How old should my child be before I can give her peanuts and coarse vegetables?
Giving whole nuts is not recommended until children are at least three years old. The danger in giving nuts to young children is that they do not properly chew them. If they happen to cough or cry, the nut may be inhaled into the air passages. It may cause severe inflammation, which could prevent it from being easily removed and may require a physician’s services for removal. Coarse vegetables such as carrots and celery may also be inhaled, but the irritation is not so great as when nuts are inhaled. When dry nuts are inhaled, they swell as they absorb moisture from the body.
We do not mean that a child must eat strained foods until the age of three, but raw foods and nuts are more frequently a cause of trouble than cooked foods. As the child becomes older and it is time to try foods such as nuts, make sure that the child is sitting quietly in a chair where nothing will excite him to laugh or cry.
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