Ruth S. wrote in asking about feeding and caring for babies and toddlers of different ages. She has a 14 month old daughter and also is the nanny of a two year old and a seven month old. Ruth is wondering what foods she can give to all three of these children, and what activities to engage them in. Great questions!First, on the food for kids front, the most healthy meals for a 14 month toddler old can also be given to a seven month old, provided you want to serve them differently. I go into much more detail in my video, but essentially, what you want to do is stick close to your four basic food groups. For babies aged seven months, you’ll want to serve cooked, soft meat in purees and small pieces, whereas to the two year old you can serve larger pieces of the same. Fruits and vegetables are a must. For the baby, you will cook these soft and serve them in chunky purees, whereas the older child can begin to eat them in larger portions on his own.
When it comes to activities, I’m a big believer in blocks, trains, and books. All of these toys can stimulate and engage a baby of seven months and a 14 year old, although differently. Make sure the baby is not in contact with toy pieces that he or she could put in her mouth, and that she doesn’t knock over everything that the older children build! Reading provides another opportunity to bridge the gap between the ages of these children. Many large picture books provide great stories for babies, and while holding your baby, you can also read to your older child. I also would engage the older children in taking care of the baby, which will help them bond with the baby, give them a sense of responsibility, and make them feel proud.
Hat’s off to you as an awesome mom and caregiver, thanks so much for writing in, and I hope my answers were helpful.