- Variety is key, in flavor, temperatures, and textures.
- Don’t be afraid of a little seasoning. Add a little Garlic, Tumeric, or Cinnamon to your recipes and help expand their palate.
- As soon as you see your baby has mastered the purée, start providing thicker and more textured foods. The goal is go offer solid table foods (Ex. shredded chicken or diced pears) by 9 months of age.
- Let them see you eating a well varied diet. Watching mom and dad is key to their learning.
- Just because they refuse something once doesn’t mean they don’t like it. Continue offering foods in a variety of temperatures, mixtures, and preparations. Sometimes they just don’t want it one day and love it the next— just like you.
- Don’t cater to a toddler shrinking preferences. We all have foods we love. Just because your toddler demands yogurt or mac n’ cheese every day doesn’t mean they should eat it. Instead, offer a variety of fruits, veggies, meats, and grains during the week. Include both their current favorites and some new choices.
- Remember that it takes tryings a new food 7-9 times before you even know if you really dislike it.
- If your toddler refuses to eat at a meal, please DO NOT make them something new. This re-inforces that they don’t have to eat what is offered and can control their meal choices. Instead remind them that what you have made is their only choice and their tummy will be hungry if they don’t eat it. Initially, this can be difficult and may even lead to some tantrums, but your toddler will quickly catch on.
- Get you child involved in the shopping and cooking. Kids are more adventurous eaters when they created what they are eating.
- RENAME foods! If your child likes dogs, call carrots “puppy treats” and tomato soup “puppy soup”. Suddenly they will be excited to eat what their favorite animal or cartoon character loves.
Thanks for stopping by!
Dr. Patricia Bast was born and raised in Southern California. After earning her bachelors degree at UC Irvine, she went on to graduate medical school from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Northern California. She then returned home to Southern California and became a resident in Pediatrics at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital. Dr. Bast is now raising her children and loves working part-time at a pediatric clinic, watching her patients grow and thrive.