Feeding Your Little One

March is National Nutrition Month and our team at Plant the Seed of Learning is excited to share feeding tips for families with young children! There are always so many questions that new (and experienced!) parents have about feeding: Should we breastfeed or use formula? Some combination of both? How often should we feed our baby? How do we know when to start solid food? How do I get my picky toddler to eat a variety of foods? What about the good ol’ “Clean Plate Club”? If you’ve asked yourself any of these questions, the resources below are a great starting point for guidance surrounding nutrition for your growing family! Writing down your questions and concerns about feeding and bringing them to your child’s next well-visit is a great way to team up with your doctor to come up with the best plan for your child.


However you choose to feed your baby, surrounding yourself with a support system is key. Find friends or family members who will be encouraging and positive for you as you navigate your baby’s first year! If your baby starts showing interest in what you are eating, can hold his head up, and can use his tongue to move food off a spoon and swallow without pushing food back out, he may be ready to start solid foods. Here are some online resources that address common questions that arise when feeding infants and can help you decide when and how to start solid foods:

Toddlers and Preschoolers:

Mealtimes can be stressful with young children when their eating habits are inconsistent! Maybe it seems like some days your child has a great appetite and other days she barely eats what is on her plate. In this stage of development, toddlers and preschoolers may need to try a new food up to 10 times in order to adopt it as a “preferred” food…so keep trying! Offering at least one food you know your child likes at every meal and then allowing her to decide how much and whether she eats what is on her plate can help her develop a healthy relationship with food. You as the parent still get to be in charge of what to offer, where food will be eaten and how often your child will eat. Sticking to a schedule to avoid “grazing” can help children eat fuller meals at mealtime – and they may be more willing to try new foods since they will be hungry! A good rule of thumb is eating every 2.5-3 hours (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner). Check out the resources below for more mealtime strategies for your toddler or preschooler:

Feeding Resources in Lancaster County:

Questions about how to access local resources mentioned above? Email Meredith Bailey, PTSL’s Family and Community Outreach Specialist, at meredithbailey73@gmail.com for support!