From 12 months most of the foods that are on the family’s menu are open for your toddler to try. Certain foods might need to be altered slightly to accommodate your toddler’s tastes and feeding abilities. For example, spaghetti or noodles may need to be cut into short strings rather than long strands to make it easier for small spoons (or fingers) to handle. Avoid over-salting or over-sweetening foods.
While at times it may seem that your toddler is surviving on air, the key point to remember is that your toddler needs a variety of health-giving foods every day from each of the four food groups:
• Fruit and vegetables
• Breads and cereals
• Milk and milk products
• Meat and meat alternatives
Try introducing your toddler to the following foods:
• Fish (fresh or canned)
• Legumes (such as lentils (dahl) kidney beans and chickpeas)
• Luncheon sausage (use only occasionally)
• Silverbeet, spinach, peas, cabbage, tomatoes, creamed corn
• Orange, kiwifruit, pineapple, berries
• White bread, pasta, white rice, cereals
• Spaghetti, mashed baked beans
• Yoghurt, custard, cottage cheese, grated cheese
• Vegemite® or Marmite®
• Smooth peanut butter – note: if there is a strong family history of peanut allergy, delay until after 3 years.
Remember, from 12 months your baby needs:
• Cow’s milk as a main drink, adult breakfast cereals, honey, egg white.
• After 12 months, baby can join in family meals and eat a wide variety of foods.
• Milk remains important for calcium. 1 to 3 year olds should include at least 2 to 3 servings of milk and/or milk products each day. A serving is 1 cup (200 to 250ml) of milk, or 150g tub of yoghurt, or 2 to 3 slices (40g) of cheese each day
• Karicare Toddler milks can be used as an alternative to cow’s milk. Karicare Toddler milks contain additional iron, Vitamin C and inulin, a type of dietary fibre and 16 other vitamins and minerals. Karicare Gold Toddler 3 is enriched with omega DHA.
If allergies run in the family, introduce the following foods with caution:
• Cow’s milk
• Ice cream
• Peanut butter – note: if there is a strong family history of peanut allergy, delay until after 3 years.
As all toddlers are different, please consider this information as a guide only.For further advice, ring our toll-free number to speak to a registered Dietitian at 0800 688 742, post a question in our Ask the Dietitian section of this site or consult your Health Professional.