A regular lunch box staple has sparked a debate over how to safely pack food for your kids, with one mum saying the contents made her "freak out".

A mum shared a photo of a packed lunch for her two and a half year old in a Facebook group for school lunches, asking for new ideas. She added her child was "really picky".

The lunch box was packed with tomatoes, cucumbers, popcorn, salt-free pretzels, cheese, gherkins and sandwiches with jam, and meat, as well as rice cakes and pizza sticks.

But the seemingly innocuous post quickly led to a heated debate, with a number of commenters criticising the mum, saying some of the food she'd packed was a choking hazard.

"Looks great! Just a heads up for next time, anything shaped like grapes, cherry tomatoes, etc should be quartered lengthwise," one mum commented on the post. "Whole grapes are the perfect size to get stuck in kiddo's windpipes!"


Commenters said they 'freaked out' seeing the uncut grapes in the lunch box.
Commenters said they 'freaked out' seeing the uncut grapes in the lunch box.

She followed it up with another comment after her post received a number of laugh reactions.

"Unsure why someone would laugh react. Not trying to be rude at all, just trying to spread info on how to keep our kids safe & healthy," she said with a smiley face emoji.

"I just freak out when I see whole grapes," another commented, adding she "just wouldn't take the chance".

"I said the same thing about the popcorn," another said.

But some disagreed, saying their kids wouldn't eat cut grapes.

"My daughter will only eat them if they're whole," one mum said. Others said their children complained about the slimy texture of cut grapes.

"Honestly I wouldn't serve them then until she gets older," another insisted. "I've never offered them to my daughter whole but I'm sure she'd prefer them that way as well (I know I would!)."

The mum addressed the comments, saying "no, I don't need to cut those in half", with a tongue out emoji, when asked about the grapes and tomatoes.

Last year a paediatrician warned parents to cut their grapes in half - particularly if buying larger varieties.

Dr Luke Sammartino warned he'd seen cases where larger grapes had been swallowed whole by children and become lodged in their throats.

Originally published as Mum criticised for lunch box item