If variety is the “spice of life,” why not introduce variety into your baby and toddler’s diet?
Seeds are Super Foods. Think about it: an entire plant grows from a little tiny seed. So seeds must be packed with nutrients. Seeds should be ground thoroughly into a course powder for maximum digestion and mixed into another food like yogurt. Feed immediately after grinding, as with flax seeds above. Don’t forget about pumpkins seeds! They are high in zinc content and lots of other goodies for your body. Mix ground seeds into yogurt, sauces, and dips. Complete seeds that have not been ground or chewed very well may pass through the body whole. Our purpose here is to feed our bodies, not the toilet.
Dips are fun, but messy, of course. Babies and Toddlers LOVE to dip so let your child eat them with her fingers. Give your child a tiny bowl or a stainless steel sauce cup. (Onyx makes stainless steel plates and bowls that are perfect for this adventure in eating) You’ll find plenty of uses for them. Make healthy dips out of yogurt, applesauce, and homemade salad dressings. Color them with herbs and spices. Parsley is loaded with phytonutrients (nutrients found in minute amounts in plants – phyto meaning plant), so mince it and stir into dips often.
Give your baby a 2-3 inch piece “stick” of fruit or veggie. Partially cook these sticks of food. The stick should be soft enough to bite off a piece, but hard enough to not break apart when baby is holding. Show her how to dip the sticks into sauce and lick it off. Other food sticks for dipping are slightly toasted bread, French toast, or teething biscuits. She can use something hard that she can’t bite a piece off of (may cause choking), such as a hard, fat, thick cold carrot or a piece of a hard bagel shaped like a crescent. Remember, we are learning manual dexterity while eating, not trying to develop Vanderbilt etiquette, so try to go with it. Of course, there is always the good old spoon!
Best of luck with your new knowledge of Finger Foods! Thank you to Dr. Greene for allowing me to share some fun and important information. Visit me on my Facebook page at Super Baby Food!