I thought it would be a few years before I saw baby A graduating but then, she’s always done things a little bit early…
Last week we travelled to Birmingham to see my little girl graduate from her year on Hipp Organic’s Wean Team, complete with gown and cap! (How cute are they? !)
When we first joined the wean team, she was only 4 months old and the year has flown by. It’s been full of firsts – her first taste, her first steps and her first birthday – and it’s been brilliant to see her personality develop.
She has changed so much over that year and so have her needs – both developmentally and nutritionally. She has gone from being breastfed, to drinking hydrolysed dairy free formula, to oat milk. She now enjoys a full and varied diet and eats more than J most days!
There have been many challenges along the way as we tried to figure out her allergies (dairy, egg, sesame and chilli) and then found she also couldn’t tolerate soya milk. But through a little bit of trial and error, taking a step back and approaching weaning slowly we have found what works.
The wean team graduation was a great chance to talk about toddler nutrition with Hipp Organic’s nutritionist, Helen. Obviously I’ve been through it once with J but it’s always good to hear more advice and also be reassured that you’re not the only one with a fussy eater! Here’s what we learnt:
Food refusal is a normal part of toddler development and I remember J going from eating everything to being very fussy, and he still is.
Keep offering them new food as it can take up to 10 times for them try or like it.
Toddlers’ stomachs are only about a third of the size of an adult but they need nearly three times as many calories per kg of body weight.
Their food needs to be energy and nutrient dense but try not to worry about how much they are eating as most toddlers will self regulate.
It’s also important to give them a supplement. We do this as baby A doesn’t get as much nutrition from her dairy and egg free diet but it is mainly important so they get enough vitamin D.
I have become acutely aware of my children’s diets because of all their restrictions but still worry I am not providing them with the best nutrition. I think it is easy to overthink it though and as long as they are happy and healthy, and you are not feeding them too much salt and sugar, most of us are doing OK!
Hipp Organic have some useful guides about dealing with fussy eaters and toddler portion sizes over on their website as well a range of different products perfect for weaning. And not forgetting the much loved Duck handwash, part of their new freefrom baby care range, which has become a firm favourite in our house!