Welcome to all the new followers! Great to have you along! For those of you who are new to Monday Bites, it’s a weekly review where I take a look at finger foods for your baby & toddler and how they help build eating skills like biting, chewing, and oral motor development.
A big contributor to fussy eating in younger children and babies can be that they find it tricky to physically eat the foods being offered to them. So they spit them out, gag, throw the food away or refuse to try it altogether. This can make them look picky and is SO frustrating as a parent, especially if you’ve gone to the effort to make them something to eat from scratch. There are many other reasons why babies and children can be picky with their eating, so if we can help their oral motor development stay on track then at least that’s one less contributing factor to why they might not eat what’s put in front of them.
This month I am reviewing foods that are not targeted at babies and children specifically. Last week it was Arnott’s Gingernut Biscuits (see the review here), and today I am looking at another potentially controversial food – popcorn! Specifically, Cobs Natural Popcorn (Lightly Salted, Slightly Sweet variety).
Recommended age: not provided
Age you could probably offer this: 12+ mo
Shape: popcorn shaped!
Size: small choking hazard size
Texture: crunch & dissolve (similar to a melt in the mouth)
Popcorn is always on the list of ‘Do Not Give These Things to Small Children’ – it’s up there with whole peanuts, pen lids and batteries. Yet, it’s a favourite snack of so many little kids. So what’s the deal? When can you start giving your child popcorn?
It’s a tricky food to eat, from an oral motor perspective. BUT not all popcorn is the same. Homemade is a different texture to microwave packet popcorn, which is different again to foil packaged popcorn, which is different again from day-old popcorn (the last one being a proper choking hazard). Which is why I’ve chosen to specifically review Cobs Popcorn – Lightly Salter, Slightly Sweet variety.
This particular popcorn is particularly easy to eat. The sugar and salt content makes this popcorn much more of a ‘melt in the mouth’ texture, rather than chewy like many other kinds. I call it a 'crunch and dissolve' because it does require some chewing motions (not just sucking) to help it break down. So it’s a great choice for little ones who are still developing their chewing skills, especially if they've started to move on from the rapid melt in the mouth puffs and stix out there on the market.
Mind you, it’s the kind of food that should be considered a treat or to serve at a party because it’s not as healthy as plain homemade popcorn (you could always just give the kids a little bit and you could *ahem* do them a favour and finish the rest yourself...).
Have you tried popcorn with your little ones yet? Or have you held off, for fear of choking?
And remember, always supervise your baby when they are eating, no matter how easy you think the food might be to eat.