Introducing solids into your toddler’s diet can be both frustrating as they tend to be fussy and resistant to trying new foods whether it is due to flavor, color, or texture. Here are a few tips to help things run smoothly during this transition!
- Structure your child’s eating so that they have three regular meals a day and two healthy snacks in between meals. Making sure your child has set meal and snack times will help ensure they are eating when hungry while also avoiding grazing, which can cause children not to eat at meals times.
- Serve a variety of good foods for your toddler to eat at each meal. When you offer a new food, simply place it on your child’s highchair tray without making a big deal about it.
- Introduce new foods one at a time and in small amounts. Instead of an entire meal of unfamiliar foods, offer a few of their favorite items with one new item.
- Try to schedule a new food when you know your child is hungry.
- Use toddler-size portions. A serving size for a toddler is about 1/4 of a single portion for an adult. A serving of meat for a 1-year-old is about the size of the palm of their hand, and a serving of vegetables is only about 1 or 2 tablespoons.
- Understand that some children’s palates are more sensitive than others. Some simply won’t like the texture, color, or taste of certain foods. That’s why a child might claim to dislike a food she has never even tried. Some children may reject a food because it reminds them of a time when they were sick or because they have some other negative association with it.
- Resist the urge to offer sugary foods in an effort to get your toddler to eat more. You want to develop their sense of culinary adventure, not their sweet tooth!
- Minimize distractions at the table. If a sibling is running around nearby or a cartoon beckons from across the room, your toddler may lose interest in the food being served. Try to make meals relaxed and quiet.