Food habits for 1 year old baby

12 Healthy and Practical Foods for 1-Year-Olds

Your 1-year-old is changing, growing, and discovering at a whirlwind pace. Making sure they’re getting the foods they need may be a concern.

Inconsistent food choices and a fickle appetite are par for the course at this age. As frustrating as it might be, this is entirely normal as your toddler establishes independence and learns to discern their body’s fullness and hunger cues.

By the time they reach 12 months, toddlers need about 1,000 calories, 700 mg of calcium, 600 IU of vitamin D, and 7 mg of iron each day to support proper growth, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (1).

With so much going on, you might be wondering how to best feed your 1-year-old without spending all day in the kitchen or chasing after them.

We’ve partnered with Undeniably Dairy to bring you 12 healthy and practical foods for 1-year-olds.

Around this time your 1-year-old starts to develop their pincer grasp, which involves pinching and maneuvering food with their fingertips, as they endeavor to self-feed. This is a great time to introduce finger-friendly foods.

Softer, fresh fruits are wonderful options for this transitional time and beyond. They not only deliver needed nutrients and a host of beneficial plant chemicals but also help cement healthy eating habits (2).

Slice bananas, clementines, strawberries, peaches, or mango, and slowly introduce them to your child. Avoid large pieces of fruit, as they may pose a choking hazard. Cut grapes into halves or quarters and never feed these to your child whole.

If your child doesn’t immediately take to the new fruit, don’t stress. In fact, studies show a child typically needs to be exposed to a new food 6–15 times before accepting it into their diet (3).

Soft fresh fruits can also be easily made into a smoothie or make an excellent snack when you’re on the go.

However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, make sure your child eats any cut-up fruit within 2 hours after being out of the fridge. If you’re outside and it’s over 90°F (32°C), that time shrinks to within 1 hour (4).


Soft, bite-sized bits of fruit are excellent choices, especially as your child experiments with self-feeding. Be sure they eat any cut-up fruit that’s been out of the fridge within 2 hours, or within 1 hour if you’re in hot temperatures.

As your child may be slowly weaning off breast milk or formula, it’s a good time to introduce cow’s milk.

Milk and yogurt are great sources of protein and bone-building calcium, which also benefits their developing teeth. One glass (244 ml) of whole milk offers 39% of the Daily Value (DV) for calcium that your 1-year-old needs each day, as well as 8 grams of protein. That’s Undeniably Dairy (5).

While you may continue to offer breast milk until 2 years of age or longer, whole fat dairy milk or yogurt may also be introduced at mealtimes or as a snack. Yogurt can be topped with diced fresh fruit or a drizzle of honey.

Honey can be introduced now at this age, but be sure to never feed it to a child under 12 months of age. Doing so can put them at risk of botulism, a serious infection (6).

Though dairy is generally safe at this age, be sure to watch for signs of a casein allergy.

Casein is a protein in milk. It’s different from lactose, which is a sugar found in milk that many adults don’t digest well (7).

A casein allergy manifests in about 2–3% of children under the age of 3, although more than 80% outgrow it. It seems to be most prevalent in children who were introduced to cow’s milk in infancy when breastfeeding was not an option (7, 8).

Be sure to introduce new foods, including milk and dairy products, to your child slowly. In fact, it’s a good idea to do so one food at a time and wait 3–5 days between the introduction of another new food to see how their body reacts (7).

Symptoms of casein allergy include wheezing, hives, vomiting, and diarrhea. If your child experiences these or other reactions when you are introducing them to a new food, stop feeding them this food and speak to their healthcare provider (7, 9).

Also, consult your child’s pediatrician before giving them plant-based milk alternatives, as these are generally not recommended for toddlers due to their lack of essential nutrients for growth.


Whole milk and yogurt are great options as your child weans off formula or breast milk. These provide protein and support bone growth. You can offer them at mealtimes or as snacks.

Little ones won’t master the jaw-grinding motion, which helps with proper chewing, until they’re about 4 years old. In the meantime, their food must be mashed or cut up into small, easy-to-chew pieces (10).

Oatmeal is a wonderful option as your child makes this transition into chewing. It’s easy to swallow and boasts an impressive nutritional profile with a hearty heap of protein, carbs, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats (11).

What’s more, oats provide ample amounts of fiber, which helps keep their digestive tracts healthy and regular (12).

While premixed packages are tempting, opt for your own homemade blend when possible to limit their intake of added sugar. If you’re strapped for time, consider making overnight oats by simply soaking them in the fridge overnight.

Mixing your oats with milk instead of water will also pack a bit more nutrients into your child’s bowl. Serve these topped with diced strawberries, bananas, or your child’s favorite raw fruit.


Oatmeal is a nutritional powerhouse and offers an easy-to-swallow texture, which is helpful as your child develops the skills for proper chewing. Opt for homemade oatmeal over packets to limit added sugar, or try overnight oats.

Pancakes are popular among kids, and whole grains are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Thus, whole grain pancakes are a natural solution to what to serve your 1-year-old (13).

Whole grain pancakes deliver gut-friendly prebiotics, which help feed beneficial gut bacteria. They’re also finger-friendly when cut into bite-sized pieces (14).

Whip these up or buy a mix with 100% whole grains. After sizzling them on a skillet or griddle, top them with freshly sliced soft fruits, applesauce, or a drizzle of honey.

You can even smear a very thin layer of creamy nut butter to add extra protein. Although, given that tree nuts are a common allergen, be sure to introduce this food into their diet slowly.


Whole grain pancakes are a practical and healthy choice for your 1-year-old. Whip up your own mix or buy a premade 100% whole grain mix. Top them with your child’s favorite soft fruit, a thin layer of nut butter, or a drizzle of honey.

Eggs are a powerhouse food for kids and adults alike.

They support eye health and proper brain development, and they’re rich in protein, healthy fats, and a host of other nutrients (15, 16, 17, 18).

Scramble them or serve them hard-boiled and peeled. Be sure to cut either of these into bite-sized pieces, especially as your toddler endeavors to self-feed.

Note that eggs are among the eight most common allergy-causing foods for children. Most children outgrow the allergy, but it’s important to watch for symptoms, which can include hives, nasal congestion, digestive issues, coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

Eggs can but rarely cause anaphylaxis, a severe life threatening reaction that can constrict airways or cause lightheadedness or loss of consciousness. Speak with a pediatrician if you are concerned about an egg allergy (19).


Eggs are excellent for toddlers and adults alike. They’re particularly supportive of eye health and proper brain development. Plus, they boast an impressive nutritional profile and can be part of a healthy meal or snack.

Tofu is a great source of iron, calcium, and protein — with firm tofu boasting the greatest concentrations (20).

A 2-ounce (56-gram) portion of firm tofu provides almost 1 mg of iron, or nearly 14% of the DV for your child. The same serving also provides 12% of their daily calcium needs (20).

Served sweet or savory, tofu is wonderfully versatile. Silken tofu can be blended into smoothies or mashed into bananas, avocado, or cottage cheese. Its flavor is neutral, so all this will do is provide some hearty nutrition.

Toss cubed firm tofu into soups, or stir-fry it with your favorite gentle seasonings. You can also break firm tofu up with your hands and scramble it with your favorite soft vegetables, such as diced bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions.

If your child has a diagnosed soy allergy, you want to avoid tofu. If this allergy runs in your family, you should speak with your pediatrician.


Tofu, whether silken or firm, is packed with iron, calcium, and protein. It is wonderfully versatile and can accompany sweet or savory dishes. Add silken tofu to smoothies or scramble firm tofu with soft veggies.

Soft bits of chicken or ground turkey can be great ways to incorporate more protein into your child’s diet. This nutrient is needed for proper growth (21).

Begin by feeding them puréed chicken, turkey, or soft cuts of meat. Poach the protein first, then add milk, broth, or yogurt to soften this mix in the blender or food processor. As they get more comfortable with self-feeding, sauté ground meat or cut it into small, bite-sized pieces.

Avoid any tough or stringy cuts of meat, as these might be too difficult for your child to chew or swallow. Also, steer clear of spicy or strong seasonings, which might upset their gentle stomachs.


Softer cuts of meat like chicken or turkey can be a fountain of protein for your growing tot. Feed them puréed poached meats. As they get better at chewing, sauté ground or small bite-sized pieces. Avoid strong flavors.

Avocados are a fantastic food to feed your 1-year-old. Their creamy texture is especially helpful during this transitional period, while their impressive nutritional profile supports your child’s growth (22).

What’s more, 30–40% of your toddler’s calories should come from fat, according to the American Heart Association (23).

Avocados are packed with healthy fats, which benefit your child’s brain and heart. Half a cup (75 grams) of diced, raw avocado provides nearly 9 grams of healthy unsaturated fats (24).

Cube or mash them and smear them on whole grain toast or a cracker. Experiment with blending avocado with other soft-textured fruits and vegetables, such as cooked butternut squash or sweet potato.


Avocados pack healthy fats and fiber while providing an ideal transitional texture for your toddler. Cube or mash them or blend them with other favorite fruits and veggies.

As your tyke weans off breast milk or formula, they need to hydrate. Water is an optimal choice. Fill up their sippy cups and replenish as often as they need.

Your 1-year-old should be getting at least one 8-ounce glass (237 ml) of water a day. They may need more if they’re active, ill, or in hot temperatures. Also, they will need more as they get older (25).

When in doubt, check their diapers — they should be urinating at least every 6 hours.


Water should be provided as your tyke weans off breast milk or formula. At this age, they should get at least 1 cup (237 ml) each day.

Steaming vegetables, such as broccoli, peas, and carrots, is an excellent way to introduce your child to this important food group.

Broccoli, carrots, and peas pack fiber and vitamin C. What’s more, carrots contain lutein, which supports eye health, while peas pack muscle-building proteins (26, 27, 28).

Venture out with other veggies, including steamed parsnips, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash, too. Serve these with a lemony yogurt dip or hummus.

You’ll want to hold off on serving any of these raw, as they’re still too tough to chew.


Steaming veggies softens them to an ideal texture for your growing tot. Broccoli, carrots, and peas are great choices, but feel free to venture out.

Half a cup (130 grams) of mashed beans provides nearly 39% of the DV for iron for your child (29).

Mashed beans — whether they’re black, kidney, or white beans — are a rich source of iron, which your child needs to keep their blood cells healthy (30).

Serving these alongside a food high in vitamin C, such as broccoli, diced tomatoes, or mashed sweet potatoes, will help them absorb iron much more efficiently (31).

This iron and vitamin C combo is especially important if your toddler doesn’t eat meat, as the body absorbs heme iron from animal sources more efficiently than nonheme iron from plant sources (31, 32).


Mashed beans boast impressive nutrients, including iron. This is especially important for your child’s health and helps keep their blood cells healthy. Eat beans with vitamin-C-rich foods to help boost iron absorption.

Hummus blends chickpeas and sesame butter, which pair to provide a bounty of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals (33).

Spread hummus on some whole grain crackers or serve it alongside your child’s favorite protein source, a piece of cheese, or steamed veggie.

There are great store-bought options, but if you’re feeling inspired, this is an easy one to whip up. Simply combine a bit of garlic, sesame butter (tahini), chickpeas, and olive oil in a food processor until smooth.

Still, keep in mind that sesame seeds, which are used to make sesame butter, are among the top 10 most common food allergens, accounting for 17% of food allergies in children. Only 20–30% of affected kids outgrow it (34).

For this reason, be sure to introduce this and other sesame-containing foods to your child in very small amounts and watch for common reactions like hives and vomiting (34).


Hummus is a great food to introduce at this age, as it provides a bounty of protein, healthy fats, and other nutrients.

A lot is going on with your 1-year-old. They’re experimenting with feeding themselves, learning to sense hunger and fullness, and asserting their independence, among several other developmental milestones.

As you navigate this period of growth and change, there are many practical and healthy food choices, including fresh, soft fruits, steamed veggies, tofu, and eggs.

The key points are selecting foods that are easy-to-chew, soft, and highly nutritious.

It’s a good idea to introduce new foods in small amounts and one at a time. With each new food, watch for adverse reactions, and stop feeding them this food if you observe signs of intolerance or allergy.

However, if you suspect it’s simply a matter of taste, or if your child doesn’t immediately take to these or other new foods, keep trying. It might take 6–15 exposures to a new food for your child to accept it into their diet.

Don’t stress if their appetite is fickle or their food choices vary like the wind — this is all part of their process.

Feeding & Nutrition Tips: Your 1-Year-Old

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Ages & Stages

Ages & Stages

​​After your child's first birthday, you'll probably notice a sharp drop in his or her appetite. Maybe your child is suddenly turning his or her head away after just a few bites and/or is resisting coming to the table at mealtimes. Despite this behavior and increased activity, there's a good reason for the change. Your child's growth rate has slowed; he or she really doesn't require as much food now.

Tips for Parents:

  • One year olds need about 1,000 calories divided among three meals and two snacks per day to meet their needs for growth, energy, and good nutrition. Don't count on your child always eating it that way though—the eating habits of toddlers are erratic and unpredictable from one day to the next! For example, your child may:

    • Eat everything in sight at breakfast and almost nothing else for the rest of the day.

    • Eat only the same food for three days in a row—and then reject it entirely.

    • Eat 1,000 calories one day, but then eat noticeably more or less over the next day or two.

  • Encourage, but don't pressure or force your child to eat at a particular time. Hard as it may be to believe, your child's diet will balance out over several days if you make a range of wholesome foods available.

  • One year olds need foods from the same basic nutrition groups that you do. If you provide your child with selections from each of the basic food groups and let him or her experiment with a wide variety of tastes, colors, and textures, he or she should be eating a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins.  

  • Don't restrict fats from your one-year-old's menu. Babies and young toddlers should get about half of their calories from fat. Cholesterol and other fats are also very important for their growth and development at this age. Once your child has reached age two, you can gradually decrease fat consumption (lowering it to about one-third of daily calories by ages four to five). See Preschoolers' Diets Shouldn't Be Fat-Free: Here's Why for more information.

  • Be sure the food is cool enough to prevent mouth burns. Test the temperature yourself, because he or she will dig in without considering the heat.

  • Don't give foods that are heavily spiced, salted, buttered, or sweetened. These additions prevent your child from experiencing the natural taste of foods, and they may be harmful to long-term good health.

  • Your little one can still choke on chunks of food. Children don't learn to chew with a grinding motion until they're about four years old. Make sure anything you give your child is mashed or cut into small, easily chewable pieces.

    • Never offer peanuts, whole grapes, cherry tomatoes (unless they're cut in quarters), whole carrots, seeds (i.e., processed pumpkin or sunflower seeds), whole or large sections of hot dogs, meat sticks, or hard candies (including jelly beans or gummy bears), or chunks of peanut butter (it's fine to thinly spread peanut butter on a cracker or bread).

    • Hot dogs and carrots— in particular—should be quartered lengthwise and then sliced into small pieces.

  • Make sure your child eats only while seated and while supervised by an adult. Although your one-year-old may want to do everything at once, "eating on the run" or while talking increases the risk of choking. Teach your child as early as possible to finish a mouthful prior to speaking.

Additional Information from

  • Sample Menu for a One-Year-Old 
  • Making Sure Your Child is Eating Enough
  • Serving Sizes for Toddlers
  • Selecting Snacks for Toddlers 
  • Airplane Choo Choo: A Feeding Guide for Children (National Dairy Council)​
Last Updated
Section on Obesity (Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Pediatrics)

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

Eating behavior at 2-4 years old

06/27/2018 07:42:51

≈ 5 min read time


  • 24 years. Why is the child reluctant to eat
  • How to create healthy eating habits for a child nine0010
  • How to get your child interested in food
  • After 4 years. How to teach your child to eat healthy
  • nine0009 How to teach your child to behave at the table
  • What steps will help the child learn the rules of behavior at the table

From about 2 to 4 years old, many children refuse unfamiliar foods, demanding the same meals every day.

The reasons for this behavior may vary.

1) According to one theory, this is a normal human behavior that has evolutionary roots: new food could mean danger, so we have an instinct to deny unfamiliar food. As a rule, it is blurred by 4-5 years, but sometimes it persists into adulthood. nine0003

2) Refusing to eat, the child declares his rights to his own choice and checks the limits of what is possible in communication with an adult.

3) The child cannot concentrate on food, as there are many distractions around: toys, TV or something else.

4) The kid has learned the wrong eating habits, and his interest in unfamiliar food faded:

4.1. he could be fed when he was not hungry;

4.2. he was rushed while eating; nine0003

4.3. he was intimidated if he ate poorly;

4.4. he was coaxed and entertained too much at mealtimes;

4.5. he was left alone during the meal;

4.6. he was spoon-fed when he wanted to hold it himself;

4. 7. he was fed under cartoons, songs or role-playing games.

5) Sometimes a child refuses food because he does not like the texture, color or smell of the product. He may have memories of being fed the same thing when he was sick. nine0003

Proper nutrition for early development from 0 to 4 years

Natalia Kruglova

Nutritionist, nutritionist, pediatrician

The child has an instinct that allows him to choose the food that he needs. The task of the parent is to offer the little gourmet a sufficient choice of healthy and balanced food and create an environment that will set the baby up for eating. nine0003

If it's really important to you to change your child's eating habits, set aside time for this, prepare for this process and treat it like serious work. However, be realistic: a preschooler is usually not ready to try too many new foods, he will “grow up” to this no earlier than 4 - 5 years.

  • Wait for the child to ask for food. Of course, this will bring confusion to your daily routine for several days, but such a measure is necessary so that your little unwilling person begins to eat with pleasure. nine0010
  • Sit down at the table with him. If lunch time has come, and the baby still does not ask for food, sit down yourself and start eating with appetite. TV, phone and tablet should not distract from food now. If the child wants to join you, sit him next to you and feed him.
  • Eat with the whole family. At least once a day on weekdays and at least twice a day on weekends, sit down to eat everything together. The child adopts eating habits from adults. If he is constantly fed alone, he cannot figure out how to eat, how to behave at the table, how different food can be. nine0010
  • Encourage his independence. Already from 10 - 12 months, the baby is ready to eat with a spoon by himself. Now he independently decides how much to eat, how and at what speed, how long to chew or suck food, enjoying the taste, sniffing and looking at the contents of the plate.
  • Broadcast the value of food. Put in small portions to encourage your child to ask for a supplement.
  • Do not encourage your baby for food, do not promise him cartoons, a fairy tale or a toy for eating everything. Food in itself should be a pleasure for the child. nine0010
  • Offer new food repeatedly: the child needs to get used to it. However, put this unfamiliar product not on the baby’s plate, but on the table so as not to cause a protest. Do not give him a large amount of new food at once: one piece is enough.
  • If you want to introduce your baby to new foods, do not prepare food entirely from them: let the food contain ingredients familiar to him.
  • Place a small amount of food on the plate. A portion for a child is equal to half an adult. nine0010
  • The choice of food should not be too large. Don't let your child figure out what he wants for lunch. Suffice it to say that his portion is on the table.

At first, following these instructions may throw off the usual routine of your day, but as a result, the baby will be ready to eat on his own at the common table. Be patient a little, and you will appreciate how convenient it is - both for him and for adults.

  • Do not completely ban "harmful" foods - otherwise the child will stop considering them food and will see in them an inaccessible pleasure. nine0010
  • Do not force the baby to eat a healthy product, which he persistently refuses - he ceases to perceive it as food. According to a study, 72% of people who were forced to eat certain healthy foods as children completely eliminated them from their diet in adulthood.
  • If you forced your baby to eat against his will, do not praise him for "doing his job." This backfires: obedient children stop eating because they are hungry and start using food for other purposes. The food eaten turns out to be a way to earn mom's praise and thus experience pleasure. And in their adult lives, they will turn to food to comfort themselves when they are stressed or sad. nine0010

  • As often as possible, involve your child in the process of preparing food, shopping for food and baby food in the store, where he, too, can choose something of his own. The baby will be interested in trying the food, in the purchase or creation of which he participated.
  • If possible, grow vegetables and fruits in your garden and involve your child in their care. A pot of greens growing on the balcony will also help.
  • Prepare interesting and tasty dishes together, decorate them before serving. nine0010
  • Tell your child about the benefits of certain foods and how eating different foods will help him run faster or become stronger.
  • Be a role model - don't watch TV while eating.
  • Do not give in if the child asks to make one or another dish, refusing everything cooked. If the baby is really hungry, he will eat what is served on the table.

According to research, the child begins to understand the concept of "healthy food" at the age of about 4 years. This happens only if the parents explained to him what it is, and as early as possible, at 2-3 years old, or even a year old. And then already at the age of 4 - 5 years, children can make their own "healthy" choice. nine0003

1) Set an example for your child. The best example for a child is his family. If mom cooks a delicious healthy dinner at least once every few days, dad brings home fresh fruits and vegetables, and grandma shows her granddaughter how to cook soup, then the child learns healthy eating behavior.

2) Do not put a lot of sugar or spices in your food. The child discovers the natural taste of each product and feels such taste nuances that an adult is not able to distinguish. Of course, over time, the baby should get acquainted with a variety of dishes, but now it is better to avoid harsh tastes. nine0003

3) Look at your own diet. Let the family meal not be a bad example for the young gourmet. Get into the habit of eating less fried foods, more steamed or stewed foods. Include vegetable and fruit salads in your diet. Avoid junk food and alcohol. Try to buy food not for a month, but for a week.

4) Cook with the kids. Teach them the art of cooking any food - from porridge to pie. Let the baby just pour a glass of flour into a bowl - this will already be enough to start. nine0003

5) Make up games about food. With the help of the game, you can introduce the child to what foods are useful for him and which are not. You can come up with a whole world in which curious characters will live. Use your imagination!

6) Let only dishes made from natural ingredients become desserts - fruit purees and salads, puddings, etc.

7) Do not scare the baby with categorical prohibitions. Gently explain and try to switch the child's attention in those moments when he too actively demands something harmful. nine0003

How to overcome children's whims at the table, create a healthy hierarchy in the family, teach the child the norms of behavior and family rituals? Already at 2 - 3 years old, the baby can begin to act up, make a fuss, leave the table where the whole family has gathered, without permission and ignore others prohibitions. How to find a common language with a little rebel and teach him the rules of behavior?

  • Work out a common position. To change this situation, adults, including the grandmother, need to agree on common requirements and a common approach to raising a child. nine0010
  • Among the agreements should be the rules of conduct at the table. Will the baby be fed separately or will he eat with everyone else? How to react if he tries to leave the table?
  • It is important to show the child the rules of the family by example. You can combine different approaches: breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea - in a light mode, dinner - all together and in communication. In this situation, the baby himself will want to sit with everyone longer.
  • Shared meals with adults are an important ritual that shows the baby his place in the family hierarchy. A situation in which a three-year-old child eats separately from everyone else is a recipe for running away from the table. The kid gets used to the fact that he has his own diet and ritual of nutrition, and it depends only on him when to start and when to finish. But if the child is included in the family circle, it will be easier for him to learn the correct behavior at the table. Especially if in front of him, like in front of the others, there is a napkin and he is allowed to drink from a glass, like an adult. nine0010
  • Demand that the child sit with everyone, but allow him to choose what to eat from the products presented on the table.
  • Make at least one meal a day common, family, so that the young participant in the meal adopts the rules of behavior at the table through imitation.
  • On the weekends, make one shared meal a holiday - write a menu and cook together.
  • Enter a marker word for the end of the meal. For example, let the baby out of the table when he says “thank you”. nine0010
  • Do not let the child back to the table after the marker word.
  • If the baby begins to be naughty with food, in no case should you persuade him to eat. Naughty - it means he ate. If you are full, say "thank you" and you can be free.
  • If the child cannot and does not want to sit with everyone at the table, give him the opportunity to eat in his own regime, but only those products that are offered to him.

When there are clear rules of behavior at home, within which the baby has a certain freedom, the kitchen ceases to be a place where the child needs to prove something to his parents. In a clearly organized hierarchical structure, he feels comfortable and safe: he clearly knows where his place is, and understands that adults will take care of all difficult issues. nine0003

Bon appetit to your baby!

How to develop healthy eating habits in children | Motherhood

From the very birth of a baby, mothers are concerned about whether the child is full. First, we worry about whether he has enough breast milk and do everything possible and impossible to make it, then we select the mixture and worry again if it is suitable, and then - the first complementary foods, the first favorite dishes, the first candy, the first preferences and . .. a complete rejection of something. nine0003

Some of the mothers consider their child to be small and wonder how it is possible to live on bread and fruit compote, and someone limits their baby from childhood and looks with horror at how the child quickly grows out of clothes.

Whatever moms of little kids, gourmets, picky eaters and little gluttons are worried about, there is something they will agree on.

Every mother wants her child to eat the right food
in the amount necessary for its development and it is desirable that,
becoming an adult, the child himself could consciously make a choice in favor of
healthy food.

I have two aged children in my house: a son who weighed more than 10 kg at six months and a daughter who weighed less than 7 kg at the same age. Therefore, nutrition issues were very acute for me. I want to share with you my discoveries, tips, mistakes and some comments on this matter.

The amount of food and its quality does not say how good parents we are

I gave birth to my first child at the age of 33, the delivery was difficult, and on the third day after the maternity hospital I was again in the hospital. Of course, I did my best to save the milk, and when I got home, I was glad that my son took the breast after the bottle. But colic began and every single relative concluded that my “bad” milk was to blame. Under pressure and due to the fact that the baby gained only 1100 gr. 2 months later, I stopped breastfeeding and switched to formula. I was able to feed my daughter longer, up to six months, but she did not gain weight either, and this embarrassed me, although her other developmental indicators were in order. nine0003

But the worst thing about all this is my self-esteem as a mother. I have always dreamed of breastfeeding and did a lot to make it happen: special meals, tea, feeding on the first whistle, medications to stimulate lactation, vitamins, warm showers to make milk outflow stronger, pumping to increase milk supply, special procedures with ultrasound to expand the ducts and make it easier for the baby to suck . .. But there was almost no result.

As a result, I was very upset, could not soberly analyze the situation, easily succumbed to pressure from the outside, and, of course, did not do what was necessary. nine0003

There are mothers who can breastfeed easily, and there are mothers who try their best to breastfeed but fail. No matter how you feed your child - it does not say what kind of mother you are!

The same can be said about the quality of food that we offer to older children. Someone feeds the child with black caviar, and someone has borscht on the table. Don't equate your baby's food with your own motherhood. Remembering my childhood, and it was not easy for a number of reasons, I remember not what we had on the plate, but how much time my parents spent with me, what fairy tales they told at night, just once a month they took me to a cafe, to stand in a 2-hour line and eat ice cream, and I remember not the ice cream itself, but the time in line, where dad had to entertain me. nine0003

How can I tell if my child is eating?

This is the most difficult question that mothers face, because the limits we are often forced into by pediatricians at the reception are quite strict, and our children are so different. However, there are only a few indicators that you can look at and solve this dilemma for yourself.

  • Monthly weight gain
  • General development of the child, i.e. skills appropriate for toddlers of his age
  • How long can a baby go without food. And this point is rather vague. After all, a baby who eats formula can be full for 4 hours, because it takes longer to digest, but on mother's milk, a child is unlikely to last that long

Motivation to eat should come from within

No matter how much we want to force a child to eat if he refuses. Already one and a half year old baby can be explained in a language he understands why we eat certain foods. For example, cottage cheese, so that the bones are strong, and you grow tall, like a dad, meat, so that you are strong, fruits, so that you are beautiful. Tell the children what vitamins are contained in certain foods and why their body needs them. nine0003

It is impossible to constantly motivate a child with unhealthy food (sweets, chips, crackers) for eating healthy food. Thus all sense of right habit is lost.

It is also necessary to take into account that the child does not rely on taste, texture and appearance are important for him. A new taste should be offered to the child up to 15 times, even if he refuses. His receptors need to get used to and it may well be that he will like the product. Try the same food cooked and served in different ways. nine0003

Dessert and goodies are not the same thing

Mom's milk is quite sweet, and perhaps this is what determines our love for everything sweet. That's just, the more and more often we eat foods containing fat in combination with sugar, the more we want them. That is why - do not store in a place that is visible and accessible to the child, products that are not healthy for his health, do not tempt the child with their appearance and do not test his patience. Leave a plate with washed fruits, peeled carrots, vegetables on the table so that the child, hungry, can grab an apple, not a cookie. By the way, my son loves carrots, cucumbers and apples, and when mothers give cookies to children in the clinic, and my son nibbles on carrots, many people are very surprised. nine0003

Try to separate dessert and treats in your child's mind. Dessert is also something useful, such as fruit, and a treat is a non-meal snack. For example, while walking in the park, you buy ice cream - it will be a treat, at a party or at a family holiday there will be a cake - this is also a treat. Dessert can encourage a child to finish something on a plate, but not a treat. Dessert can be eaten every day, and a treat - from time to time.

Food rules

What can be easily accepted from a one-year-old baby should not be passed on to a two-year-old. For example, a child a year old can put a plate of porridge on his head and throw food on the floor to check what will happen, and draw pictures on the table from mashed potatoes. By the age of two, you need to slowly introduce food rules that the child will be able to follow.

Make up these rules at the family council, agree with them, draw a beautiful poster and hang it in the kitchen near the table. Let the child certainly take part in the discussion of the rules and in drawing the poster. nine0003

The rules might sound something like this:

  • You may not finish everything on your plate, but we don't rush to eat
  • We eat everything at the table
  • We eat without turning on the computer, TV, etc.
  • After eating, put a plate near the sink and say to mom: thank you
  • If you have eaten everything, you can get a healthy dessert

These are just guidelines, your family may have their own. Experiment, try, observe your child, make a decision with the whole family and do not deviate from these rules yourself either. nine0003

Obligatory praise

It has been proven time and again that praise works much better than punishment and positive reinforcement gives a much stronger result. Praise your child when he chooses the right foods, encourage him if he cleans up after himself from the table, tries to eat neatly and does not spill when he finishes eating, when he follows the rules, when he sits calmly at the table. There are a lot of reasons for praise, do not miss the chance and please the child with your approval. nine0003

Personal example

Until now, psychologists and educators have not found anything that would work better than a personal example. It is very important to have family feasts, when the child will watch how dad eats, what mom does at the table. Of course, when both parents work and the child is in kindergarten, it is difficult to organize this, but it is still possible. Let it be at least joint breakfasts or dinners, or maybe just feasts on the weekends, but a personal example only works this way. Like I said: we cannot force a child to eat, but we can ensure that healthy food is available and show the pleasure of eating it by personal example.

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