In this parenting tips video on how to give your infant the best balanced diet.
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Giving Your Baby a Balanced Diet Host: 16-month-old Alice has her days filled. There are toys to attend to, books to read in English and in French. Alice also makes time for dancing. A balanced diet keeps her going. Brigid Malone-Hu: She’s burning all this energy, runs around all day long. So she needs fuel, and that’s how I look at it. Food is fuel for this little person growing. Host: On the menu today—eggs, soy sausage and bananas. Brigid Malone-Hu: Alice loves bananas. She also loves brown rice, loves any kind of beans. She loves all that stuff. Host: Philippe Hu was raised with French cuisine; Bridget, American. Together, they focus on offering Alice a wide variety of foods from all the food groups. They’re also building a healthy meal time ritual. Brigid Malone-Hu: She eats what we eat; it’s really easy. And we make sure that we’re all eating as a family as much as possible around the table, so all meals are at the table. I found that even when she’s ready to get up and getting a little anxious, if she sees you sitting and eating, more often than not she’ll chill out, sit, eat and still nibble and pick. Host: Incorporating water with meals is one way to improve a child’s appetite for solids. Pediatricians say giving toddlers too much milk or juice can curb their appetite. In fact, liquids can provide an entire day’s worth of calories. Frequent snacking adds to the problem. William Klish: In the modern-day society, the scheduling of snacks seems to have disappeared. Children are walking around with their sippy cup in one hand and their little bag of finger foods in the other hand. That’s creating a problem because I think children are losing the ability to eat in an appropriate way based on hunger. Host: When toddlers eat, they should be supervised at the table and sitting upright for safety. Opt for a soft, flexible plastic utensils specifically designed for children. And to help ensure healthy eating habits, here are some extra table tips for toddlers. Try to schedule three small meals and two snacks a day. These should be supervised. Limit fruit juice to no more than six ounces a day, making sure it’s pasteurized. Limit cow’s milk to about 16 ounces a day using whole milk before the age of two. Limit sugar, salt and spices. Too much sugar and salt can be unhealthy. And young children are more sensitive to spicy food. Avoid choking hazards like whole grapes, peanuts, popcorn, raw carrots, tough meats, whole hotdogs, chewing gum or hard candy. Mash or cut food into small pieces. Test temperatures to avoid burns. Microwaving heats unevenly, so mix these dishes before testing. Offer a variety of foods, even new foods eventually get sampled. And don’t force kids to eat. Keeping meal time positive has worked well for Alice. She generally eats everything on her plate. Philippe Hu: We have to be patient first of all because sometimes, she’s in a playing mood and when you speak in tongue, she’s not quite ready for that. So you have to be a little bit patient. Host: If your child is a picky eater, don’t panic. Instead of looking at each meal, look at what they eat over the course of a week. Many toddlers will eat just one solid meal a day and pick out the rest. This is normal. If your child is active and growing, chances are they’re doing fine.