Your baby, now a toddler is growing and changing every day! It's important to teach good eating habits from the start. You can do this by encouraging your toddler to eat a variety of foods during mealtimes. This is easier said than done, as many toddlers are picky eaters. However, don't let a picky eater stop you from offering a variety of nutritious foods. 


You may need to offer a new food six or more times before your toddler actual tries the food! Keep a positive attitude and don't force your toddler to eat a food that he doesn't want.  Praise and support your toddler's interest in new foods and any attempts to try new foods. 


Brain Science for Your Baby

Mennella (2014) reviewed how we learn to like the foods we like. Research on taste preferences in children shows that they like sweet and salty foods!  This means that your baby is at "biologic risk" for liking junk food.  Junk food is not good for the developing brain. What can you do?  Your diet while you are nursing is important, because science has shown that flavors are transmitted to mother's milk, and breastfed infants are more accepting of the flavors in their mothers diets later on. Infants also learn through repeated exposure.  It can take 6 or 8 or 10 exposures to a particular food (and lots of funny faces) before your baby will think this is a good idea.  It's not a good idea to get into "food battles".  So - when introducing a new food, offer a small taste repeatedly, and don't force it if your baby doesn't eat a lot.  And remember the power of imitation.  If you eat lots of fruits and vegetables, your baby is more likely to eat them too!


More on changing your toddlers eating habits

A Baby Buffer Prescription for Your Baby

Engage your child in a quiet and calm activity before meals.


Stick to scheduled meal and snack times.


Limit juice before meals.


Be a good example, prepare and eat a variety of foods in front of your toddler.


Offer a variety of colors, tastes and textures of food.


Encourage a small bite of a new food.

Don't give up, offer the new food again during a future meal (it may take a while).


Don't demand that your child eat a certain food, or require him to eat everything on his plate.


Give toddler-sized portions and use toddler-sized plates and utensils.


Keep a positive attitude about foods, your toddler is more likely to try it.

A Baby Buffer Prescription for You   


Be a good example!  Eat and prepare a variety of healthy foods in front of your toddler.  


Having a healthy diet including several fruits and vegetables each day will not only encourage your toddler to eat well, but will give you the energy that you need to keep up with him!


Model other healthy behaviors for your toddler like exercising regularly and reading.  Your child looks up to you and will choose to spend his time doing the things that you do.  


Set up an area in the kitchen where your toddler can "help" cook meals.  Include some bowls and spoons with pretend food or uncooked macaroni to stir around and move from bowl to bowl.  







What Your Baby Can Do - Developmental Milestones 


Emotionally, one-year-olds are just learning to recognize and manage their feelings. They experience a wide range of emotions and have tantrums when they are tired or frustrated. They may also respond to conflict by hitting, biting, screaming, or crying. One-year-olds want their independence, and may say, "No!" to adult suggestions or insist that they, "Do it!" Then, moments later, they might cling to an adult's leg or ask for help.

Gene's Research Tip

Kid Injuries from Shopping Carts and Burns - Can they be Prevented?


What might you be doing in the next 22 minutes?  Working?  Changing a diaper?  Laughing with your kid?  Going to a meeting?  Planning a trip? 


I'll bet, "Going to the hospital for a shopping cart accident" didn't even hit your top 100 list of "Things to do in the next 22 minutes"!  But a child goes to the ER every 22 minutes for shopping cart mishaps here in the good old U.S. of A, according to research from Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.  

Baby Buffer Blog
Written by Kristen Stuppy, MD 

Are you up for a challenge?


Join thousands of other families who want to reconnect by going screen free for the week of May 5 - 11, 2014.


What does screen free mean? To put it simply: do not use anything with a screen unless it is directly related to work or school. Televisions, computers, smart phones and other screens are all a part of our world, but they can overtake our lives. By consciously avoiding non-essential screen time, we can reconnect with our family and friends and even ourselves.

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