Not so long ago I was making a trip down to Cornwall when I overhead a conversation between two mums about what they feed their children. One said their child had developed quite a taste for quinoa before the poor beggar burst into tears. “Pass the humus” – she yelled, as if posh nosh acts as a pacifier to the modern gentrified kid.
The whole experience left me quite horrified, but given that I was going for a long weekend in swanky St Ives I was happy to blame the fiasco on the occasion and not a particular trend among modern parents.
Not so, it would seem. New research has revealed that today’s children are being weaned onto rice cakes, mango and even avocado instead of the more traditional toast, porridge and rusks,with eight out of ten parents saying they believe the diets of babies and toddlers have changed over the years with more exotic fruit and vegetables more likely to be used nowadays.
Eighteen per cent more children are given rice cakes as first finger foods today than 20 years ago, while 17 per cent more are fed avocado – compared to just two per cent in previous generations.
The number of children being fed sweet potato as a first food has risen by 22 per cent, while the introduction of pears has increased by 11 per cent.
Kiddylicious nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed, which commissioned the research to mark the launch of My First Wafers, said: “There is so much choice out there for parents these days when offering first foods to their little ones it can be easy to get overwhelmed and not know where to start.
“But moving babies from milk onto solid food is an important milestone, it’s all about experimenting and it should be fun for parents and baby.
“However, the foods offered at this stage set the tone for future food preferences and patterns of eating and so it’s important to offer plenty of variety at this time.
”Finger foods, including avocados, well-cooked carrots and wafers, are important to include as they are great for helping children to develop their pincer grip, learn how to self-feed and also develop the jaw muscles they need for speech and language.”
Top first baby foods
- Sweet potatoes
- Rice cakes
- Butternut squash
- Kiwi Fruits
- Red Cabbage