More on food…questions from you!
After our last post, we had some parents ‘ask our experts’ more questions about food. We wanted to share these, as many of you may have similar questions.
1) Drinking: My one-year-old refuses to use a sippy cup. I’ve tried several different kinds but since they are different, he just throws them down. How do I get him to use a cup?
Pick one and stick to it. Only put milk in it – often kids learn they get water in a cup and milk in the bottle. If they throw the cup and eventually get a bottle, they will keep doing it. It often takes days or weeks before they realize, “Oh, I am only getting the cup!” and they will drink. Remember to stay calm, pick up the cup like it is no big deal, and say, “I see you are done,” then offer it again later. Hang in there! If you are worried about hydration, you can make cereal a little thinner with more milk and include lots of cut fresh fruit.
2) Food texture: My child has no interest in textures. He loves strawberry mush from a blender but throws diced strawberries on the floor. How do I get him to start eating non-pureed food?
It is common for children to lack interest in certain foods and textures. Similar to the cup, just keep offering it.
Instead of moving from puréed foods to stronger textures such as cut fruit, try to start with a more subtle change. Move from pureed foods in a spoon to thicker foods in a spoon (mashed potatoes, cooked oats, finely mashed and cooked vegetables), then move to soft finger foods (bananas or pieces of cooked vegetables), and on to harder finger foods (crackers, cereals). You can also mix some bigger pieces of strawberry into the purée so they get used to different textures.
There is a lot going on for your child – new skills of feeding, newly found independence of self-feeding, motor skills of chewing. Use cues from your child to guide the progress with new foods and textures. Often during transitions in feeding stages, parents can “encourage” foods or textures, but sometimes this can negatively affect the child’s attitude about eating and willingness to try new foods. If they are currently uninterested in consuming the new textures, that’s ok – there is no rush! Be patient – some kids are sensitive to lumps and textures, and it will take them longer. And remember, don’t show that you are upset or worried because kids will absolutely pick up on that and do it more!
If your child is growing properly, be patient. And if you are still not seeing progress, speak with your pediatrician.
3) Meals examples: What are good meals I can cook for one-year-olds?
First, remember that kids don’t need all that much food to grow and be healthy! Be conscious of appropriate portion sizes. Suggested daily intakes for one-year-olds include: 2 cups whole milk, 1 1/2 oz. protein foods, 2 oz. grain foods, 1 cup fruits, and 3/4 cup vegetables.
One-year-old children developmentally may be able to: hold a spoon to their mouth, hold a cup to their mouth (and enjoy turning it upside down!), eat chopped foods, eat small pieces of soft table foods, pick up foods with thumb and forefinger, and bite down on spoons and crunchy foods.
Introduce new foods slowly, every few days, and include them with foods your child already enjoys. Be certain to avoid foods that may cause choking, such as whole grapes or popcorn.
Here are some suggested meal ideas that you can use / adjust to your child’s needs:
- Oatmeal cooked with old fashioned oats with whole milk and applesauce on the side or
- Scrambled eggs with mushrooms and cheese or
- 1⁄2 cup iron-fortified, low-sugar breakfast cereal
- 1⁄2 banana, sliced or 2–3 large sliced strawberries – fruit can be added to cereal or on its own
- 1⁄4–1⁄2 cup whole milk
- Soup with a soft roll or soft slice of bread or
- 1⁄2 sandwich sliced turkey or chicken, tuna, or egg salad
- 1⁄2 cup cooked green vegetables
- 1⁄2 cup whole milk
- 1–2 ounces cubed or string cheese, or 2–3 tablespoons fruit or berries
- 1 cup whole milk
- Family meals you are preparing for your family adjusted for texture appropriately or
- 2–3 ounces cooked meat, ground or diced (chopped chicken, chopped fish)
- 1/2 cup cooked vegetables (green beans, broccoli)
- 1/2cup pasta, rice, mashed potato or mashed sweet potato
- 1/2 cup whole milk
Note: These meal ideas were designed for a one-year-old child who weighs approximately 21 pounds (9.5 kg). These meal ideas are for educational proposes and not specific medical/nutritional recommendations.