Balancing Nutrition after Weaning
One question most mothers run into when weaning is, “How do I know that my child is getting all the nutrients they need in their new diet?” This concern is very understandable; after all, formula and breast milk provide all the nutrients a child needs for the first 6 months of life without the need to for any supplemental nutrition.
Variety is key. You want to make sure they have a variety of foods – vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and protein – in each of their main meals as well as some of these things in their snacks. You do need to watch their salt intake as too much can be hard on their little kidneys.
Now you may ask, “What if my child is a picky eater?” This happens to just about every parent. Toddler’s taste buds are highly sensitive, so they taste things much stronger than we do. This can lead to strong opinions on certain foods you really want them to eat for their health.
Never force them to each anything. Instead, repetition is key; offer the same foods over and over until your child is ready to try it. Offer fewer choices, allowing them the power to choose between two or three healthy things rather than giving them free reign over their menu.
Finally, don’t worry too much if your child refuses to eat. As long as you offer food at each meal, they will eat when they are hungry; they won’t starve themselves.