HiPP Organic

HiPP's Baby & Nutrition Blog

Fussy Eating in babies and toddlers

Posted on 25 May 2011 by Helen

Hi Everyone.

Refusing to eat certain foods can mean different things for different babies at different times. It may just be their way of getting your attention. It may just be that they don’t like the taste or texture of a particular food at a particular time, but this doesn’t mean they will always refuse the same food. For some foods you may need to offer it more than ten times before they’ll happily eat it. My daughter refused peas for years, I even resorted to hiding them in her mashed potato to try and get her to eat them (although of course she always found them!), but now she loves them!

How many of you are having to deal with your baby being fussy about the food at the moment? It can be exasperating having the foods you’ve lovingly prepared for your little one being refused, but you can be sure you’re not alone. Particularly for toddlers, food refusal is all part of them wanting to exert their new-found independence on the world around them! It is a normal phase that many of them go through and you shouldn’t worry too much.

However, there are a few things you can do to help during this phase:

  • Stay relaxed, don’t rush mealtimes, be patient
  • Eat with your baby whenever possible
  • Offer mainly familiar foods, but try new foods in small quantities too
  • As they get older, let your toddler be involved with shopping and preparing meals so they feel more in control
  • If a food is refused, don’t force them to eat it.  Withdraw it without any fuss, and then try it again another time. 
  • Praise your child when they have completed a meal, but don’t scold them when they don’t. 

For more advice on feeding a fussy eater, have a look at our expert advice on hipp.co.uk

Good luck!
Helen

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Introducing toddlers to family meals

Posted on 12 May 2011 by Helen

Hi Everyone.

Sorry, it’s been a while since I was last in touch – must be something to do with all the Bank Holidays we’ve had recently!

For those of you whose little ones have already reached the toddler stage, you’ve probably already read about the importance of healthy eating for your toddler and the influence their eating habits now can have on their future health.  No doubt you’re trying to make sure your toddler has a healthy eating routine and you’re offering a good variety of nutrient-dense foods to make sure they meet all their nutritional requirements.  At this stage, you should be able to offer your toddler many meals that are being eaten by the rest of the family, maybe just chopped up a bit if necessary, but this isn’t always the case.  Just when you think life might start getting a bit easier now that you don’t have to prepare meals especially for your baby, fussy eating might be getting in the way! Look out for my next blog for some hints and tips on handling fussy eating.

When planning your family’s meals, there are a few important things you should remember about a toddler’s dietary needs that might influence the foods they can eat and any adaptations you might want to make to family meals –

  • Energy needs are high as toddlers become more active, but they still have relatively small tummies and appetites can be small
  • Toddlers like routine, so work out when they can eat 3 meals and 2-3 snacks each day, planned around their sleeping time
  • Toddlers need more fat and less fibre than older children and adults – use some butter or fat in cooking, use a mixture of white and wholegrain cereals, occasionally offer cakes and biscuits not just fruit for pudding
  • Combine foods from all five food groups in your toddler’s diet – fruits and veg; starchy foods e.g. pasta, potatoes, cereals, bread; meat, fish and alternative protein sources; milk and dairy foods; foods and drinks containing fats and sugars (use in moderation)
  • Make mealtimes enjoyable and eat together as a family whenever possible

You might also want to click on the following links as they contain a lot more useful information:

http://www.nhs.uk/Planners/birthtofive/Pages/Solidsthenextsteps.aspx
http://www.hipp.co.uk/expert-advice/9-plus-months-and-toddlers/feeding-your-toddler

Looking forward to next time!
Helen

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