Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Starting Solids

A mom asked me today for ideas about ways to get her baby to eat solids. There are many ways to get your kids started on solids.

4-6 months
It's helpful if you start putting your baby in the highchair during your meals, so they get accustomed to the mealtime routine. Give them a spoon and bowl to play with.

About 6 months
Once they are ready (use instinct, your doctor's advice and your baby's behaviour to decide when he/she is "ready), start with small, soft pieces of food on their high chair tray, or help put a spoon with food to their lips. If the spoon-feeding is a fight, maybe you've got a strong headed little one and they want to feed themselves.

ITS GOING TO BE MESSY, DEAL WITH IT! Get over the fear of it being a mess as that's going to be a problem for at least another year - put down a towel on the floor, feed them in their diaper only, and have clothes handy for clean up. Food should be fun, and that starts early.

6 Months and Beyond
The guidelines on what and when to feed your baby foods has changed recently, relaxing some of the previous "rules" of when to introduce foods. Talk with your doctor or check out reputable resources like Health Canada's website on infant nutrition (url below).

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Getting Kids to Eat Well in the Summer

Between the hot dogs at bar-b-ques and, the mid-summer day treats like ice cream and popsicles, your little ones (like mine) may not be eating healthy this summer. As parents, we have potential courses of action: do nothing, wait until September and let back to school momentum fix it all, or try a few quick food tricks to curb their poor summertime diets. As a mom, sure, doing nothing would be easiest but teaching kids how to make good food choices is a priceless lifelong lesson. So, let me make it easy for you - here are some tricks to getting your kid to eat better this summer:

Try introducing smoothies made with bananas and their favourite frozen fruit. This cool, fun, slurp-through-a-stray snack will keep your kids happy. And, you can hide all sorts of goodness in a smoothie including green powders, berry powders, fish oil and probiotics. You can even try adding in protein if you've got a picky(sticks-out-her-tongue at meat)-eater at home.

Skewer It
Fruit is always a great summer go-to snack. If your kids just aren't having it, try making bright, colourful fruit skewers. They are a hit at birthday parties, and may just get a few more servings of fruit into your kid's diet.

Dip, dip and more dip
Picky eaters can commonly be persuaded to eat a less desired food when dip is offered. In our house, we find showing our little ones which foods to dip (playing it up with lots of enthusiastic sounds and words) can help a lot. Try to keep the dips healthy; hummus, yogurt or guacamole are healthier dip choices, than ketchup and store-bought salad dressing.

Ensuring your kids are offered healthy food options throughout the day will help them learn what foods are good choices to best fuel their bodies. Try to keep snacks healthy (cheese, yogurt, fruit, vegetables) as much as possible so, you can breath easier at the end of the day, when dinner becomes yet another hot dog and ice cream cone.