Before you feed your child baby food or "Kid" meals
Always be sure to taste these kinds of foods before you feed your kids as sometimes the 'taste' can be a bit "off" and need a lift or worse yet be something you don't want to feed your child after all. Although your kids don't always have your taste in food, if you find that you don't like the taste of something chances are they don't either. If it's good quality food, it may only need a tiny dash of seasoning, a tiny bit of sugar/cinnamon or other additive, preferably a healthy one, to get them to eat it.
Toddler and baby food tips
The mouths of young children are both small and sensitive so when you feed children between the ages of 6 months to 5 years it good to keep in mind that food should be
- small enough to comfortably chew
- soft enough not to poke the oral membranes
- gentle textured enough to avoid being too rough on the gums and roof of the mouth
- somewhat dissolvable so it won't make their mouth tired due to excessive chewing
Some tasty picks in the four food groups are:
Dairy: fruited yogurt, milk flavored with pureed sweet fruit or brown sugar, cubed cheese
Proteins: chicken or turkey hot dogs thickly sliced served with ketchup and when they're ready to have a little bread with it, wrap a slice of soft bread around it and a little low fat mayo, hard boiled eggs (lightly salted) or a "gently cooked till firm" omelet slightly seasoned with parsley, salt and black pepper(fry these in a small amount of butter if your child doesn't like oil), pieces of baked talapia or salmon, shrimp or prawns if your child isn't allergic to shellfish
Fruit and Vegetable choices: medium chopped apple, halved orange sections, halved grapes, sliced banana, chopped kiwi, halved strawberries, sliced buttered and lightly salted carrots, sweet corn, cubed cooked yams, roasted potatoes, steamed (not overcooked) brocolli, dried fruit bits
Carbohydrates: buttered whole wheat bread with crusts removed, or a buttered whole wheat burger buns, whole wheat macaroni dressed with a little parsley, salt, pepper and butter, a segment of whole grain pita bread, oat meal cooked in half milk half water, a tiny dash of salt and sweetened with brown sugar, whole grain dry cereal
Most kids like pizza and you can sneak in a few veggies in with it, however to make it appropriate for really young children it's best to make the pizza from scratch, dice the veggies small, use either ketchup, a little pasta sauce or even a bit of mild salsa as pizza sauce and spread it on soft sliced bread. Top the sauce with the veggies and cheese and bake till the cheese is melted and the bread is just lightly browned at the bottom. This is a lot easier on their little mouths while getting to enjoy the taste of pizza.
Don't be a perfectionist
Your young childrens' stomachs is still small, don't make the mistake of thinking a bit of every food group needs to be included in every meal, if you can get a healthy serving or two of each food group in every day, you're doing great. Also, while you'll have to make sure your child gets enough food, you don't want to force them to eat. If you've been feeding them for about 30 - 60 minutes, they don't want any more and they've only eaten half to three quarters of their food. That's okay too, chances are with an emptier stomach they'll be hungrier at the next meal.
With these tips on what to feed children, you should be able to relax at meal time and take it easy on both yourself and your fussy eaters.