Nutritional Diversification for Baby - 4th step: 13 to 24 months
Baby will have made a series of discoveries during the first year of his/her life! This new step, from 13 to 24 months, reserves many more changes. Baby is starting to become familiar with chunks and can master a tumbler, a glass and a spoon. He/she is getting older, is starting to feed himself/herself and is varying his/her diets more and more with raw and cooked foods that you are giving him/her. New autonomy which does not mean you forget that your child still needs bottles or breast feeding to move forward with confidence. Today BÉABA® gives you its best advice to succeed the fourth and last stage of nutritional diversification, from the 13th to 24th month of baby’s life.
Familiarization with the shapes and textures of food
Your little one only wants to learn and discover. Let him/her touch whatever is in his/her plate. You will be surprised by the dexterity with which he/she will pick up peas or cubes of beetroot! This step will surely test your patience in as much as food will go everywhere except in his/her plate… Breathe and put things into perspective! And to avoid catastrophes, equip baby with a big bib. The same goes for when he/she is interested in a spoon and tries to put it into his/her mouth. Never mind! All these actions show to what point he/she is growing and your role is above all to accompany and congratulate him/her, never scold. Sometimes, it is better to feed your child yourself rather than get annoyed especially when tiredness is building up. Patience, your child will eat on his/her own at approximately 2 years old and in a very skilled way!
The first signs of character!
In spite of the incredibly wide range of tastes that you will have offered him/her, it happens that baby may shun certain dishes or foods. Children can go from “liking everything” to the famous “neophobic behavior” sentence, which affects 75% of children and is not a whim but rather a defense mechanism.
Be patient and continue to offer the refused foods again and again. Implement the rules from the start: “You taste and, if you don’t like it, I will not force you.” Explain things to baby and eating with him/her will reassure him/her of the harmlessness of what he/she is swallowing. Don’t forget that he/she will not let himself/herself die of hunger and will always eat what he/she needs to ensure his/her growth. Finally, continue to include your child in the preparation of meals making it a real moment for sharing and learning so that he/she associates food with a good experience. Name the foods, colors, and flavors… It’s unbelievable how, in 24 months, baby will have learnt so many things and discovered so much.
The composition of a meal
You may feel overwhelmed with this stream of information. What to feed baby, how to create his/her meals? Say to yourself that this basis should always be followed: starchy food and/or 1 vegetable + 1 portion meat/fish/egg + 1 dairy product and +/- 1 fruit. The portions should be adapted as to whether it is lunch, a snack or dinner.
Small example of a day’s menu for a baby from 12 to 24 months:
Growing-up milk or cow milk
Cereals or bread or rusk
Tender and raw vegetables for starters
20 to 40 gr of meat/fish/egg
Vegetables or starchy foods
1 teaspoon of oil or 1 knob of butter
Dairy product or cheese
Raw or stewed fruit
Biscuit or bread
Dairy product (milk, cheese, petit-suisse)
Raw or stewed fruit
The key point for this last stage of nutritional diversification is that baby evolves a little more every week. See all he/she has learnt in several months! Even if food goes everywhere, it is incredibly important to let him/her discover each texture. Even if he/she can be reticent towards certain foods, say to yourself that nothing lasts and he/she simply needs to advance at his/her own rhythm. Nutritional diversification must be adapted to each baby, just remember that!
And to accompany you in this marvellous parenthood adventure, discover the Béaba® and Me App. Genuine nutritional coach to give the best to baby, it is also and above all a committed community for sharing recipes and your children’s experiences.