For a parent, there is nothing more gratifying than to see their child eat a variety of healthy foods. Most parents are proud or despair about their child’s eating habits. Parents do everything in their power to make the food more likable to their kids starting very young as a baby because eating healthy is something the kids learn early on. It doesn’t mean all kids love eating delicious healthy foods. Some kids turn out to be good eaters from early on, which is a blessing for the parent while some parents have a hard time getting their kids to eat healthy foods like Broccoli and Salmon. Kids food preferences based on taste starts early as a baby says Alan Greene, M.D., author of Feeding Baby Green.
Parents have ability to teach their kids to recognize and enjoy healthy foods so that they will not grow up to be picky eaters. Here are 10 tips that will help your child enjoy healthy foods as early as a baby.
1. Don’t give up on trying new foods: Most moms give up trying to reintroduce the new food that baby does seem to like after a few tries. Research showed that parents who kept trying to feed the same food over and over for more 10 tries even when the baby seems to not like it have shown positive results where baby ended up liking it eventually by developing a taste for the food that the baby hated initially. You can make any food that your kid doesn’t like to eat and change the way you serve them. You can mix up with the likable foods or disguise them into a muffin or any other puree your child likes.
2.Choose the best time to feed your baby first bites: The best time to feed your baby solids is first thing soon after a restful nap or in the morning after the baby is up after a good night’s sleep and eager to start the day. Feed the baby when he is really hungry by starting with foods like banana, Avacados, some veggies or meat. Initially your baby might only take only a few bites but eventually eat more as the baby gets used to the taste of the food.
3. Add spice to the foods: There is no rule saying that you need to feed your child only bland foods. After initial bland food diet it is alright to introduce foods with a pinch of spices and herbs like sage, cinnamon, mint and ginger. Your child might even enjoy the taste and heat of the spices in the food.
4.Introduce more variety of foods: As the baby is getting used to the taste, it is important to introduce a variety of new foods and also mix the new foods with the familiar foods. For example, if your baby loves banana, add another fruit to it and feed the baby another new fruit along with the familiar one. Keep adding new foods everyday so that the baby will get familiarized with the new taste also.
5. Make your baby spend time in the kitchen when you are cooking: Baby and kids develop familiarity with the foods smells and eventually tastes when they spend time in the kitchen. As kids grow, they help in kitchen with mixing flour, washing lettuce, and mixing sauces.
6. Eating together: It is important to teach kids early on the importance of sitting together for a meal. When the child sits and eats with the rest of the family, they start to enjoy eating foods like the rest of the family.
7.Make meals fun: To make your child eat nutritious, healthy foods make the meal look appealing to your child eye by making them look delicious. You can serve foods in bowls that are colorful and also easy for your child to pick and eat it.
8. Make your child connect to the food: Kids recognize the foods early on by teaching the baby the name of the food while eating it or handing it over to her and help her connect with the food by naming the food.
9. Stay relaxed: Relax even when your child doesn’t care to eat healthy foods as some kids do. Always put right foods and relax so that your child might want to try healthy foods at some point.
10. Be a role model: Encourage your child to make choices that are healthy in eating by eating healthy yourself. Parents are role models for their kids. Encourage your child to eat healthy by giving her more options of foods that are healthy so that if she doesn’t like to eat one she always can pick another healthy choice of foods.