Does my child need teeth to eat bread?
Small children can eat many types of bread even without existing teeth. The fine grinding by the molars is missing, but the chewing bars and the first incisors can also help with chewing. It is important that the bread is cut into small pieces and that bread types with only a few or small seeds are given first, as the baby cannot yet chew them. With the growth of the first molars at the beginning of the first year of life, it is possible to start giving firmer bread with seeds. However, if the child is in pain, because the chewing edge is irritated by the teeth breaking through (teething), it should not be given solid bread.
First aid: What to do if the baby has swallowed bread?
If a child has swallowed bread, there is a risk that he or she will not be able to breathe and start coughing. This cough reflex is often enough to release the blockage in the baby’s airways. If this is not the case, parents should know what to do to save the child from choking.
The most important thing is to remove the blockage from the airways. One possibility is to remove it by hand, provided you can see the piece of bread in the open mouth. If this is not the case, sit down and place the baby on its knee with its stomach.
However, the baby’s head should be supported from underneath with a hand that is between the child and the knee. Now lower the knee slightly so that the baby’s upper body is inclined downwards. A blockage can usually be removed by gently but firmly tapping on the child’s back. It is important to pay attention that the pat on the back is less strong than on an adult’s back, as the ribs are still very sensitive, but also not too gentle, as otherwise the blockage will not slip out of the airways. Another method is to repeatedly apply pressure to the child’s upper abdomen.
Bread and spreads/ toppings, from when?
If you start with bread, butter or margarine is often the best choice as a spread. It is easy for small children to chew and can be easily digested. From the first birthday onwards, cream cheese can also be used.
With other types of cheese, care should be taken to choose varieties that are less aromatic and soft in consistency so that they can be chewed by the child. Egg can usually be added to bread from the first birthday. Sausages should not be given during the first two years of life, as they are often very salty and difficult to digest. From the second year of life on, however, this is no problem at all.