From Eight Years Old
of vegetables, fruits, protein and wholegrains, it’s not likely that they’ll be missing out on any important vitamins and minerals.”
If you’re ready to have a little foodie in the house, this guide will give you some idea of when and how to get started.
From Two Years Old
Fermented foods: Susie says that foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, natto and miso help to “ground” a young child’s palate.
“Many studies have been done on this – kids weaned on these foods have more adventurous palates and are less likely to have dental issues. Plus, the bacteria in fermented foods balances their gut flora and improves digestion.” Try pan-fried tempeh in a salad, miso soup with noodles, or a side of kimchi with steamed rice and fish. Smoked salmon: Give them wild Alaskan salmon, which is safer and healthier than the farmed variety, says Dr Perch. Smoked salmon is good in sandwiches or omelettes. Avocado: You may have given this to your baby as one of his first foods. If he didn’t like it then, try to introduce it again now. It’s a source of healthy fats, which are essential for brain development, and is packed with vitamins and minerals. Serve it mashed, cubed or sliced, on its own or as a sandwich spread.
From Five Years Old
Raw seafood like sashimi and oysters: These are high-protein foods that contain good amounts of nutrients, including healthy fats. Just make sure they are super-fresh, to avoid food poisoning and infection. If your child can’t eat sashimi, offer him a sushi roll that also contains rice, seaweed and vegetables. Spicy foods like chilli, curry, hot mustard and wasabi: Most young kids like spicy food, says Dr Perch. Let them try a little at a time and see how they take it. Of course, if they complain of stomach upsets after, then they might be sensitive to them. Century egg: This traditional preserved egg has a strong odour that may make it unappetising, so introduce it in small portions. Beef carpaccio or steak tartare: Again, be careful about food poisoning and infection, and make sure the raw meat is of good quality and extremely fresh. Crustaceans: Teach your kids how to crack open their own crab or lobster, and they will have more fun eating it. Some kids are allergic to these foods so watch out for adverse reactions, says Dr Perch. Cured meats like prosciutto and salami: Some of these meats are loaded with salt (and high in fat) so don’t let your kids eat them every day. Use them as toppings on pizza or omelettes, or put a few slices in sandwiches. Only buy good-quality cured meats – they are worth the money as a little goes a long way. Tea: Coffee should not be given to kids because of its high caffeine content, says Susie. But if your child likes green tea or iced tea, it’s okay to let him have it, provided it’s not too often and the drinks are not loaded with sugar.