Toddler Time

ToddlerFor new parents, every stage of their child's development is exciting but the toddler stage is extra special. This is the age when children take their first steps, utter their first words and start to eat solid foods.

“On the road to great eating habits, starting out with healthy, safe, age appropriate foods is paramount” says mother and dietitian Pierrette Buklis. “Early choices can greatly influence a child's food habits for many years to come” she explains.

Slowly introducing your child to a variety of new foods is an obvious goal but safety concerns need to also be considered. Between six and nine months of age, the transition to a variety of solid foods takes place. Your baby can now begin to chew foods and gradually needs more texture.

Easily managed by little fingers, Cheerios are a healthy, fun and safe first finger food. They are firm enough to resist crumbling yet melt in their mouths without posing a choking hazard. With one gram of sugar per serving Cheerios is a healthy snack or mealtime choice for toddlers. In fact, results of a 2008 independent survey of Canadian pediatricians suggest that four out of five pediatricians recommend Cheerios to parents for their infants and toddlers.

Here are other recommendations for safely feeding your baby and toddler:

  • Be sure to stay with your child at all times during feeding.
  • The following foods can cause choking in children under 4 and should be avoided: popcorn, nuts, hard candies, gum, raisins, whole grapes, raw vegetables, fish with bones, a spoonful of peanut butter, wieners and chunks of meat.
  • Avoid egg whites until after one year of age to reduce the risk of egg allergy. Make sure that egg yolks are cooked well and avoid products made with raw or runny eggs.
  • Wait until 12 months before introducing cow's milk to reduce the risk of iron deficiency. Some experts believe this may also reduce the chance of cow's milk allergy.
  • Don't give your baby honey in the first year because their immune systems are not fully developed. Honey has been linked to botulism, a serious form of food poisoning in babies.

As toddlers begin to sample their first foods, meals and snack times become perfect opportunities for quality bonding. is a website with lots of great family recipes and wonderful family craft, games and activity ideas.