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Feeding Your One-Year-Old

Feeding an older baby can be challenging. The following tips help make the job easier.

  • Your baby loves to learn new tricks and show off. If you make her the same food you are eating, you will probably see a new side of your baby.

  • Babies begin to use a cup around one year of age. Some can hold it themselves, and some just need a little help. Either way, once you show them how, they will probably want to do it themselves.

  • Don't give your baby juice with sugar late in the day or in the middle of the night. Besides not being good for her teeth, it will wake her up and/or keep her awake. On the flip side, if your baby is grouchy when she wakes up, give her a little bit of orange juice right away. This will help her over the hump. Orange juice is great for preventing colds, too.

  • Petroleum jelly is a great barrier cream for your baby's face when you are introducing her to more acidic foods, such as oranges and spaghetti sauce. Just use a small amount and be sure to keep the jelly off your clothes, because it stains. To remedy a stain, douse the area in baby powder and let it stand until the powder dissolves. Do it again and again until the powder remains. This means the wetness is mostly removed. Your item will be ready to wash, or the powder will simply wipe off with little or no stain remaining.

  • Don't wait to instill a love of home in your baby. Make family recipes such as grandma's secret spaghetti sauce, mom's cinnamon rolls, or dad's pancakes; or make a tradition of roasting a chicken every Sunday. You'll be glad you did. Long after your baby is grown up, he will come home because he wants to taste mom and dad's home-cooked meals again...so think ahead.

  • Some babies eat and eat and gain weight slowly, and some eat less and gain weight rapidly. It's in the genes. I'm certain I got the wrong ones.

  • Some foods are very real choking hazards for babies this age. Keep grapes, popcorn, hot dogs, hard candy, long spaghetti, and hard chips away from your baby!

  • One of the first signs that baby is ready to wean completely off of the breast or bottle is when he's still hungry after he drinks his milk.

  • No soda or caffeine for baby.

  • Limit any fried foods and/or spicy sauces. These types of foods can give baby unbearable gas.

  • Freezing your leftovers is great, but never refreeze leftovers after they have thawed out.

  • It's not good to mix foods that baby strongly dislikes with those he likes. He'll probably just end up disliking both. Notice what your baby likes and expand from there.

  • Don't offer too many choices for foods in the beginning. Stick with one thing at a time.

  • If baby likes cereals, feel confident moving towards soft crackers, breads, noodles, and other things that she can pick up on her own.

  • Try using a little cup, such as the ones from children's medicine bottles, when helping baby make the transition from bottle to cup. They hold just a little fluid and are fun for the baby to hold and learn with—miniatures of things that adults use are usually attractive to babies.

  • Children go through growth spurts for years. If your baby normally picks at food and suddenly seems hungry after every meal, get ready to go shopping! She is probably getting ready to grow again.

  • Some babies fuss when their hands and face get dirty. Notice if baby acts the same way around messy foods like mashed potatoes or soups. If so, try drier foods like toast.

  • Don't forget to introduce pizza! Just be sure to take off the stringy cheese because it is a choking hazard. Just keep in mind that some babies are very particular and don't like certain marinara sauces, especially if it's tangy.

  • Remember, babies like to do things themselves, so if she isn't eating well, simply try letting her do it herself.



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Copyright © 2006 by Jeanne Murphy. Excerpted from And Baby Turns One with permission of its publisher, Sourcebooks, Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon.com.


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