You toddler's journey to self-feeding will inevitably begin with their fingers - using their fingers to grab and pinch foods are some of the first feeding milestones they will reach. But at some point you may want to give them foods that are a little easier to eat with something other than their hands (or, at least, give them the option of using something other than their hands).
A balanced diet for toddlers is different from that for adults since the nutritional requirements of a person changes throughout their life. Infancy to early childhood is an important developmental stage, so they need a lot of nutrients to assist with their rapid growth. For babies until 12 months, breast milk and iron-fortified formulas are enough to give them the nutrients they need. But when your infant becomes a toddler, you’ll definitely need to incorporate more foods into their diet.
As we move headfirst into spring it seems the appropriate time to talk about one of my other long-term food goals that I have for my family: that they know where their food comes from. I don’t mean that they need to know where every cucumber and apple are grown and to have been able to shake the hand of the person that grew them, but I do want them to know that cucumbers grow on vines and apples on trees.
I don't love referring to kids as "picky eaters" because it can often be used as an excuse or internalized (by our kids) as a permanent state of being. Which, I can assure you, it is not! "Picky eating" is a behavior - and like any other it CAN be changed. It can be addressed and tweaked. Especially if you understand why your little one has such strict standards for what they will and won't eat.
But knowing that picky eating can be changed, doesn't necessarily make having a picky eater at home any easier. Here are 5 tips you can use to tackle picky eating at home.
When stuck at home, day in and day out, it can seem like the any time is the right time for food. Boredom, indecision, and actual hunger combined with being in close proximity to the kitchen at all times drives kids (and adults) toward constant grazing turning breakfast, lunch, and dinner into a 24-hour buffet.
Not only can this be stressful for parents - who feel like their spend all their time preparing food and then cleaning up from it - but free-range grazing is often associated with overeating.
Setting limits on meal and snack time while stuck at home can help. Here are some ideas for how.
It's happened again. Did you see it? Another study (actually, this time there were five) was published that is being reported on with wildly exciting headlines has sparked controversy in the field of nutrition research over what we should and should not be eating. The target this time: red meat.
Your kids are not going to like everything you make for dinner (as much as I would like to believe otherwise), but "I don't like it" doesn't have to be an acceptable reason that your little ones don't eat the meal that you've lovingly prepared.
Being selective about food choice is actually a normal part of a child's development. They are creatures of habit, have developing tastebuds - which are differentially sensitive to flavors than mature tastebuds are - and are pre-wired to avoid certain flavors, like bitter vegetables.
It is well established in the field of nutrition research that parent’s mealtime(feeding) behaviors influence their children’s eating behaviors; parenting style, modeling of eating behavior, meal frequency, and food exposure (trying new foods) are all associated with child’s mealtime behaviors including fruit and vegetable intake.
But a recent study wanted to examine the role that parent’s mealtime goals (their desired mealtime outcomes) might play in influencing their feeding behaviors. Why ask this question? Because parents’ mealtime goals – and any potential confli
Inevitably, when I head into the kitchen to start dinner my kids are immediately starving. We could have just finished putting the dirty dishes in the dishwasher from their after school snack and they would still be staaaaaaaarving at the sound of banging pots and chopping vegetables.
Imagine if someone handed you a food you were unfamiliar with and said, "Here! It's good. Eat it." Would you? Or would you pause and ask "What does it taste like?"
We use our previous experiences with food to provide context and expectation for our new experiences. Doing this helps us feel more comfortable trying something new. When we know it will taste "crispy and salty with a hint of lemon" or "sweet and creamy" it's easier for us to prepare for that first bite.
Now imagine that you are your 5 year old who is still exploring the world of food. And language. Someone hands you baked eggplant which, let's be honest, looks a little dodgy, and says "Here's dinner. Eat up. It's good for you." What would your response be?
I get this question a lot. And by 'a lot' I mean A.LOT. I sometimes think that my kids are hummingbirds, interested in subsisting on nothing but sugar. One Saturday morning my husband and I made the mistake of sleeping in, giving the kids permission to watch Finding Dory on Netflix. We came downstairs to find them eating chocolate chips for breakfast. Lesson learned.
Just last week, after a beautifully prepared, home-cooked warm chicken salad and freshly baked bread the first thing I was asked when everyone sat down at the table was "What's for dessert?"