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Food texture issues in toddlers is a matter of concern for most parents. However, introducing new kinds of foods in a fun way can definitely help children with the transition. Find out what you can do to encourage your little one to eat new foods.
From the time your baby is born, you make sure she eats enough and on time. As weeks change into months, you slowly introduce her to proper food. Pureed or mashed, she starts taking to them and learns to enjoy eating. However, children can get a little too used to this kind of food and may refuse to move on to textured food. It’s important to know how to get your child to eat different types of food.
How To Help Toddlers Eat Textured Foods the Right Way
Introducing textured food can take some time and a lot of patience. If your toddler does not seem eager to try new foods, feed her the favourite pureed meal, and after a few mouthfuls, sneak in some textured items in form of a crushed cracker, papad or cereal. If she’s fine with the mixture, offer her a few more bites. Continue doing this for a few days so she gets used to it.
Increase the texture
Once your child is comfortable eating the new textured mix, increase the amount of the textured food in the puree. If she gets fussy, alternate with the usual pureed fare. It won’t be long before you can up the amount of crushed food.
Give the puree a twist
You can easily change the texture of your child’s food by reducing the amount of water you add to the puree. There are simple ideas you can try as well to encourage your toddler to eat table foods. For instance, when preparing apple puree, add in apple shreds to build texture. Similarly, in mashed dal and rice, add a little un-mashed boiled dal and rice.
Something to chew on
When your child starts eating textured puree, offer her a piece of the solid food you added to introduce her to the new taste. She may refuse to eat it initially but with some coaxing, she can definitely be encouraged to try it. If she still doesn’t want to eat it, don’t push her as it could cause an aversion towards the food.
One food item at a time
Some toddlers have high sensory sensitivity and need to be offered a particular food item many times before they take a liking to it. Make sure she’s comfortable with eating one type of food before starting with another.
Things to Remember When Introducing Textured Food
- Toddlers can find it a little hard to swallow textured food and may even gag or vomit a little. You need to stay calm in such a situation and let your child know this is perfectly fine. Offer her pureed food or reduce the texture to make it easier to eat.
- Children of different ages have different sensitivity to foods. A 12-month-old baby’s food texture sensitivity will be higher than that of a 2-year-old, so feed your child items she can easily chew and swallow.
- Praise your toddler when she eats a particular food. Your encouragement means a lot to her and can really motivate her to adapt faster in order to please you.
- If she still refuses to try solid food, you may need to consult a doctor. Texture eating disorders in toddlers can be rectified and a professional will show you how.
Introducing new foods to toddlers can be quite hard. However, with time most kids learn to eat with much ado. Keep trying and encouraging your baby to take a liking to different foods.
How did you introduce textured food to your own child? Do share your valuable ideas and experiences and help fellow moms!