It’s no secret that the bluum mamas love Mum-Mums! Made with non GMO Japonica rice and no artificial colors or preservatives, these nutritious rice snacks come in a variety of flavors (including our favorites - strawberry and banana) for both babies and toddlers. For babies, they are the perfect food introduction as they dissolve quickly and are a teething life saver (trust me on this one!). For your big kids, you can use the biscuits as an easy snack or incorporate other nutritious food choices and create a delicious meal.
Mum-Mums takes our children’s nutrition and eating habits seriously. I had an opportunity to speak with their registered dietitian, Coleen, who diligently answered many of our bluum mamas most common questions when it comes to toddlers and food choices.
Can you tell us a few of your favorite food introductions for picky toddlers?
A: Picky eaters can be tough, but the key is to aim for nutrient dense foods whenever possible especially if your picky eater will only eat a little bit of food. Nutrient density means getting most nutrients for the calories like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains – instead of foods that are high in calories without providing any nutrition like sweets and many snack foods. Also be mindful of color and texture because that is often a hang-up for picky eaters. They may not like peas, but prefer pea soup for example.
Specific foods are difficult to list because all picky eaters are different, but research has found that kids prefer a colorful plate with several options so offering different colored fruits and vegetables along with their entrée can encourage picky eaters to try new foods. Kids are very visual, and it’s easy to get focused on the foods and lose sight of the presentation – which is often just as important to kids.
Are there any foods that toddlers (13-24 months) should avoid?
A: Honey should be avoided for children 2 years of age and under. At this age, it is important to be mindful of potential choking hazards so cut foods into small chunks and slice things like grapes or cherry tomatoes in half. Nut butters can also pose a choking hazard so spread a thin layer instead of a dollop, and talk to your pediatrician if you have a family history of nut allergies or suspect your child may be allergic. The same goes for shellfish/crustaceans- pediatricians now say its ok for a child to have shellfish after 12 months of age (it used to be 2 years) but hold off if your child has food allergies, or if there is a family history of shellfish allergies. It is important to talk to your doctor as nut and shellfish allergies are very severe and can be life threatening.
How often should you try and introduce a food that your toddler has shown disdain for?
Many! Some experts say a child could need anywhere from 10-20 times of seeing a new food before they’ll try it. Here are a few tips for helping that along:
Always serve a new food with something they already like
Try different textures – for example, some kids like only raw carrots instead of cooked
Be sure it is a food the parents are eating too, because they are watching you to learn behaviors
Lucas adores mum-mums (it’s a go to snack in our house)! Can you tell us the nutritional value in these tasty treats?
That’s great! Toddler Mum Mum’s have are about 10 calories a piece, free of fat (both trans and saturated fats), cholesterol free, and are very low in sugar. While I may be slightly partial, these are some of the best biscuits on the market as they are made without additives or artificial ingredients. Plus, they are gluten free and nut free.
Do you recommend serving mum-mums with any other food choices?
Absolutely. As your toddler’s diet begins to expand, Mum Mum’s make great dippers for dips and spreads like hummus, bean dips, mashed avocadoes or guacamole. They also make great mini tea sandwiches with things like nut butter and sliced banana or a healthy bean dip.
A HUGE thank you to Coleen and Mum-Mums for all their amazing tips and wonderful products! Make sure to follow Mum-Mums on Facebook and Twitter for product info and more helpful tips on healthy eating.