Babies bring a lot of joy into our lives and it’s crucial we take proper care of their well-being and especially their nutrition so they can grow up to be strong and healthy children. Solid foods should be introduced to your little one’s diet sooner than you think, although it’s important they’re older than 4 months. You can start introducing solids as soon as they’re at least 6 months old, have good head and neck control, and can sit upright when properly supported.
Which Foods to Start With
For starters, it’s best to introduce your child to different fruits and vegetables in the form of smooth purées and try to avoid adding salt or sugar. Introducing them to bitter vegetables like potato, cucumber, asparagus or aubergine makes them likely to eat more vegetables as they grow older. Even as they start eating solid foods, it’s recommended that you continue breastfeeding until your toddler is at least 2 years old or more. Breast milk provides many essential nutrients and reduces the risks of diseases.
After simple vegetable purées, you can include fruits, cheese and meats, and start adapting your child to chunkier, roughly blended foods. Iron-rich meats that provide easy absorption are beef and lamb. This is an important mineral as it aids development in young children. Eventually, you can start adding omega 3- rich foods in your blends, such as oily fish, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds or sesame. Don’t be afraid of introducing your child to potentially allergenic foods, such as peanuts, eggs, fish or soy, since delaying their introduction doesn’t prevent food allergies. Trying them out early on can in fact help easily detect allergies.
To encourage your toddler to eat healthy foods – urge them to choose preferred fruits and veggies in their meal, or make purées in multiple colours to incite their curiosity.
Why Use a Baby Food Maker?
Introducing solid foods should be done gradually. Starting with smooth and mashed purées and moving on to chunkier blends, to prevent the risk of choking. Baby food makers are essential kitchen equipment during that time that will help provide your child with nutritious and easy-to-make meals. You can easily find a multifunctional baby food maker Australia wide to start your cooking adventures.
One major advantage this type of appliance offers is that you get multiple cooking products in one. You can blend food to any consistency and cook it using steam, which ensures a healthy meal where all the nutrients are preserved (as opposed to boiling the food). The latest technology provides a patented cooking system that turns off automatically when cooking is finished, which is great for busy moms. When your toddler is done eating, you can freeze the leftovers and later defrost and reheat them – using the same product. They also come with custom pots, eliminating the need for additional pots and clutter.
Get a baby food maker Australia moms swear by and prepare nutritious meals for your toddler while transferring them from breast milk to solid food. The time you’ll save is crazy!
Make Sure They’re Comfortable at the Dinner Table
Sometimes babies and toddlers get fussy and refuse to eat their food. Reasons range from being bored with the same food options, being offered something they particularly dislike to an underlying issue such as constipation, pain or nausea. Sometimes they could be uncomfortable in their seat and can’t verbalize it. Just as comfortable clothing is important to avoid skin irritation for your little one – making sure they’re comfortable in their chair makes them less fussy.
That’s why you should take a good look at the range of high chairs and pick one that provides proper support for the baby’s back. Make sure to look for one that has safety belts, multiple height settings for the seat and footrest, and soft padded cushions for comfort and additional support. The badly placed or absent footrest in some high-chairs leave your little one’s feet dangling, urging them to get out, while a properly placed one makes them feel happy and content. For cushion material, you can choose cotton for extra comfort, or in case your child constantly plays with their food and makes a big mess – easy to clean leatherette cushions.
Many high chairs available online come with adjustable parts, such as newborn seats and trays. While newborns shouldn’t consume anything other than breast milk, these accessories help you keep them within sight at the dinner table or while cooking. Adjustable trays give your kid an option to either eat together with you or on their separate tray. High chairs come in different colours to match your existing furniture, and some can be adjusted for your child to use in later years as well.
Some toddler high chairs can even be folded to save space when you’re not using them or take them with you when travelling. A useful tip for seating your child in a high chair – it’s best to do it from behind, where you have more control over their wiggling legs.
Choosing the Right Utensils
Many plastic plates can be potentially toxic for your toddler, so it’s best to choose materials such as silicone, bamboo, stainless steel, etc. Toddlers are also clumsy and tend to tip things over a lot, so a plate with a suction base, or a suction mat could be ideal.
Regardless of your effort, sometimes your toddler just doesn’t want to eat their food. Don’t be pushy and force them to eat it, although it might be frustrating, just take it away and try again later. Try eating together with them, since children often copy their parents’ behaviour, or get them to eat with someone they look up to, such as a grandparent.
Keep track of the snacks they eat, so they don’t get full before mealtime arrives. Give them small portions and praise them after every bite. You can also ask other parents for techniques that work for them, or get your kid to socialize with other kids that are good eaters. Don’t use sweets as rewards because this way you’re teaching your child that they’re better than healthy foods.