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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Infant and Toddler Nutrition Tips

I got this awesome hand out at CHOP's Healthy Kids Day in May----GREAT TIPS! :)



Infant and Toddler Nutrtion Tips

Be positive, consistent and praise often. NEVER bribe or force to eat and never use food as a reward. Allow your child to respond to his own appetite. Do not overfeed.

Getting Started
  • Offer soft, mashed or ground foods at 6 months: strained or pureed fruits, veggies, meats, fish, beans, lentils, cottage cheese, yogurt, tofu, infant cereal.
  • Start with one teaspoon and gradually increase to 1-2 tablespoons.
  • Offer one new food at a time, watching for signs of intolerance such as vomiting, diarrhea, or skin rashes.
  • Wait 3 days before offering a new food. 
  • Wait to offer citrus, eggs and whole cow's milk until 1 year.
  • Do not add salt or sugar.
  • Infants need iron. Offer plain meats instead of baby food dinners. Gradually increase the texture to chopped.
What to Drink:
  • No juice before 6 months.
  • Offer water, juice, breast milk, or formula in a cup at 7 months.
  • Transition from sippy cup to a regular cup by 15 months. 
  • Do not give juice in bottles or sippy cups to avoid easy consumption throughout the day. Do not give juice at bedtime.
  • Limit juice to 4-6oz daily for 1-6 year olds.
  • Encourage consumption of whole fruits instead of juice.
  • Do not give unpasteurized juices.
Meals should be short and enjoyable:
  • Stay with your child during meals. Make it fun.
  • Insist that your child sit in a highchair or at the table.
  • Offer 3 meals and 2-3 snacks.
  • Encourage child to be present at family meals for at least 15-20 minutes.
  • Supervise your child to avoid choking hazards-
    • Avoid nuts, raw carrots, popcorn, and round candy until 3 years.
    • Cut hotdogs, grapes, and string cheese into small pieces.
    • Do not allow eating while playing or watching TV.
    • Do not allow eating in the car. Your child could choke while you are driving.
 Food Preferences:
  • Children 2-5 years are resistant to new foods and often need 8-15 repeated exposures. Serve a familiar and well-liked food with each meal. Children like pretty colors so offer at least one red, green, yellow, or orange food with each meal.
  • Limit desserts, sweets, sweetened drinks and salty snacks.
  • Be sure to offer a variety of nutritious foods. Minimize high calorie foods of low nutritional value.  Your child does not need cookies, french fries or candy. Food preferences are formed early, so offer fruits and vegetables every day.
I love these tips and feel very comfortable with them--though I thought the bottle & sippy cup transitions were a bit early---what do you think?

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