no judgement in this, but please consider starting this simple practice if you do not already. It could save a child’s life. I’m not sure when I will stop cutting grapes in half for my kids….possibly when they’re 30!
So, if you are reading this and you were already aware of this, fantastic. If you were not aware of this and you have just discovered it, then I hope you have found it useful and informative. Grapes are so versatile, you can make them into deserts, they are a really handy snack to take out with you for kids to munch on and who doesn’t love a cheese board with a side of grapes?! Yum!
I think also important to note that if you are still using eco rascals bamboo bowls and plates and needing the suction bases, then it's advised that you never leave a child alone whilst they're eating - regardless of what it is. Much like leaving a child in a bath. Don't even be tempted to run out of the room for a second - whatever / whoever is knocking/waiting can wait the two minutes you need to let them finish their mouthful or drain that bath tub.
*Picture show is our eco rascals bamboo elephant plate. Little Austin is enjoying a fruit platter including cut lengthways grapes.*