It’s a great goal to introduce your baby to a few different new foods a week, and to continue regular new introductions through toddlerhood. That said, sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances (oh hi Covid!) or grocery store availability, a number of new foods might not be in the cards for a given week. When that happens, there are lots of ways you can mix up some common staples in your home to increase variety for your little one.
Why does it matter?
Why is this worth considering? Kids tend to fall into one of two categories when they’re served the same foods frequently – they either latch on to that food and refuse to have it a different way, OR more commonly get tired of it and what was previously a food your little one loved (called a “safe” food) becomes a no-thank-you food hurled onto the floor. It also helps keep that food in a toddler’s diet from a nutrition perspective. It’s not the end of the world if your little one decides they don’t like hard boiled eggs if they happily eat them in an omelet or scrambled.
Ways to Mix It Up
Here are some ways to mix up some really common staples for babies:
- Sweet potato – Try different colors (orange, purple, white, Japanese/yellow), baked, roasted strips as “fries”, shredded in hash browns, or in baked goods.
- Avocado – In strips with different coatings such as coconut flakes, nutritional yeast or ground flax, cut with a crinkle cutter, mashed with hard boiled egg, spread on toast, in mild guacamole.
- Eggs – Hard boiled, scrambled with different veggie add-ins, fried with a broken/cooked yolk, in a frittata, omelet or made into avocado egg salad.
- Chicken – drumstick, poached/shredded thighs, with a sauce, ground in a meatball, battered with a ground nut or coconut breading.
- Yogurt – plain, with thawed frozen or quartered berries mixed in, mixed with peanut butter, with “bits” like hemp seeds, different milks like goat, cow and coconut.
The Real Food Baby goes into more depth on how to prepare these foods and so, so many more in the context of simple meal prep and meals you cook for your family so you can avoid the rut of serving the same foods over and over. If you’re just getting started, grab a seat at my free Baby-led Weaning 101 Workshop!