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My baby's feeding stage
4: 12 months onwards

Christa Riekert, Advisory Nutritionist

At this stage, toddlers are often more interested in playing with their food than eating it. That's fine (and can be fun!) but it's a good thing if you can be on hand to help ensure that at least some of the important nutrients go into their mouth! Even so, it can be hard to make sure they're getting all the goodness they need. If you ever need any advice about encouraging them to eat a variety of foods, contact our team at Kariclub.

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One step closer to family mealtimes!

As they become more independent, toddlers often want to try what the rest of the family is eating. But remember not all family foods are suitable for toddlers as they may be too high in salt and sugar. To make sure they're getting the goodness they need in every mouthful, you still need to give a nutritionally balanced diet tailored to the specific age group of your toddler.


Nutrition

To provide energy for your toddler, aim for at least four servings per day of carbohydrates such as cereal, bread, pasta or potatoes. Watch out for adult cereals though – many are too high in fibre, sugar and salt. Your toddler may also go through growth spurts which can mean their appetite varies hugely from one day to the next. Don't worry about it though. As long as they're eating a variety of foods from all the main food groups over a few days, they'll be fine. Your baby will now be having 3 solid meals plus two snacks as required. Milk is still an essential part of the diet; this can be breast milk, a toddler milk supplement or full fat cows' milk. Encourage cup drinking for water and milk.


Taste

Between two and eight years old, your child may be less likely to try new foods so it's important to give them lots of variety now. Giving them a lot of different tastes and combinations can also lead to healthier eating habits in the future!


Texture

Finger foods are brilliant for toddlers. Not only for helping to learn to feed themselves but also keeping your toddler interested at a stage when they're easily distracted from their food. Eating little pieces of food, chunkier meals and bite-sized cereals continues to develop the muscles they'll soon be using for all that talking!


Appropriate Foods

Continue with previously introduced foods with the following recommendations:


  • Appropriate adult breakfast cereals
  • Some wholegrain breads
  • Whole boiled eggs
  • Tea, coffee, soft drinks or other sugary drinks are not recommended
 
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