This week on the show, we welcome Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, MS, RD, LDN, CPT. Sylvia is an award-winning author and founder of Hispanic Food Communications, Inc, a nutrition and food communications consulting company. She’s also a regular contributor to outreach activities on behalf of the Hass Avocado Board and uses her in-depth culinary and cultural expertise to introduce new strategies for wellness to an increasingly health-conscious population.
Sylvia walks us through strategies and tips on how to introduce our toddlers to solid food and how we can create good patterns from an early age to help our children become great eaters. Here are a couple of snippets and tips from the interview:
“Don’t be the clean-up plate mom because that promotes over-eating.”
“the simpler the meal, probably the healthier it will be”
“It’s the combination of foods that makes things powerful”
Tips on how to Introduce your toddler to solid foods
- As moms, we need to choose food products that are nutrient dense. Meaning, foods low in sugar and rich in multiple nutrients. Example: Avocados have potassium, fiber, good fats, folate and much more.
- Add variety in your child’s meals! Switch things up in their lunch boxes. Having variety makes sure that our child gets a wide selection of nutrients from different foods.
- Kids like neutral flavors, soft textures and foods that don’t touch each other. Example: Avocados are very mild tasting and soft at touch. Also, all dips and salad dressings should be packed separately in their lunch boxes.
- Always check with your pediatrician first when it’s time to introduce your toddler to solid foods.
- We need to be very patient. Start one food at a time consult your pediatrician to avoid allergies.
- Serving style! Slices versus mashing makes a huge difference when you serve them to your child. Make it fun for them! Have them mash their own avocados.
- Don’t add seasonings, such as sugar and salt. Let your child get familiar with the foods naturally.
Tips on creating healthy habits from the start
- Introduce nutrient foods by masking it! Incorporate within soups, dips, spaghetti sauce.
- We need to make dinner time peaceful. Don't make a big deal about eating healthy. Set up a good example yourself and you will create a good relationship from day one.
- Be creative with your recipes and have your kids join you in the kitchen.