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The best food for toddlers and tips to get them to eat!

The best food for toddlers are fun to eat & full of nutrients such as complex carbohydrates & protein for brain growth & development, healthy fats for energy and satiety, fiber, fruits and vegetables and most important of all, is something they will actually eat! Many little people tend to have erratic eating habits (we know firsthand!). One day they will gobble up all of their veggies, the next they won’t even let you place them on their plate (pass the wine…). So how do you find something your adorable little human will actually enjoy that is also nourishing? We have a few tips below.

  1. Don’t give up. If one day your tot loves something and the next they don’t, give it a few days and try, try again.
  2. Sneak in the greens! A green smoothie in the morning with a hint of sweetness is a great way to jump start the day with all of the nutrients! Here is a recipe we love.
  3. Have fun with food! We love to play make believe while eating… imagine a big Backhoe is scooping the food into your child’s mouth! Or a Unicorn is flying in with a magic spoon to feed your little dreamer. Fun placemats and eating utensils go a long way as well.
  4. Breakfast for dinner? Why not? Scrambled eggs, oatmeal with fruit or an egg in a nest are some fun ideas.
  5. Get over yourself. Let your tot eat fruits or veggies in puree or smoothie form if that is the way they prefer to chow down on their nutrients. Don’t worry, they aren’t going to only eat purees for the rest of their life!
  6. Add nutritious purees into what you cooked for the family or sneak them into tasty baked goods. Jessica Seinfeld knows a thing or two about this…
  7. Serve your toddler foods in fun shapes while enjoying time at the table together. Craft stores have cookie cutters in different shapes and sizes that you can use as a mold.
  8. Find a low sugar, high protein snack and serve it for dinner. Once in a while it’s more than okay to do this! We love organic animal crackers or graham crackers with natural peanut butter, or sun butter, if you are nut free.
  9. Some of the best food for toddlers comes in the form of healthy snacks. Our new allergen-friendly Little Harvest Bars are basically a bowl of hearty oatmeal, chia seed, fruits, veggies and aromatic spices all wrapped up into one portable little energy bar. Parents, grandparents, kids and tots alike love these things! 4 grams of protein per pack, 5 grams of dietary fiber, 35% DRV calcium, 20% daily iron, 200% dose of Vitamin A and natural sugars from the fruit…boom! Oh, and they can last for months in the freezer so order up! (ordering coming soon)

 

 

When to start baby food?

It’s a question many first-time parents have, “When is it time to start baby food?” To help demystify this common question, we sat down with our Pediatric Nutritionist, Marisa Persky MPD, RD, LDN to see just when it’s appropriate to introduce baby food to your little one.  Marisa notes there is no set guideline that suits all babies, but for full-term infants she mentions some things to consider below about introducing baby food to your little one. 

These commonly used signs, indicate your baby might be ready to start baby food. 

  • Baby can hold his head up and sit in a high chair with good head control.
  • Baby shows interest in the food you are eating, follows the food to your mouth, reaches for your food, or opens his mouth when food comes his way. 
  • Baby moves the spoon-fed food item from a spoon into his mouth and throat without spilling most out of his mouth. 

If your baby is showing the signs mentioned above, you must check with your pediatrician first to ensure your baby is ready to begin eating solid food. If you are given the okay, let the exciting journey of food exploration begin!

A few tips on best baby foods to introduce first: 

  • Foods that are rich in iron and protein. Iron-rich baby food is especially important for infants since their iron stores deplete postpartum. Lentils and other legumes are a great source of iron & make an excellent first food pureed thin and creamy.
  • Save fruits for last. Start with smooth purees of vegetables, wholesome grains & legumes.
  • Little Harvest has a complete Stage 1 plan perfect for introducing your baby to solid food. You get a box every 2 weeks delivered fresh with an assortment of 5 different varieties of smooth plant-based purees. You also get tasting notes so you know just what to do!
  • Add breastmilk or formula to solid food for an extra boost of nutrients and to thin down the consistency to your desired level.

Savor the wonderful experience of introducing your baby to {real} baby food! Try Little Harvest today!