The nutrition your baby receives during the first 1000 days of life (from conception to 2 years of age) can have a significant impact on their health and well-being throughout life. Various studies show that developmental and nutritional needs change as your little one grows, and at Kiddylicious we understand that your little one’s development is unique to them.
All babies are different and develop at their own pace to become ready for solid foods, that’s why we’ve created these handy milestone markers to help you decide which of our products are most suitable for each developmental stage.
Your baby’s motor skills are starting to develop as they try to hold objects and bring them to their mouth. They’ll start to gain control of their head and even hold it up while on their tummy. When your little one can sit upright with some support, they’ll be ready to be introduced to new tastes and textures. To start with solid food is simply about helping baby to learn to eat, and it’s less about nutrition. Remember to try and relax and enjoy this new phase in their growth. Signs your baby is ready for their first foods:
Your baby is able to sit up with some support, and starts to keep their head stable, however it’s normal for them to still lose balance and roll over. They will be able to push themselves up with straight arms and can turn their head to look around whilst on their tummy. They will also start to grasp for objects voluntarily.
Improved tongue control
First foods such as Wafers and purées will help babies learn how to gum, chew and swallow and to move food inside their mouths. At this stage your little one will be able to use their tongue to move food towards the back of their mouth. They will have developed the swallow reflex to allow them to swallow food once it is in the back of their throat.
Taste bud development
Babies are born with a preference for sweet food and so they really don’t need much help to like sweeter tastes and flavours. That’s why it’s a good idea to offer first foods from a range of tastes such as umami (bitter tastes), sour and savoury flavours. Vegetables are an ideal way to help familiarise baby with a variety of flavours from their very first mouthful. Importantly familiarisation with foods such as vegetables has been shown to increase acceptance and help avoid fussing eating habits later on in life.
During the introduction of solid foods it’s important not to forget about offering iron rich foods to babies. This is because at around 4-6months of age, a baby’s iron store that they get from their milk (breast/formula milk) will be decreasing.
Salt & Sugar
Giving your baby a healthy balanced diet will help to ensure they have the vitamins and nutrients they need to grow. Try not to give your baby foods that are high in sugar or salt. These foods are low in the nutrients they need and it’s easy for your baby to fill up on them, leaving less room for healthy meals. If your baby gets a taste for sugary, salty foods, it may be harder for you to persuade them to try healthier options.
See our Stage 1 products here.
Welcome to an exciting time of exploration when your child starts to see their surroundings from an entirely new perspective—sitting upright and looking around. Sitting up helps strengthen your little one’s muscles, especially those in their hands. So look out as they start to investigate everything within their reach. At this stage your little one is discovering the consequences of their actions. They will raise their arms to see if you’ll pick them up. They’ll drop things on the floor to see if you’ll come and get them. They may also try to pick things up with one hand, rather than two, and hold them or put them into their mouth. You may have already started your little one on purees by now, so it may be time to introduce new tastes and texture combinations. Signs your baby is ready to move onto small soft textured chunks:
Your baby will be able to sit independently (including in a high chair without help), however they won’t be crawling just yet, but they may be bum shuffling or rolling. They will be able to grasp objects with their hands and squeeze them, and they’ll be able to drink from a cup, but probably not be able to hold it on their own (if its heavy).
You may notice your little ones first tooth starting to appear. Lots of baby meals contain a high percentage of fruit, which means they are very acidic – a cause of tooth decay in little ones. Its always good to check the back of pack so you can be sure what’s in your little ones meals. For good oral health, offer water at meal and snack times and brush little teeth and gums at least twice a day especially before bedtime.
Once first foods are accepted, it’s also a good idea to start offering soft finger foods and encouraging your little one to start self-feeding as soon as they show an interest in doing so. This can help them to develop their hand-eye coordination and pincer grip. Our Wafers, Fruity Puffs and Ha-Pea Snaps are perfect for encouraging self-feeding.
Now that little ones teeth will be starting to appear, introducing small chunks and different texture at this stage is essential as chewing is an important part of the Weaning learning curve. Chewing helps develop jaw muscles which are vital to babies’ speech development. Don’t wait too long to give soft chunks, little ones need to learn chewing at around 7/8 months, so ideally they need to pass through the smooth purée stage quickly.
Uses upper lip to help clear food off spoon
At this stage you notice that you no longer have to push the spoon into little ones mouth. They will start to use their upper lip to help clear food off spoon.
Now your little one is moving around more, they will be using more energy. It’s important to supplement meal times with snacks so little ones have enough energy to get through the day, ideally without a tantrum.
Early exposure to a variety of new foods and flavours is important to help with acceptance and creating healthy eating habits. We know that babies are born liking sweet flavours, but other tastes must be learnt, especially veggie tastes. That’s why it’s important not to give up on veggies. Some studies have shown that over 70% of babies, aged 6 to 10 months, accepted previously disliked vegetables when they were offered at least ten times. So don’t give up, once your little one becomes familiar with these tastes they will learn to love them.
After 6 months of age, your little one’s source of iron must come from food. Over 50% of toddlers aged 18 months have iron intakes below the recommended level. Iron supports healthy brain development and helps your baby’s red blood cells carry oxygen around their body.
See our Stage 2 products here.
Babies at the Crawling stage will amaze you with their sheer strength and energy! Your baby will be on the go, progressing from rolling, to crawling with their tummy off the floor, to pulling themselves up. Once they’ve reached this new milestone of Crawling, you’ll also notice their hand and eye coordination getting better, as they start to feed themselves with their fingers. Their personality is coming out now that they are crawling. Socially, they’ll be very affectionate towards you and people they know and recognise, but they may still be shy with strangers. You may start to hear “mama,” “dada,” and other simple words. At this stage, its important to move your little one onto chunkier textures, to help develop jaw muscles further which is vital for speech development.
Your little one may have started Crawling (with their tummy off the ground) now, and if not, they are well on their way. Their new found mobility means that they will be getting their hands on everything in sight and you’ll probably find little finger prints everywhere! Remember to move precious items up high!
Your little one will now be able to move food side to side with their tongue to their jawline for mashing & chewing.
At this stage its very important your little one begins to experience more texture and biting larger chunks, to really start using those jaw muscles. Chewing helps develop jaw muscles which are vital to babies’ speech development.
Your little one will be mastering self-feeding with their fingers, however not necessarily with a spoon. The pincer grip will allow little one to grab and hold the spoon, but they will be dipping rather than scooping and not necessarily getting the spoon into their mouths. It’s a messy process—and more food may end up on their face, the floor or high chair than in their mouth, but bear with, as practice makes perfect. Our Veggie and Cheesy Straws are perfect to develop the self feeding skills and little ones enjoy the variety, colour and shape.
As well as crawling your little one may even be starting to pull themselves up to stand, and now they are on the move, they will be using more energy. You’ll even see it on their little faces as they concentrate hard on trying to pull themselves up to stand. Their little tummies are too small to get all their energy needs from 3 meals alone (like adults), and that’s why it’s important to supplement meals times with snacks so little one has enough energy to get through the day, ideally without a melt down.
Protein is needed by everyone to maintain and repair the body, but it’s especially important for babies and toddlers because they are growing rapidly and protein supports this growth and development – it’s essential for growing little muscles. At 10 to 12 months, babies can eat the same protein-rich foods as the rest of the family, though they should be soft and cut into small pieces. Our Kiddylicious Meals offer firm family favourites, in portion controlled trays with soft small chunks of the ideal size.
See our Stage 3 products here.
Having a toddler means your little one is becoming more independent each day, something you’ll definitely notice at mealtimes too. They might insist on feeding themselves rather than having your help. Now that their finger-feeding skills have been mastered, they’ll want to play around with the spoon themselves. Socially, they’ll be excited to meet new people and will even try to join in on conversations. But be ready, because your toddler might also get familiar with words like “no” and “mine”—a way to express their newfound independence!
At this stage your little one will be well on their way to standing alone, and even walking alone. When they first start walking, you’ll notice it’s with their feet wide apart and toes pointed out, while they perfect their new found skill.
Your little one will be ready to start using baby cutlery around this time, and you will start to notice that instead of just dipping the spoon, they will now be scooping the food onto the spoon and will successfully get it into their mouths (rather than everywhere else!). Our stage 4 meals are perfect for getting little ones using cutlery as they contain textures and chunks similar to adult meals.
Toddler tummies are too small to get all their energy needs from 3 meals alone (like adults), and that’s why it’s important to supplement meals times with snacks so little one has enough energy to get through the day, ideally without a tantrum. It’s important to offer low GI snacks that offer a slow release of energy, rather than a spike in energy followed by a crash (tantrum). All of our snacks are portion controlled to prevent over eating, and designed for a slow release of energy.
Meals at this stage should contain large chunks of protein and vegetables, and your little one will be able to bite through a variety of textures by now, and use cutlery to break down bigger pieces.
Every child’s routine will likely be different, but as an example of a typical meal and snack structure for a 1 year old, the table below shows a good representation:
|7-8 am||Breakfast (including milk)|
|1-2 pm||Snack and/or milk|
|5-6 pm||Milk before bed (brush teeth after!)|
Note, this is just an example of meals and snack times, timings will obviously be unique to your little one and to fit your family’s routine. However, note it is suggested that ideally toddlers shouldn’t go for more than around three hours without eating each day to ensure they are getting enough energy and nutrients to keep them going and growing.
See our Stage 4 products here.