How To Introduce Solids To Picky Eaters

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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.

Introducing Purees Into Your Child’s Diet

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Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed as to when and how you should begin introducing solids like fruits and vegetables into your little one’s diet?  Here are a few tips!

  • You should not introduce solids until your baby can properly sit up on their own to avoid choking.  This is usually around 6-9 months, depending on the child.
  • Begin by introducing small quantities of pureed vegetables and fruits.
  • Add a little breast milk, formula or cooking liquid to pureed fruits and vegetables to achieve the desired consistency to suit your baby. Babies generally prefer very moist foods.
  • Gradually increase the thickness and texture of fruit and vegetable purees as your baby learns to chew.
  • Some babies may be very fussy about eating new foods but don’t give up try again at another time.
  • As you introduce new foods, watch your baby for signs of a reaction or allergy. Avoid offering strawberries until your baby is 12 months old as some babies have a severe reaction to strawberries.
  • Make sure to only introduce a new food every 3-5 days so that you can allow time to make sure there is no allergic reaction to that fruit or vegetable.
  • Remove seeds and pips from fruits before using to make baby food.
  • Peel and/or trim vegetables if necessary.
  • It’s best not to add sugar or salt to baby food.
  • Remember, baby food is given in addition to the breast or bottle.
  • Try introducing vegetables before fruits since fruits are sweeter which can result in the baby resisting all less sweet vegetables.

Here is a delicious Carrot and Mango Puree that is colorful and delicious!

  1. Peel 3 carrots.
  2. Cut 1 mango into chunks.
  3. Halve and core 2 apples (I prefer Granny Smith since they are not as sweet).
  4. Arrange the fruits and vegetables on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roast in a 350 degrees F oven until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Puree in a food processor until smooth.
  6. Let cool, then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Written By: Stefanie Dove

Source: Fresh For Kids