Tips on Feeding your Child

HCEITips for Parents

As soon as your baby is able to feed himself finger foods, let him be in control of putting all of these foods into his mouth himself. Parents supply small pieces of soft food that are easy to chew. Let the baby explore the food at his own pace.

Let your baby get messy when learning to use a spoon. It is natural and necessary to get food on hands, arms and face, so that she can learn more about textures, tastes, and smells. Exploring in this manner will actually heighten his interest in new foods.

Twelve to 15 months: If you want to interest your baby in spoon feeding, ask her to feed you a few bites of pudding with a spoon.

When children are learning to use a spoon, use foods that stick to the spoon, such as pudding, or mashed potatoes.

Introduce strained vegetables to your baby before introducing fruit. If sweet fruits are introduced first, the baby may not be as interested in vegetables.

Children form all of their opinions about what tastes good in the first two years of life. Be sure to expose your baby to a wide variety of healthy foods during this time.

Some toddlers over-stuff their mouths, then have trouble swallowing. If your child does this, put small amounts of food on her plate, a little at a time.

If your child is unstable in the high chair, it will be more difficult to chew and swallow, and to learn to use a spoon. Try placing rolled towels in the chair on both sides of your child to make the chair “hug” him. This will increase sitting balance.

Children benefit from foot support when trying to feed themselves. If your child’s feet do not reach the footrest of the highchair, try taping a shoebox on it. This will allow her to reach the foot support to stabilize posture/feet.