At the age of 1 year everything changes in your baby’s life. He is not a baby but a little baby anymore, but a little boy or girl with lots of new little habits and ways of doing things. He becomes a whole lot more independent.
He wants to eat himself, and it is very important to let him do it for the sake of his development. I know it is a mess, but he needs to feel the food in his hands in order for him to tolerate it in in his mouth. They love finger foods.
It is important that he is included in family meals, as they often mimic other people and children, and will eat because they are eating. They also need to eat what the rest of the family is eating, and baby food is not a good option for them anymore. So switch them to the family diet, but just cut it into smaller pieces.
Some days they have good appetites, but other days they do not eat so well. On the days they are eating well, feed them as much as they want, but on the days where the appetite is not so great, do not push it. They over the whole eat enough. Very important is to NEVER GIVE ALTERNATIVES. They very quickly learn that if they do not eat, they are rewarded with something nice that they like, and will start manipulate and will become picky eaters this way. Just leave the meal and try with the same food later.
Milk and all other drinks should be rather given in a sippy cup. Throw the bottle away as soon as possible after 1 year. Bottles lead to tooth decay, and an increased risk for ear infections. It also becomes a bad habit.
You can either give a growing up formula designed for babies or cow’s milk (undiluted). The formula though has extra vitamins, nutrients and probiotics added. Children should not drink more than 500ml of milk per 24 hours, and it includes the milk over the cereal.
Juice is not healthy as it is a high sugar load. Try not to give more than 100ml of juice per day, and dilute it before given to the child.
Children should learn to drink lots of water from a young age. Just as water clean the outside of the body, it is needed to clean the inside of the body as well, and is essential in all the processes of the body.
It is recommended to eat a variety of fruit and vegetables every day, as many different colours as possible, and at least 5 portions per day. Children need to eat more fruit and vegetables than any other thing in their diet. Be careful that their diets do not contain too much starch or meats. And also they must not have more than 1 yoghurt per day. Eggs are very good though.
Be careful of the different colorants and preservatives that are contained in processed foods and luxury foods. They cause a lot of problems from allergies to behaviour problems. READ THE LABELS before buying.
Be careful of feeding children empty calories. These are foods that has a lot of calories but no nutrition like chips, biscuits, sweeties etc.
Feeding children are always a challenge, but following these guidelines, will not only lead to a happier healthier child, but also a better eater.