Do Your Kids Swallow Seeds and Pits?

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The Williams-Sonoma catalog came today, and I'm drooling over this cherry pitter from Oxo. I really need this. My kids go wild for sweet summer cherries, and I want to make cherry tarts for a barbecue I'm planning. (Plus, it also works for olives, and you never know when the day might call for a strong martini.)

Have you ever tried to de-pit a cherry with a paring knife? Not fun; it takes a LONG time. The cherries come out mutilated, and I'm left with stains on my hands, counters, and clothes. It's too much work for something that should be easy and enjoyable.

My 6 year old is pretty good with pits now. When he was younger, he'd just swallow them. Not just the pits from cherries but from plums and nectarines, as well. I'd imagine it feels like a ball of sandpaper sliding down your throat. Yuck!

But my 4 year old? I'm still leary about pits and big seeds in her fruits for the potential choking hazards they pose. Cherries and olives with pits always rank high on the lists of no-no foods the pediatrician gives parents of toddlers and babies.

Half the time, my girl won't eat a fruit anyway unless I get the "ugly big seed out of the middle."

I don't worry too much about those tiny seeds in apples, oranges, and even watermelons. I figure they are so little and smooth that they'll just slide right down -- plus she's getting an added dose of fiber!

Do you de-pit and de-seed fruits for your child? Or have they mastered the art of extracting and spitting out pits while chewing?

family meals, food safety, gadgets