Your Baby Developmental Milestones
Learn all the baby cues. Know when your little one is ready to explore more variety of food or feed on bigger bits of food, based on their milestones.
Baby ready for weaning? Look for these cues to know if your baby is ready!
Starts to keep her head stable
Sits up with support
Still loses balance & rolls over
Grasps for things voluntarily
Pushes herself up with straight arms & can turn her head to look around while on tummy
- Uses tongue to move food back to swallow
- Uses swallow reflex to swallow once food is in back of throat.
- Recognizes a spoon when it's time to eat.
By the age of 6 months, your baby has usually at least doubled his or her birth weight and is becoming more active. Exclusive breastfeeding would no longer be enough for your baby to meet all the energy and nutrients needed. Hence, it is important to make sure that your baby is getting the energy and nutrients that he requires at this time to support his overall growth
Iron Rich Foods
Ex: Iron-fortified rice cereal, animal source foods (chicken, meat, fish)
Your baby has the highest growth rate between 6 months to 2 years, and iron needs are higher than any other period of life!
Pulses – Peas, beans, lentils
Good sources of protein and iron
Fruits & Vegetables – Carrot, pumpkin, papaya, dark-green vegetables
Rich in Vitamin C to help with iron absorption
Begin by introducing one single ingredient food at a time, for example iron-fortified infant rice cereal.
Doing so allow parents to identify any allergic responses or food intolerances.
Offer a variety of food from different food groups in pureed texture.
Watch for these cues to know if your baby is ready to explore more variety of food!
Sits in a high chair without help
Squeezes objects, and doesn't just grasp them
Has more control over her hands
Uses fingers to drag things towards her
- Uses upper lip to help clear food off spoon
- Begins chewing movements using up & down jaw "munching"
- Drinks from a cup, but may not hold it on her own
At this stage, your baby has probably had his first taste of solid food by now. Introduction of Infant cereals and pureed baby foods are helping to develop his eating skills. As your baby show more acceptance to new food being introduced to him, combination of ingredients can be introduced now to allow new flavours and textures to be discovered!
Add different foods! Different taste!
You can help your baby to learn to accept more flavours and provide a well-balanced diet by offering a variety of nourishing food
You baby may also begin her teething journey sometime at this point. Biscuit / Teethers rusk can also be given at this time to massage baby’s tender gums. This can also provide chewing practice and encourage your baby to feed themselves
Whole Nuts / Seeds
Imposes a risk of choking
Avoid giving your baby honey before the age of 12 months, as honey contain a type of bacteria which can produce toxins in baby’s intestines and cause serious illness (infant botulism)
Salt / Sugar
As your baby’s kidneys are not fully developed, avoid adding any salt to food. Sugar on the other hand, may encourage a sweet tooth and lead to tooth decay.
Watch for these cues to know if your baby is ready to eating bigger bits of food!
Crawls with tummy off the ground
May pull herself up to a stand
Gets her hands on everything in sight
- Can begin to experience more texture, but not equipped to handle it separately within the mouth
- Moves food side to side with tongue to the jawline for mashing & chewing
Can hold spoons and cups with lids, but not necessarily for self-feeding
Begin to self-feed with fingers
At this stage, texture added to your baby’s food previously was well-tolerated and food has never been a more important part of your little one’s diet. As your baby’s oral skills and hand-eye coordination developed, they’re moving closer to being able to feed themselves, either with their hands or a spoon.
Mash food with a fork to create texture!
Offer various kind of texture for your baby to explore!
It can be a whole messy process when your baby is learning how to eat! Your baby sees you eating and wants to join the fun, but they can’t quite yet. At this time, your baby is learning how to mash their food, hold a spoon and tell different foods apart. Messy but exciting!
Watch for these cues to know if your baby is an independent eater now!
Stands alone and begins to walk alone
Walks with feet wide apart and toes pointed out
Can self-feed with fingers
Begins exploring using utensils
Begins to dip spoon rather than scoop
May start to drink through a straw
Able to bite through a variety of textures
At this stage, your mini me is becoming more independent, insisting on doing everything on their own, feeding themselves. Your toddler is now ready to eat almost anything, as long as it is chopped up. Your toddler’s digestive system is ready to accept a good variety of solids to meet his increasing nutrient and calorie needs.
Cereal / Grains
Meat / Fish
In general, your toddler at this stage should be having 3 – 4 meals a day. Depending on your child’s appetite, 1 – 2 snacks may be offered.
¾ small bowl of oat cereal or 1 -2 pcs of biscuits and 1 small cup of whole milk
½ or ¾ small bowl of rice, ½ palm size of protein, with 2 – 3 tbsp of veggies, ½ pcs of watermelon wedge
½ or ¾ small bowl of noodles, ½ palm size of protein, with 2 – 3 tbsp of veggies, ½ or ¼ pcs of orange
Snacks may be required between meals. Example of snacks:1 serving of Gerber® Organic Lil' Crunchies that provides 2g of protein!
We got you mommy! Worry not as it is quite normal for your toddler to be refusing food occasionally. Most toddlers become less open to trying new foods / reject foods they liked before. This is completely normal!
Your toddler rejects unfamiliar foods for the first time they are offered. Mommy should continue to offer small portion of these food without comments for toddler to become familiar and accept them.
Don’t force your toddler to eat! When refused to eat, simply remove food and plate without comment. Try not to worry as for most toddlers, this will be a passing phase.
Praise your toddler when they try everything and allow them to stop when they have had enough.
Keep your toddler with a regular mealtime routine! Avoid frequent snacking between meals or feeding time which is too close to mealtime as these can reduce their appetite for main meals.
Eat together with your toddler at the family table during mealtimes! This gives them opportunity to enjoy meals with family and encourages them to eat as they see others doing the same. After all toddles are great imitators at this stage!
Watch for these feeding cues before you enforce “finish your plate” rule on your preschooler!
Get interested when it's time to eat
Search out specific foods in kitchen that they like
Seem easily tired & irritable if they get too hungry
Willing to go to the meal table without a lot of fuss
Not interested with what's on the plate
Verbalise in words that they are done
Unwilling to go to meal table if they’re not hungry
Leave the table on their own
Now that your tiny little one is a “big kid” (or at least this is what they think they are) and have the power to say “no” to certain foods. They even become pickier about some foods as they figure out what they like. Did you know that it is actually a normal step in your Preschooler’s emotional and social development to want to control their food? And your role here is to offer healthy choices at every meal and snack time, even if they refuse to, because patience is key!
Fruits & Veggies for vitamins & minerals
Studies found that Vitamin E, Vitamin D and Potassium are commonly lacking in Preschooler’s diet – hence, the importance of fruits & vegetables!
More fish for healthy Omega-3 fats
Don’t forget about the fish when it comes to high quality protein & healthy fats! Choose low in mercury fish (e.g. salmon, tilapia, canned tuna). For plant-based option, seeds are your best friend! Chia seeds, flax seed, hemp seeds are great sources of omega-3 fats!
Variety of dairy for calcium
As Asians, we may not be a big fan of fresh milk, cheese or yogurt, but offering them at a young age helps to build their healthy eating habits.
Whole Grains for fiber
Look for “whole grain” on food label, and don’t forget whole grain versions of rice, bread, pasta! Bye constipation!
Healthy Fats for brain development
Yeap, the commonly known DHA, AA are healthy polyunsaturated fats. Prepare foods with vegetable oils or offer food like avocado or fish for healthy fats! Offer food like avocado or fish for healthy fats!
In general, your preschooler (2 – 4 years old) should be having 3 main meals a day, plus 1 or 2 nutritious snacks between meals to meet his daily recommended calorie intake.
*Note: Fat and sugar caloric values have been included into the total calorie intake per day
What is ONE serving size?
Bread = 2 Slices
Plain Biscuit Slice = 6 Slices
Rice, Cooked / Rice Noodles = 1 Small Bowl (≈200g)
Apple, Kiwi, Pear, Orange = 1 Medium Size (Whole)
Papaya, Watermelon = 1 Wedge
Fish/Meat/Poultry = 1 Palm Size (≈70g)
Beans/Legumes/Lentils, cooked = 1 Small Bowl (≈200g)
Cheese = 1 Slice
Yogurt = 1 Cup
Milk, powdered (heaped) = 4 Dessert Spoon (≈40g)
What do you do when your Preschooler only wants pasta for dinner every night? Picky eating may be a common issue as it’s a part of their growing process but how you cultivate their healthy eating habits NOW play a big role in influencing how he eat as an adult later in their life.
Let them explore their food!
As much as you want to keep the space clean and tidy, young children often need to look, touch, smell and taste the food before eating it. Even if it gets messy, let them explore their food (even if it means playing) and they will eventually learn to eat it too.
Develop positive feeding style
How you feed your child is equally important as what you feed them. Set regular times to offer main meals and snacks. Having a routine give them structure, which help your child to stay in tune with their own eating hunger and fullness cues.
A child will follow your example
Remember when you accidentally fell, and they pretend to fall as well? Yeap. Be a good role model to them and eat foods even if you don’t like them. When you set an example of healthy eating habits, they will most likely do the same too.
Watch their hunger and fullness cues
They are not in a mood to eat? Okay, don’t force them. Try asking what is the food served on the plate. Stir up some vocabulary game to keep up their interest. Remember, it’s your job to provide nutritious food at regular meal and snack times, but your child should decide whether and how much to eat.
Out of sight, out of mind
Managing sweets and treats by keeping them “out of sight” and “out of mind” may works when they are younger. As they gets older and may begin to ask for sweets, find ways to include them as part of a healthy balanced diet. Just be careful to set limits when you do have sweets around and don’t leave them in a place that tempts your child to fixate on them.