17 answers

When Can Toddlers Eat Popcorn?

Okay, I realize this is possibly the stupidist question on the page, but I'd be curious to hear answers.

My 17-month-old loves popcorn; we make it on the stovetop and usually bite off the hull part and give him the puff part, with the thinking that the hulls are sometimes hard for adults, much less kids. The stovetop stuff does have a heartier hull and can get stuck in your throat, etc. Customizing these bites of popcorn is really tedious and I'd like to just give him some popcorn, but am not sure at what point he's old enough to eat it without too much worry. Have any of you had problems with popcorn and your toddler? Maybe just making the microwave stuff will produce a more easily-chewed product.

That's all. He likes popcorn, it's a healthy snack, can I give it to him?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Popcorn is the number one choking hazard followed by hot dogs. I found Pirate Booty to be an acceptable alternative for my kids--dissolves very quickly and is a bit better for them. The Veggie Booty even incorporates spinach--just don't tell the kids!

My 18mo old eats it just fine and has for a couple of months! Granted we are close by when she does just in case, but thankfully we've never had choking issues.

Has anyone else noticed that the choking hazard list keeps growing and the age limit keeps bumping up? 11yrs ago when I had my first there were a handful of things on it and the recommendation was to wait until age 2 or 3, but now even peanut butter is considered a choking hazard and should be given until age 3! Really people? Crazy.
It is nice to see that others are willing to actually supervise their kids and let them eat all sorts of things! :)

More Answers

My Dad loves popcorn and wanted to be able to share with my son when he came over. Although we prefer our own popped popcorn it does have much harder pieces and we don't want him to choke. So,we found a compromise. To share with my son my dad buys Orville Redenbacker's (sp?) TENDER WHITE. This type seems to be the safest we've found and the boys get to enjoy a special treat when we visit.

1 mom found this helpful

I was told by our doc NO popcorn until after 2 years of age. He said it was one of the biggest choking hazzards for toddlers! He says it is easily inhaled and hard to get back up because it is so light... The way my daughter eats (stuffing as much in her mouth as she can) I know for sure she would choke on it, so I am going to stear clear for some time!

My son is 21 months old and LOVES popcorn. My friend freaked out one day, "OMG!! YOU LET HIM EAT POPCORN?" My response was, "Try to stop him!" It started with my mom. She has a really awesome popper and my boys loved to help her make popcorn. They all started pretty young, and now I have one of those awesome poppers so the tradition continues.

We have popcorn often- on movie night, or as an evening snack if we have and early dinner. I used to pull the puffy part off for him, but his patience grew thin with that, so I just supervise him and let him eat it whole. He's got molars and can chew little pieces of meat and chicken, so I figure popcorn should be a piece of cake for him.

Now, doctors will tell you that popcorn is right up there with fruit snacks and raisins as far as being a choking hazard, so I won't tell you to go ahead and give it to him, but you know if your child can handle it. I usually share my bowl with my son and make sure he doesn't shove in handfuls at a time. Just one at a time and he's fine!

My 18mo old eats it just fine and has for a couple of months! Granted we are close by when she does just in case, but thankfully we've never had choking issues.

Has anyone else noticed that the choking hazard list keeps growing and the age limit keeps bumping up? 11yrs ago when I had my first there were a handful of things on it and the recommendation was to wait until age 2 or 3, but now even peanut butter is considered a choking hazard and should be given until age 3! Really people? Crazy.
It is nice to see that others are willing to actually supervise their kids and let them eat all sorts of things! :)

In my opinion it is a choke hazard. All it takes it a tiny peice of hull to get caught in the back of the throat. I follow these guidelines. Every one of them lists popcorn as a choke hazard until age 3.

http://www.babycenter.com/0_foods-that-can-be-unsafe-for-...
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/3/t030400.asp
http://ezinearticles.com/?Baby-and-Toddlers---Choking-Haz...
http://life.familyeducation.com/safety/child-care/48080.html

If he's got a lot of teeth and is good at chewing most other foods without having them cut into teeny-tiny bits, I see no reason not to try giving him the whole piece. Just watch him carefully and if he does have trouble with it, wait a bit longer before trying it again. Good luck!

MY daughter started eating popcorn at about 19 months old and loves it. It is a treat she eats with her daddy. It is a bonding moment for them. He lets her sit on the table in front of the big bowl with him on the chair sharing the giant bowl of popcorn.....so cute to watch.

Mine started at 9 mo's she gummed it till she swallowed it. Not PC I know. She loves the stuff, so do we, and when she was teeny tiny and turned our backs for just a sec she had shoved her face full. She handled it fine and is around to talk about it now that she's almost 6.

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