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Feeding tips for successful transitions

Trying a new food or liquid doesn’t have to mean that your child will take to liking it on the first presentation. The goal is to build familiarity and comfort!

Change can be challenging, especially when it comes to feeding and eating. For some children, switching from a bottle to a cup, from breast milk to formula or from one group of foods to another can be a bumpy road. Here are some tips to smooth the way:

  • Mix small amounts of a new food with a large amount of a preferred liquid or food. The ratio of new to old is gradually increased over time.
  • Providing meals and snacks seated at a table, in a safety seat or highchair at regular intervals throughout the day creates hunger, establishes predictability and you have four to six opportunities for making new foods or liquids attractive to your child.
  • Offer choices and give your child as much control as possible.
  • Be aware of what you say and what you communicate non-verbally.
  • Be playful with food – this builds familiarity and comfort.
  • Try to stick to one strategy.

Angela Haas, MA, CCC-SLP