Healthy Tip Tuesday – Good Nutrition Starts Early

The way your child eats now can affect how they eat as they grow, which is why health experts stress the importance of introducing them to healthy foods fro the very beginning.

Healthy Tip Tuesday is brought to you by Trinity Hospital Twin City.

The following information is courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What Foods Should I Introduce to My Child First?

When your child is about 6 months old, you can start introducing him or her to foods and drinks other than breast milk and infant formula. For most children, you don’t need to introduce foods in a specific order.

By the time your child is 7 or 8 months old, he or she can eat a variety of foods from different food groups. Your child needs a variety of vitamins and minerals to grow healthy and strong.

Photo of baby girl in high chair trying broccoli and sweet potatoes for the first time

Try making a rainbow of different colored foods on your child’s plate.

Try making a rainbow of different colored foods on your child’s plate. Here are a few examples:

  • Fruits: bananas, strawberries, pears, oranges, melons, or avocados
  • Vegetables: cooked spinach, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, or beets
  • Whole grains: whole grain breads, crackers, or pastas
  • Meats: soft, small pieces of beef, lamb, chicken, fish, or turkey
  • Dairy: yogurts or cheeses (pasteurized only)

Drinks Matter, Too!

When your child is between 6 and 12 months old, you can offer:

  • Water (4 to 6 ounces per day)
  • Breast milk (if you are still breastfeeding) or infant formula

Once your child is 12 months old, you can begin offering fortified cow’s milk.

Foods to Avoid

There are certain foods and drinks you should avoid giving your child.

If your child is under 12 months, avoid foods and drinks such as:

  • Honey. It could cause a serious type of food poisoning called botulism in children under 12 months.
  • Unpasteurized drinks or foods. These items may put your child at risk for E. coli, a harmful bacteria that can cause severe diarrhea. Common unpasteurized foods include raw milk, juice, yogurt, or cheeses.
  • Fortified cow’s milk. It may put your young child under 12 months old at risk for intestinal bleeding.
  • Fruit juice and other sugary drinks. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children not drink 100% juice or juice drinks with added sweeteners before they are 12 months old.


Photo of mom, dad, and young son eating a healthy breakfast together

Be their role model! Eating a healthy diet sets a good example for your children.

Be Their Role Model

Once your child is 12 months old or older, they’ll be eating more of the foods that you eat. Eating a healthy diet sets a good example for your children.

It’s important for children and adults alike to limit foods that are high in sodium and added sugars.

Eating a healthy diet can help children get the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. For adults, a healthy diet can help protect against a number of serious and costly chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and obesity.

A healthy diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat or fat-free dairy. The USDA’s ChooseMyPlateexternal icon can help you choose the healthy foods and drinks that work for your family.

7 thoughts on “Healthy Tip Tuesday – Good Nutrition Starts Early”

  1. Pingback: Back to School the Safe and Healthy Way - Newsymom

  2. Pingback: Healthy Tip Tuesday- Fueling Your Healthy Heart - Newsymom

  3. Pingback: Affordable Family Dinners - Shepherd's Pie - Newsymom

  4. Pingback: Healthy Tip Tuesday- Dietary Guidelines for Babies and Toddlers - Newsymom

  5. Pingback: Ohio START program receives national support - Newsymom

  6. Pingback: Healthy Tip Tuesday- Managing Childhood Asthma - Newsymom

  7. Pingback: Affordable Family Dinners - Turkey Casserole - Newsymom

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: