How can I make solid foods interesting for my child?
For the first 6 months of his or her life, a baby is completely dependent on the mother’s milk, as far as nutrition is concerned. Post that, it becomes necessary to introduce solids in the diet, so that he or she gets all the nutrients needed for rapid growth and development. Also, it is vital to offer your little one a variety of foods, in different colours and textures. However, most babies fuss when it comes to eating new food items. So, if you are worried that he or she might not be getting adequate nutrition, because of this fussy eating behaviour, here are tips that will help.
Why is variety important in your kid’s diet?
While breastfeeding plays an important part in fulfilling a child’s nutritional requirement, as a baby grows, he or she needs complementary foods. However, it is important to remember that kids at this age have small tummies, and hence cannot eat a lot of food in one go. So, you need to provide small and frequent meals.
However, this can often be a challenge as children can be fussy eaters. They have their own preferences and sometimes simply refuse to eat what is offered to them. So, it is very important for mothers to keep experimenting with the food colours, flavours, and textures, so that your child gets tempted to eat different food items.
Great tips to make solid foods interesting for kids
- Introducing solid foods to a baby can be a daunting task, but at the same time, doing so is very important to ensure maximum nutrition. You also need to offer items from all major food groups, so that your little one’s diet is balanced.
- Sometimes, it can take up to 10 to 15 tries, before a child accepts a new food. You can always introduce new foods in small portions along with the food your child is already familiar with. This way, there will be a lesser chance of rejection.
- Make your child’s plate as colourful as possible. Fruits and vegetables provide all the essential vitamins and minerals, fibre, and other nutrients that strengthen your child’s immune system. So, offer your child a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Fruits can be pureed or cut into small pieces to avoid choking.
- Vegetables can be given in the form of boiled or raw veggies, or added to soups. You can also serve some grated veggies with curd, like cucumber and carrot raita. This way, your child will develop a taste for the different forms of the same vegetable. You can make vegetable cutlets in different shapes too, to entice your child.
- Meat and meat products like chicken or fish are good sources of protein, fats, and other nutrients. If you are a non-vegetarian, then you can try giving your baby various options like pureed, ground, mashed, or finely chopped meat products.
- Wheat products like chapatis and whole-wheat or multigrain bread are a great source of carbohydrates and many nutrients. You can also add pureed vegetables like spinach, methi or carrots to the rotis and make them multicoloured and tasty. After making them, use cookie cutters to create exciting shapes that your child will love, like stars, fishes, houses etc.
- Cereals like rice, pulses, oats, and barley, must be included in your child’s diet. Try giving him sprouted pulses like moong dal mixed with upma, pulao, salad, or khichdi. A dash of kala namak on watermelon cubes or a sprinkling of cinnamon on chopped apples will be relished by kids.
- Soft sandwiches can be made with hung curd and finely chopped vegetables. The sandwiches can be made into interesting shapes with the help of cookie cutters.
- Finally, be mindful of the quantity you present to your child. Understand how much he or she needs. Children can lose interest if they see a huge portion of food in front of them.
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