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February 2017

The Tr ansitional Eater


SEMI- SOLIDANDSOLIDS eat ing
compet ency
Swit ching t o Tabl eFoods

W hen a child r eaches the age of 8-15 m onths, they w ill begin
joining the r est of the fam ily at r egular m ealtim es. This typically consists of 3 m ain m eals + 2
snacks. These young childr en w ill begin lear ning about new
sem i-solid and solid foods and how to get them fr om the plate,
into their m ouths!
At this tim e in a child's
life, they ar e ver y m uch
DIVIDED so in tune w ith their
RESPONSIBILITY instinctual eating habits.
That is, they under stand
W hile a child is still
w hen they ar e hungr y
lear ning how to eat as
w ell as w hat they enjoy and w hen they ar e
eating, it is im por tant to satisfied. They w ill
r em em ber that ther e is
divided r esponsibility com m unicate this in
betw een the var ious w ays, in attem pt to help you under stand w hat they ar e
par ent/car egiver and the feeling dur ing the m eal tim e. If a child is not hungr y or is feeling
child. The full, they w ill show num er ous cues. These cues m ay include:
par ent/car egiver is
r esponsible for offer ing - Cover ing or blocking their m outh w ith their hands
inviting, healthy m eals. - Tur ning their head aw ay fr om their plate
The child is r esponsible
- Keeping their m outh closed
for deciding if they ar e
hungr y, w hat they w ould - Show ing signs of ir r itation (cr ying, fussing)
like to eat, and how m uch It is im por tant to r espect the cues that ar e expr essed by the child,
they w ould like to eat. show ing that they ar e under stood and they ar e in contr ol of w hat
This division of and how m uch that they eat.
r esponsibility is vital to
developing eating W hile this child is lear ning how to feed them selves, r em em ber to
com petency. show them that they ar e in contr ol. Allow the child to eat nothing
at all or their entir e plate of food- as long as it is their decision
and they ar e not pr essur ed to eat.
February 2017

Eating w ith Toddler s


LEARNINGNEWFOODS eat ing
compet ency
AToddl er 's Food Jour ney
W hen a child r eaches the age of ar ound 2-3 year s old, they
w ill begin eating table foods that ar e sim ilar , if not the sam e
as the m eal that the entir e fam ily w ill be eating. This food m ay be
chopped sm aller , have a little less spices, or any other alter ations
to m ake it m or e
appealing and safe for
a child to consum e. At
DIVIDED this age, a child m ay be
RESPONSIBILITY eating w ith utensils, as
w ell as their finger s. This
W hile a child is still
lear ning how to eat as is nor m al and is sim ply a
w ell as w hat they enjoy w ay for childr en to
eating, it is im por tant to
becom e m or e fam iliar
r em em ber that ther e is
divided r esponsibility w ith the foods they ar e eating, and slow ly tr ansition into using
betw een the utensils only.
par ent/car egiver and the Ther e ar e im por tant consider ations w hen sitting dow n to a m eal
child. The w ith a toddler :
par ent/car egiver is
r esponsible for offer ing - M ake sur e the toddler has appr opr iate seating ar r angem ents so
inviting, healthy m eals. that they can com for tably feed them selves at the table
The child is r esponsible - Tr y not to pr essur e a child to eat. Allow them to eat at their ow n
for deciding if they ar e pace until they have declar ed that they ar e full
hungr y, w hat they w ould
like to eat, and how m uch - Engage in conver sation at the table, allow ing the toddler to
they w ould like to eat. independently focus on their ow n plate and food
This division of - Avoid using the "clean your plate" r ule; allow the child to
r esponsibility is vital to deter m ine how m uch they feel like they need to eat
developing eating
- W hen a child is done eating, help them clear their plate and set
com petency.
them up w ith an activity or som ething else to focus on or do. This
show s that eating is dur ing a specific m ealtim e and w hen they
ar e done, the m eal is over.

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