Toddler food - The right mix the importance of a balanced diet

A balanced diet is important, no matter how old you are. Introducing them to a variety of foods will encourage them to eat well and get plenty of nutrients. It’s also an opportunity for fun and exploration that could set them up with a lifetime of healthy eating habits. Later on you might find they’re wary of new foods and this is normal for toddlers, but teaching them to be open to new things early on could make life easier down the track.

 

When your baby is starting solids there are ways to help your baby learn the fun side of foods and avoid being too fussy at meal times.

Food rainbow  – if you can, include a range of different coloured foods to keep things interesting and fun, for example carrots, avocado and sweet potato.

Be persistent  – you might need to offer some foods a number of times. Even if they reject it to start off with they might enjoy it later. Sometimes babies need to be offered food 8 to 15 times before they try it and like it.

Variety  – include a range of flavours and textures if you can. It’ll help make them a more confident eater and be open to new things.

Adding lumps – once your baby is confidently eating purées, you can increase the texture to include mashed food with soft lumps.

Family meal times – sitting down to eat as a family can encourage a more fun social experience.

Food is fun – your baby might want to play with their food and try to feed his or herself – this is good thing! Let them get messy and encourage self-feeding by letting your baby hold the spoon. Food is a whole new world to be explored and they’ll want to experience it with all their senses (touch, taste, see).