Healthy Food Ideas for New Eaters
I’m excited to team up with Sarah Meadors from @managingthemayhem_ to bring you this blog post about introducing new foods to your baby.
Disclaimer: We are not doctors, so please consult with your pediatrician before trying new foods.
“Healthy eating habits start at home with the first bite of food. Much like manners and habits, parents can have a huge impact on their children’s healthy food preferences”, says Sarah.
So we are here to share a few different food choices for new eaters!
Sarah: Your 6-8 month old should be getting most of their nutrients and calories from breast milk or formula still at this age, introducing foods now is really just for fun and getting them used to it. Try blending organic bananas, peas, avocado, sweet potatoes, etc. in a blender and freezing them, that way you know the fruit/veggies are fresh with no added preservatives! It is a little more time consuming than buying pre-made pouches or jars but I think the healthier version outweighs the convenience 🙂
Meghan: Or if you are interested in doing Baby Led Weaning (like I did), giving them soft foods to try that they can squish in their hands works too! Again, foods like banana, avocado and sweet potatoes are perfect. My choice to do baby led weaning was because I had twins and I didn’t want to have to spoon feed two babies!
Sarah: Once the teeth start coming through around 9-15 months, your baby starts eating more chopped, ground or mashed foods and drinking less milk. I totally understand it can be fun to let your child try everything you’re eating but does your one year old really need that pancake with syrup or that macaroni and cheese? Here are a couple easy, healthy food options for your 9-15 month old:
Breakfast: Cut up fruit with cheerios or oatmeal (I suggest a gluten free cheerio), yogurt (dairy optional), applesauce.
Lunch/Dinner: Sweet potato, pita bread with hummus or avacado, boiled/grilled chicken breast, steamed vegetables, soup.
Meghan: I loved to use the Baby Led Weaning Cook book for our whole family (in fact, I still do!). The banana cake in there is fab and I’ve even adapted it to make it gluten free. You can find it here! Some other recipes I loved in the book are the oatmeal fingers. Such an easy breakfast option as they can just pick it up easily themselves to eat.
As your child gets older and more aware, it becomes extremely important to be good advocates for them. You can read more about Meghan’s tips for dealing with fussy toddlers here.
Below are a few healthy recipes from Sarah that your whole family will enjoy!
Breakfast: Eggs, fruit, avocado toast, overnight oats, kodiak protein pancakes, yogurt and granola (watch out for lots of added sugar in yogurt, be sure to look at the label for this one…greek yogurt is the best to try), smoothies (easy way to get the green vegetables into your child’s diet). Check out Meghan’s smoothie guide here.
Lunch/Dinner ideas: Try different salads (beets, shaved brussels sprouts, broccoli slaw, etc). I am not a big fan of sandwiches because of the preservatives in lunch meat, but organic turkey or chicken breast on whole grain bread is a healthier option). Try ground turkey tacos with corn tortillas, salmon, spaghetti squash, grilled chicken, bean burgers, and Meghan’s quinoa bowl. VEGETABLES are key to health and nutrition!
A final note from Sarah…
Everyone has different opinions on what to feed their children. In the end they are your children and you are the one who is feeding them so you get to make the ultimate decision. I am a firm believer in feeding children only healthy foods as much as you can before they are in school, going to play dates, birthday parties, and places you have little control over what they eat. It is not the end of the world for children or anyone to eat a cookie at a birthday party or special occasion but keeping it healthy at home 90% of the time and in their lunch boxes is all your control! So take advantage of it and starting healthy eating habits as soon as possible!
PS. Try this for a snack, it always satisfies my sweet tooth. I literally make this every week!
Slice some apples, put them in the crockpot with cinnamon. Cover and keep in crockpot overnight on low for 8 to 10 hours. IT IS DELICIOUS!
What are your favorite recipes your children love to eat? Please share below!