3 Top Tips – Feeding a Baby/Early Toddler

Do you find your self dispensing the same advice over and over again on twitter? Even butting in to give it when two other people are chatting? No? Just me then. These are 5 tips I wish I had known so much sooner when Spencer first started eating through about 16 months. These are tips people told me or I figured out the hard way that would have made life so much easier if I only I had known them sooner.

1. Add some vanilla to milk if your 12 monther (or older) doesn’t like to drink it. While I am not forcing the dairy issue, if you want your child to drink milk and they don’t like it, try adding vanilla and warming it slightly. Worked like a charm with Spencer and he was off the vanilla added in about 2 weeks. Edited to add: Suzanne made a great point in the comments – there are lots of good alternatives to dairy that can be tried too: rice milk, soy milk, hemp milk, almond milk. I forget because Spencer hated all of them.

2. Baby-Led-Weaning (BLW) does not have to be all or nothing. BLW is one of those parental choices like babywearing, which some people use a lifestyle, but can also just be a tool. The would does not have to be divided in to BLWers vs. Spoon Feeders. (Why yes, I have heard people who feed their children purees as Spoon Feeders derisively. Sometimes, you just have to laugh at the twitter.) We did a ton of BLW with Spencer, but I also gave him oatmeal, yogurt and applesauce with a spoon. Sometimes I would hand him the spoon. You can decide your own level of comfort, don’t let the hardcore practitioners out you off.

3. Try similar foods – both texture and taste. This seems like it would be so obvious, but I didn’t figure it out for awhile. If you are looking for new foods to try to give your adventurous baby, look for similar textured foods first (obviously being aware of possible allergy issues). If the kid likes cream cheese, try hummus. Grape fan? Try Cherry Tomatoes. As for similar tastes? Think sweet, tangy, salty, sour. If your kiddo likes pineapple, try pickles. Grilled chicken? Try a grilled pork chop. It is so simple, but when you are struggling to think of foods to feed a picky kid, this simple reminder can be so handy.

All else fails, give them doughnuts

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11 Responses to “3 Top Tips – Feeding a Baby/Early Toddler”

  1. Suzanne says:

    GREAT advice. I’d also say that if you don’t want to try dairy, there are a ton of milk-alternatives, some of which are easier to get a kid to try. Rice milk is much more similar to breastmilk than cow’s milk – and it comes in vanilla. I’ve also heard hemp milk or coconut milk are tasty ways to transition a kid into milk (especially if you have concerns about soy).

    The idea of mocking someone for “spoon feeding” is so crazy I can’t wrap my brain around it. I guess they’ve never eaten soup.


    Amy Reply:

    The mocking is because the baby should only eat spoon food when the baby can wield the spoon. BLW has its benefits and all, but I highly doubt some kid is going to flunk forth grade because he was fed applesauce.


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  3. TMae says:

    We are currently trying to get O to drink rice milk, as there is a chance that his GI issues are cow’s milk related. (Please, say it isn’t so!) So far, he is NOT a fan of it. Even in the vanilla. I’ll give it awhile though…

    I would also add – keep offering a food even if the child doesn’t seem to want it. There’s a good chance that the peas the kid HATED today, will become favorite food evar in a week.


    Suzanne Reply:

    This happened to us just this week with red bell pepper. The kid who HATED bell peppers his whole 21 month life ate them a)cooked b)cooked with balsamic vinegar and just tonight, c) raw. See also: cheese.


    Amy Reply:

    That was my 4th! I was originally going to do 5, but my fifth seems so obvious I chopped it down to three. S had huge broccoli issues and now he noms it like a pro.


  4. Natalie says:

    You know I didn’t even KNOW there was the term “Baby led weaning” until after both of mine were full-on food eaters. I’m still not even sure what it entails (hello Dr. Google) but we gave boob and spoon, so I guess I was straddling the fence?

    Good suggestions, all of them :o)


    Amy Reply:

    Thanks! I fell in to a bunch of uber-crunchy blogs when I first started cloth diapering. That is how I found out.


  5. Lindsey says:

    These are great! Otto was the easiest so i’m sure that means I’ll be cursed with any future babies and will need to keep these in mind.

    Sidenote – I’ve used that vanilla trick on myself for years! I hate HATE milk but sometimes I crave it and if I don’t add a lil vanilla I usually gag.


    Amy Reply:

    That’s so funny. I can’t stand milk, but never thought to use the vanilla trick on myself.


    Lindsey Reply:

    Almond extract is another good one. You can totally trick yourself! I’m also a closet Nestle strawberry powder eater. Like by the spoonful – no milk required. So it’s not all Healthy City in these parts! :)


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