Can Babies Eat Popcorn? Popcorn might be one of the snacks that you are tempted to give your baby. But the question is, should you introduce popcorn to their diet?
Sometimes there are risks even in the foods that seem to be the healthiest. When you introduce a new food to your baby, you should consider the healthy ingredients it comes with and the hazards.
One of the most common hazards is the choking hazard, and you want to avoid that at all costs.
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Can Babies Eat Popcorn?
You shouldn’t give your baby popcorn until they are at least 4 years old. This is mainly because of the choking hazard of this food. .
- Popcorn is hard, and your baby will need completely developed teeth to be able to chew it. It is very easy for the popcorn to get stuck in your child’s throat and cause some tragic effects such as gagging and choking.
- Plus, popcorn is not the type of food that is so rich in nutrients, so your baby can easily live healthy and happy without it for the first few years of their life.
- According to the NIH study, there is 67% chance of choking when the baby eats a popcorn.
Why can’t toddlers eat popcorn?
The main reason why you should avoid giving your baby’s popcorn is the choking risk and the gagging risk.
- They can also break or chip their teeth if they don’t know how to chew the popcorn the right way.
- As soon as your baby has all their teeth and can chew all types of textures, popcorn becomes safe.
- An important detail to consider is the type of popcorn you can give your baby once this food is not dangerous for them anymore.
- Try to avoid microwave popcorn and that type of popcorn that is already made. Popcorn bought from the store that is cooked contains different flavorings that are not healthy, and they are also very salted.
Popcorn alternatives for toddlers
If you want to offer your baby some healthy alternatives to popcorn, you will be glad to find out there are a few to choose from.
- You can give your baby cornflakes that are easier to chew, and they melt faster. Try to choose the unflavored and unsweetened cornflakes so you can not worry about such aspects at all.
- Cauliflower popcorn is also a very healthy alternative. Cauliflower popcorn is very easy to make, as well. All you have to do is add some olive oil to them and roast them until they become crispy, not burned.
- Seaweed chips are also an excellent choice for baby snacks, and they are much more nutritious than popcorn. Plus, they don’t come with any choking hazards. You can find these already made in stores, and most of them don’t contain artificial chemicals, which makes them healthy for your little one.
Can an 18-month-old baby have popcorn?
No. It is recommended to wait until your baby is at least 4 years old before giving them popcorn.
- At 18 months, they might not be abler to chew it right. Popcorn is soft on the outside, and they might not have the patience to get to the popcorn’s hardcore before they swallow it, which can make them gag or choke.
- However, if you think your 18 months old toddler is ready to try some popcorn, you can give them only the soft side.
- So, you might want to separate the hard seed of the popcorn from the rest to allow your baby to taste this delicious snack.
My baby ate popcorn & what to do?
If your toddler ate some popcorn but didn’t choke with it or gag with it, you shouldn’t do anything.
- This is the main reason why toddlers don’t get to eat popcorn, so if you moved past this hazard, you could just watch them in the future to see if they develop any reaction.
- Popcorn is not known for developing allergies in babies. However, you should still keep an eye on them to identify potential side effects.
- If they don’t present any reactions for four days, it is safe to eat this snack.
- However, suppose your toddler is younger than four years. In that case, you should try to avoid giving them popcorn again until they are fully ready for it.
As tasty as popcorn might be, you want to make sure your baby is safe eating them. So, skip giving them popcorn until they turn at least four years old.
If you want to have them taste popcorn earlier than this stage, you might want to give them only the soft part of it.
However, it is also best to offer them alternatives to popcorn to avoid any risks and increase their snack’s nutritional value.
- “Pediatric exposure to choking hazards is associated with parental knowledge of choking hazards – PubMed”. Accessed October 21, 2020. Link.