Celebrate another milestone when baby crosses over to toddler-hood upon turning a year old: his transition to adult food. This spells more variety in the family diet now! No more “sacrifices” for you and hubby by frequently lunching on the nutritious but sometimes boring nilagang baka and tinolang manok from which you got potatoes, papaya, or sayote to mash when he was younger. As Marikina City Health Center’s Nutritionist-Dietitian 2 Eileen Guevara emphatically says, “No more infant food at this age.”
However, common sense dictates that you still can’t let him eat everything (no kinilaw or iced tea yet, please). Besides, some tots try your patience and not eat what you painstakingly prepared, especially if they’re unfamiliar with the new textures and tastes. Does that mean you’ll turn into a short-order cook because the baby won’t or can’t eat the adult foods you’ve been missing? No need. With a little creativity, you can save time, energy and money (and sneak in some veggies, too) by serving the same dish to the grown-ups and the growing youngster.
• Craving Caldereta? Your one-year-old will agree with Guevara, who says spicy foods are not for toddlers yet, as these can irritate a kid’s digestive system. So set aside a portion of the meat, some un-spicy sauce, and the vegetables before you add your fiery-hot flavorings. Will baby actually try it? Rely on the familiar taste of potato, with just a little twist this time, to convince him; meanwhile, he’ll start getting used to sauces, and new textures (keep cutting the food into tiny bits).
• Kare-kare—are we kidding? No. As long as you’ve established he’s not allergic to peanuts, go ahead and let him savor the newness of peanut sauce. If you’re using ox tripe, include a couple of slices of the more-easily-digestible liempo for the kiddo. But hold the bagoong! Guevara, who’s in-charge of the Infant and Young Child Feeding Program (IYCF) at the center, says the absolute no-nos for kids are the too salty and too sweet foods. What about digestibility? At this age, he can better digest a wider range of foods. It’s the quantity you have to monitor, so give toddler portions for his still-small stomach.
• Fish in sweet and sour sauce. Just make sure you’ve thoroughly picked the bones from the fish. Afraid he won’t take to the sourness? Guevara advises, “Parents shouldn’t minimize children’s opportunities to learn new tastes by limiting the kinds of foods they try. Let him sample it and find out for himself if he likes it. There will be less chance he’ll be a picky eater later.”