At 12 months of age my toddler is happy to eat the same healthy meal as the rest of the family.
Yes: By 12 months, your child will be able to have the same foods as the rest of the family. Simply adapt the family meal to suit everyone. Encourage your child to eat with you and/or the rest of the family as children learn by imitating others, especially caring adults.
No: I would not recommend cooking a separate meal for your toddler and the rest of the family. Little ones need to join in with the rest of the family and role model our behaviour. Also, although toddlers love repetition, giving them the same food every day does not expose them to different tastes, colours and flavours. Children need a wide variety of foods to maintain a well-balanced diet.
Tips for family meal times:
- Before seasoning the family meal with spices, salt and pepper, remove a small portion for your child
- Chop larger meats, such as chicken and fish portions into small manageable bite sized pieces
- Share meal times as a family as much as possible to provide healthy eating role models
Expose your children to different tastes and textures by serving them healthy food that your family eats all the time. Being a role model when it comes to eating food can help your child develop healthy eating habits.