we connected with sprout right’s lianne phillipson to learn more about her tips for introducing your young child to a new menu, here’s what she had to say:
Some children have a smoother transition to their child care menu than others. Maybe they’ve been only on purées, or maybe your child only eats finger foods and nothing blended. Every child is different. The menu at RFRK is a very healthy one, and the transition is in the hands of the child care staff to encourage your child, to try new ways to offer foods that are new or different, and to give feedback.
Start to give new foods that you know are coming up on the menu at home, especially if you’ve seen reactions to foods in the past. Let your child care centre know what to look out for and what to do in case of any issues. It could take a few days or a few weeks to transition. It’s a short-term situation and before you know it, they will be eating more than you thought they could fit in.
if you’re worried about choking hazards. . .
When it comes to choking hazards, we all strive to ensure the safety of children. Any foods that are too challenging for your baby or toddler will need to be cut into smaller pieces.
Encouraging confidence of eating new foods and learning to chew are all a part of meal time. The infant alternatives on the RFRK menu offer some texture – such as a rice cake that melts in the mouth or some chunky blends of fruit and vegetables. A varied diet, is crucial to delivering the vitamins and minerals your child’s growing body needs.
here are a few frequently asked questions from parents:
What if my little guy refuses to eat the lunch offered?
There are many reasons for refusing to eat, other than our first reaction of thinking it’s not to their taste. Sickness, teething, stress, and sleeplessness can all play a huge part in appetite. You may have noticed a roller coaster appetite with certain scenarios, and at child care, it’s just the same.
It can take up to 12 exposures for a food to make it onto the ‘like’ list, so just because it’s not a favourite today doesn’t mean it won’t be soon.
My child loves bread and pasta and doesn’t like eating fruits & vegetables. Do you have suggestions?
Often in a group setting, children will eat foods that they may not at home. Connect with your child care centre to see what they’re eating there and bring some portions home to try together. You can also go to the Real Food Kitchen and order the same recipes for the whole family to enjoy.
My toddler doesn’t eat much for dinner at home anymore. I’m worried.
Quite often by the time you get home from picking up your child from child care, you’ve missed the window for dinner. Some toddlers eat enough food during the day that they really don’t need much, or anything, once their child care day has finished. Keep communicating with the child care to see how much is consumed during the day. That may just be enough for now.
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about sprout right
Sprout Right is a nutrition consulting company passionate about supporting new families, their babies, toddlers and kids. They are your go-to for in person consultations specific for your family, The New Eaters Club for those starting their food adventure, easy family meal plans, webinars and so much more.
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If you know Real Food for Real Kids (RFRK), you know the Real Food Kitchen. Same people, same mission but different format. Where RFRK creates daily hot lunch and snack catering programs for Childcare Centres and Schools, the Real Food Kitchen is the place it’s all made. We opened our kitchen to share our flavoursome recipes so everyone can enjoy them at home.The Real Food Kitchen offers ready-made, healthy and (100,000x times kid-approved) delicious meals. We are here to help you make real food, really convenient.