Tips for Promoting Healthy Eating/Chewing Habits to Decrease Risk for Choking

Do you have concerns about your child’s eating behaviors? Are you worried about your child’s ability to chew food effectively? Lack of chewing or insufficient chewing can contribute to swallowing challenges. Ask your child’s SLP to evaluate their tongue lateralization, chewing pattern, and rate of chewing to determine if your child is at risk for choking.

Consider the following tips to promote safe eating:

  • Cut food into small, length wise pieces (avoid circle shaped food)
  • Limit distractions while eating to increase your child’s attention to their chewing
  • Model appropriate bite size/rate
  • Avoid movement while eating (jumping, dancing, running, laughing)

Be mindful of the following toys that can cause choking if inappropriately ingested: balloons, coins, buttons, marbles/pebbles, small toy parts, pills, beads

Please read the following article by Nicole Archambault, EdS, MS, CCC-SLP and Licia Coceani Paskay, MS, CCC-SLP for more detailed information: https://doi.org/10.1044/leader.FTR1.24112019.42