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  • Writer's pictureMidwife Pip

Weaning and Feeding Toddlers

Updated: Jan 2

Midwife Pip Podcast Episode 86.

Oh Toddlers, delightful little curious beings with more sass than most of us parents

can handle. As our babies grow into toddlers, food becomes increasingly important

and prominent in their lives which may throw us some challenges as we navigate the

next steps in their weaning journey.

Listen HERE

Weaning and Feeding Toddlers

Overall, I love weaning and watching my little boy explore food BUT it is also

something I have put a lot of thought into on our journey because I feel the power of

creating healthy habits early is so important in trying to set our little people up for

healthy and nourishing futures.

On this blog I want to share some of the top tips I have picked up on my journey so

far that I hope you will find equally as useful…

Weaning and Feeding Toddlers

Offer variety early on:

There is research suggesting from 6-12 months babies are more likely to accept and

try new flavours and foods so optimising this time with an abundance of variety may

help your child enjoy them as they get older and even as an adult. Let’s face it, we

are all up for raising little ones that are not ‘picky eaters’ so variety gets a thumbs up

from me!

Babies are also known to naturally prefer sweet tastes and milk is typically sweet too

so getting in there early with savoury, bitter flavours such as your green

veggies, is a good idea.

More variety of course allows the opportunity for your baby to eat more of a range of

nutrients, vitamins. and minerals which can only be a great thing.

When starting out with weaning you may have begun with very smooth and thin

foods and purees for your little one, it is then important to progress onto different

textures when they are ready. This will vary for each baby or toddler, but a nice

guide is to watch and notice when your child is easily managing to eat a certain

texture and at that point gradually increasing the thickness and texture a little each

time. Offering finger foods is a great way of your baby exploring different tastes and

textures too. Baby led weaning involves your baby leading the way and learning

about their own appetite regulation, some parents opt to only use finger foods in a

baby led approach whereas others will use a combination.

What is the deal with Food Throwing?

At one stage this was probably my most Googled phrase as my son redecorated our

dining room with bolognaise and I am yet to meet a parent whose child doesn’t find

throwing food great fun too.

Charlotte talks about this is more depth on Episode 86 of Midwife Pip Podcast but

she recommends being consistent with how you manage food throwing. So when

thrown, pick it up and repeat the same phrase each time, something along the lines

of “that’s not what we do with food, if you don’t want it, put it on the table” after 3

pick-ups the food is gone, I really like the 3 limit otherwise I feel you could have a

long game on your hands that your little one finds much too fun!

Having a ‘don’t want’ pile on the table or tray for the thrown food to go into may also

help and not giving the throwing action too much attention, in fact as little attention

as possible is recommended.

Taking a step back and seeing if your little one is trying to communicate something

by throwing- perhaps they are just trying to get your attention, are bored at the table,

or are full up.

Managing Fussy Eating:

It may be reassuring to know that around half of toddlers go through a fussy eating

stage at some point.

Eating as a family, the same meal and role modelling haves been shown to help

reduce fussy eating in little ones.

Have a routine around mealtimes so you can ensure your little one is hungry enough

and ready to eat.

Avoid distractions such as having the TV on in the background at mealtimes.

Make mealtimes fun and minimise any stress… this may include more mess but

playing with food is a really important part of eating for babies and toddlers.

How to cope with food allergies:

It is natural that should your little one has allergies to foods that you feel a little

anxious around weaning and feeding. If you have any uncertainties about how to

manage their allergies it is really important to speak with your health care practitioner

for guidance and to ensure all your questions are answered. Understanding food

labels so you can easily ascertain what is and is not appropriate for your baby can

also help to put your mind at ease.

Another consideration with weaning and feeding toddlers is to ensure they are

getting enough of key nutrients to thrive, I really recommend heading over to: where you can learn more about the importance of

Iron, Vitamin D, Calcium and much more in your little ones diet. It is must know and

evidence based information so check it out.

For more on Weaning and Feeding a Toddler‘ listen to Midwife Pip Podcast Episode 86 HERE.

Available on all Podcast Platforms.

"This week I am joined by the wonderful Charlotte Stirling Reed who you may have

listened to on my podcast before where we discussed the first steps in weaning your

baby on Episode 59. Charlotte is an award-winning expert in the area of weaning

and feeding, as a Registered Nutritionist who has supported thousands of families

with feeding their little ones."

with love from Midwife Pip

p.s. have you checked out Midwife Pips Courses

The Author: Midwife Pip

Midwife Pip

Pip is a Mum, Podcaster and practicing Midwife in the UK, currently working as a Delivery Suite Sister she has a wealth of experience supporting parents-to-be through all aspects of pregnancy, birth and the postpartum. Pip has trained and worked in some of the leading maternity units, has completed a master's programme and is passionate about all aspects of women's health and wellness.

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