Baby feeding stages from 1 to 3 years old
From one year, the child discovers all aspects of food: his meals are varied and he will soon eat without help. But his meals must always be adapted. The point on food between one and three years.
Between one and three years old, children make many discoveries about taste and food. It is essential to accompany him in the stages of his taste explorations.
Discovering the pieces
From 10 or 12 months, the child is interested in the contents of his plate and wants to touch the food. Around his first birthday, he is able to chew small pieces (milled texture) efficiently thanks to his first molars.
He is very intrigued by these pieces he discovers on his plate. He seizes them, grinds them, puts them in his mouth. He tries to take the spoon from his mother's hands. He uses his fingers to eat, plays with the food, mixes it and spreads it. He experiments with the spoon and flips it over his tongue. The content rarely reaches its destination and parents' patience is sometimes put to the test! His first attempts quickly come to an end. Everything falls to the ground. It is just as important to let it be as to protect the table with an oilcloth.
Gradually, the child will develop his skill and around 15-18 months, he is able to eat on his own with a spoon. As soon as this stage is reached, the parents must avoid giving him food themselves. They should help him if he encounters some difficulties, but not do it systematically. The child is likely to get used to it and around 2 years old, it will be difficult to force him to eat alone again.
The discovery of chewing
The child of 12 or 14 months eats usually installed in a small seat (high chair or recliner) facing the adult. From 16 months, he sits well on a small chair and begins to have a satisfactory hand-mouth coordination to eat alone even if he still needs help sometimes. Installed at the table, you have to help him, according to his motor skills, to grab the spoon, put it in his mouth and finish his plate.
The discovery of new consistencies continues with the introduction of raw vegetables and pulses.
New chewing possibilities are acquired with the appearance of canines (18 months) and second molars (24 months). The dental equipment then makes it possible to chew firm foods, without them being hard. It is therefore necessary to adapt the diet, in particular with regard to the texture of the food. Grinding and cutting food into small pieces is very important. Fruits, vegetables, meat and fish must be mixed, crushed or ground until the age of 2 years.
The discovery of autonomy
From 20 or 24 months, the child begins to be relatively independent. The meal becomes a highlight of the day. The small pieces follow the moulinés. These are very pleasant moments when the child is all about the pleasure of eating alone and sharing and talking around a table.
But, if the development of intelligence and motor skills go hand in hand with that of taste and tactile sensations, we must also take into account the expression of a personal will: it is the age of whims, of the refusal to certain foods, even the systematic refusal to eat, and parents must be prepared for this in order to know how to behave without making mistakes.
At this age, the child will have a diet that is closer and closer to that of his parents. It is essential that, following the example of his parents, the young child learns to taste more and more different foods and to eat in a balanced way. The child learns by imitation and the role of the parents is fundamental here.
Finally, it is necessary to remind parents who are in too much of a hurry that the acquisition of oral cleanliness (salivary continence thanks to the occlusion of the lips) and the coordinated use of the tools of the table takes a total of 4 to 6 years and that it it is unreasonable to ask for them beforehand.
What foods from 1 to 3 years old?
Always at least 500 ml of 2nd age milk (or follow-on milk), per day up to 1 year (or even beyond). After 1 year, do not exceed 800 ml of growing-up milk (and other dairy products). Note: dairy products (yogurts, cottage cheese, etc.), given from time to time, can be taken into account in the assessment of daily milk intake but they should not completely replace infant milk. Preferably use dairy products "intended for young children" up to 18 months: they are enriched with iron, vitamins and essential fatty acids. You can also start giving some cheese.
Fruits and vegetables every day: vary the fruits and textures (sauce, crushed fruit, pieces, etc.)
Cereal products every day: rice, pasta, bread, wheat, semolina...
A portion of about 25 to 40 g of meat per day, or fish (1 to 2 times per week) or 1/2 egg (1 per week).
A little fat, favoring those of vegetable origin.