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NAEYC Accreditation Food Choking Hazards - Need Clarification

  • 1.  NAEYC Accreditation Food Choking Hazards - Need Clarification

    Posted 09-30-2017 09:36 PM
    I was looking at the NAEYC guidelines for food and I happened upon the below criterion. I'm a little confused by the "meat" aspect of it. If my classroom of threes is having hamburgers does that mean I need to cut it into pieces that can be swallowed whole? The children would be making a sandwich and biting it. Or does this only apply to something like chunks of beef in a stew? Thank you for any help!
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    Erin D.
    New Jersey
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  • 2.  RE: NAEYC Accreditation Food Choking Hazards - Need Clarification

    Posted 10-02-2017 07:40 AM
    This criterion is difficult for us as well. These are some of the 3's favorite foods and families object to leaving them out of lunches and snacks brought from home. We sit with our children at meals and snacks and watch carefully for choking. Families have asked about the difference between grapes and grape tomatoes and chicken chunks and hot dogs. They seem similar enough to warrant inclusion. This criterion seems overly specific. As educators we are always watching and vigilant about keeping our children safe.

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    Abigail Marsters
    The Sharon Cooperative School
    Sharon MA
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  • 3.  RE: NAEYC Accreditation Food Choking Hazards - Need Clarification

    Posted 10-03-2017 12:43 PM
    I don't think hamburger would be considered a choking hazard because it is ground beef. Even though it is a patty, the meat is ground, therefore the chunks of meat are smaller than the recommended size.

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    Leslie Oliveira
    Director
    Hilmar Cristian Childen's Center
    Hilmar CA
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  • 4.  RE: NAEYC Accreditation Food Choking Hazards - Need Clarification

    Posted 10-03-2017 07:40 PM
    Hello Erin,
    Thank you for contacting NAEYC Accreditation of Early Learning Programs.  Given the language, this would apply to chunks of meat, such as chunks of beef in stew or meatballs.  Therefore, a burger would be fine and would not need to be cut into pieces.


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    Kristen Johnson
    NAEYC Accreditation of Early Learning Programs
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  • 5.  RE: NAEYC Accreditation Food Choking Hazards - Need Clarification

    Posted 10-04-2017 06:46 AM
    Thank you everyone!

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    Erin Daddio
    Plainsboro NJ
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  • 6.  RE: NAEYC Accreditation Food Choking Hazards - Need Clarification

    Posted 8 days ago
    We have also wondered about baby carrots and hard pretzels.  Would those count as chunks of raw carrots?  Are the small pretzel twists okay?

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    Jennie Morrell
    Andover Elementary School
    Andover CT
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  • 7.  RE: NAEYC Accreditation Food Choking Hazards - Need Clarification

    Posted 7 days ago
    Thank you for your question. The intention of this item is to ensure that food does not end up becoming a choking hazard for the children in your care. There are several ways to prevent this. When we say "meat", we are referring to prepared cut up pieces, such as chicken bites, hot dog pieces, or as you mentioned, a stew or soup with meat, etc. If you provide children a hamburger patty and they are taking bites, that would not be considered a choking hazard for a preschool class. 
    Both of the other items mentioned - baby carrots and hard pretzels - would be considered choking hazards as indicated by the assessment item language. By "chunks of raw carrots", we believe that baby carrots would fall into this category. Similarly,  "hard, small, traditionally shaped pretzels" (in the item guidance) would also be considered at a higher risk for a choking incident. We would advise against both of these food items in early childhood classrooms as evidenced by the best practice listed for item 5B.14.



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    Kristen Johnson
    NAEYC Accreditation of Early Learning Programs
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