8 Tips for Raising a Healthy Eater – Tip #6
We are now more then half way through our tips on raising a healthy eater. How is it going? Do you see any positive results in the way your child is eating? I would love to hear all about it!
And in case you are just joining us – here are links to the first 5 tips:
Tip #1, Tip #2, Tip #3, Tip #4, Tip #5
Variety, Variety, Variety
They say variety is the spice of life. So let’s spice it up. For the kiddos sake. No more eating the same foods day after day, meal after meal.
Let’s mix it up!
Let’s have some fun!
The Key Principles of Variety
- Never eat the same meal 2 days in a row. This includes purees [after the initial allergy testing period], finger foods and toddler meals. Always skip at least a day between serving the same food item.
- Always try to switch up how you pair your food items. For instance, instead of always serving your toddler yogurt with blueberries, switch up the berries, fruit type altogether, add some cinnamon or another spice or even add a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. This goes with all food pairings that we get comfortable making, the old stand by – sandwiches, pasta, pizza, side dishes. Have some fun and mix it up, even if it is only one ingredient at a time.
- Present a variety of different foods at each meal. For meals, try to serve a protein, vegetable and starch for the main course and a fruit for dessert. For snacks, go with a protein mixed with a fruit or vegetable.
Why Variety is a Good Thing
- Teaches your kiddo that they can have a favorite food or dish but they can’t eat only that one thing ALL-THE-TIME. They have to learn to have more then one favorite.
- Gives them a well rounded approach to eating. Making sure that they are getting all the nutrients they need over the course of a day but more importantly the course of a week.
- Gets them used to trying new items on a daily basis.
- Makes their palettes constantly grow and expand.
- Catches them off guard and makes it fun for them to eat. A surprise at every meal!
- Observe what your baby or toddler is eating for each meal for a couple of days. Note which meals are the same from day to day.
- Make a quick meal plan for the remaining days focusing on making sure each meal is never served two days in a row.
- Take one routine meal that is always on your weekly rotation and switch one ingredient in it up.
2 Comments on “8 Tips for Raising a Healthy Eater – Tip #6”
I would like to take the time and thank you for your post. This is my second child but our first is 6 years older so I’m a bit rusty. We just started our baby girl on pures 3 weeks ago and i’m a little unsure on how fast I should be moving to catch up with the stages. She just turned 6 months on Nov 3rd. I figure I’m suppose to start her on each fruit or vegetable for 3-5 days each which is honestly what I heard 6 years ago and some sites tot this day. But at that rate I won’t be getting into stage 2 until she is about 7 1/2 or 8 months. Before I found your site, she has started carrots, green peas and golden potato ( this was before I did food shopping and only thing she could eat but wanted to get her going while I was sick.) I see on diff pages I’ve ran across that they don’t start combing foods until stage 2 which is the same as your except you combine the foods tried in stage 1 like a stew each time your done with it. I like your page because it is very detailed but even though you state you are not a doctor, I have a few questions. You state that every meal should have a protein, carbs and vegetable. Most of the stage 2 combos on your 75 list don’t have carbs. Are you saying to incorporate them based off the carbs you mention on other post like Quinoa, Rice and Oatmeal? Or is it ok to skip the carbs on some meals? We have been on sweet potatoes for about 3 days, as well banana for the same with the combined items stew. I don’t plan on trying all items on stage 1 but I would like to finish up with certain items like Avocado, Broccoli, Apples, Pears and Mango. Would you say its ok to skip to stage 2 while incorporating the ones I would still like to try? or is that too much of a risk and should at least stay on each item for no more than 2 days as you recommend? I haven’t tried any proteins yet or carbs. Its just been single stage 1 items .I’m also still breast feeding but its 4 times a day now instead of 8 since I’m trying to give her solids at least twice unless I see its a bad day. I cant wait to hear back from you !
I think I answered most of these questions in your other post – but let’s talk carbs/proteins. While you are just starting your puree journey, I would focus on serving a wide variety of fruits, veggies, carbs and proteins. You will probably not get those all in at one meal at the beginning. But once they move on to full meals, you can certainly incorporate all of those food groups into each meal, or at least one meal a day. Keep in mind that baby is still getting most of their daily calories and nutrients from breastmilk and formula. Purees and finger foods are introduced at this age so you can teach them how to eat these foods. It’s a very important step, but again they are getting a majority of their nutrients from other sources. You can introduce grains and proteins into any meal, and I usually like serving them mixed into other purees they already like (I mean, straight chicken puree is a little intense!haha!). Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more questions.