Getting your baby to eat can be quite an experience for new parents. You need loads of patience and use a lot of love to achieve the desired results and make your baby a healthy eater.
Babies’ appetites can change from day to day. These food habit changes are nothing to worry about. Sometimes your baby might want to eat a lot. That’s completely fine. You just have to make sure that you give your baby a healthy diet
Other times your baby might not want to eat as much. That’s also normal. If your baby doesn’t want to eat food, they’ll perhaps make up for it at the next meal or even another day. It is better not to force them or offer any other foods as rewards because this teaches them not to satiate their appetite.
As a parent give your babies a nutrition-rich diet and opportunities to eat themselves. It completely depends upon your toddlers to decide how much to consume food or whether to eat at all. If your baby’s health is growing and developing well, they are getting enough food to eat.
Eating nutrition-rich food is a good habit that should last a lifetime. You can instil this healthy eating habit in your baby from the day they start their first foods at six months.
Some of the most important aspects of nutrition-rich eating foods are portion control and cutting down on fat and sugar from your baby’s diet. Here we have highlighted the best ways to reduce fat intake in your baby’s diet and encourage a healthy weight.
• Low-fat or nonfat dairy products
• Poultry without skin
• Lean cuts of meats
• Whole grain bread and cereals
• Healthy snacks such as fruit and veggies
Also, reduce the amount of high sugar content drinks and salt in your toddler’s diet.
Here we discuss some approaches parents should take to instil healthy eating habits in their babies including –
- Lead your family’s choices rather than dictate foods.
Make vast options of healthy nutrition-rich foods available in the house. This practice will help your baby to follow a healthy diet. Do not keep unhealthy snacks like chips, soda, and juice at home. Drink plenty of water.
- Encourage your toddlers to consume food slowly.
A baby can detect starvation and fullness better when they eat food slowly. Before serving a second choice to your baby, ask your child to wait at least 15 minutes to check if they are truly still starving. This will give the brain time to register appetite fullness. Also, that second choice of food should be much smaller than the first.
- Eat food together as a family as often as possible.
Try to make food times enjoyable with conversation and sharing, not a time for scolding or arguing. If mealtimes are not good, your baby may try to eat faster and may learn to associate consuming food with stress.
- Healthy nutrition starts with mom.
Babies are more likely to try new meals they’ve had exposure to through mom’s breast milk.
- Be persistent but patient
Your toddlers may put on some negative facial expressions when they consume a new food. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are not liking what they’re consuming. They may just be astounded at the flavor or texture.
Tips for reinforcing proper nutrition
If your toddler rejects a meal, try serving it again on another day. Just keep in mind that your toddler may need to taste a new food up to 8 times before they happily accept it. Always try to be patient and positive when you are offering new food to your baby. It’s quite clear that they may want to make several tries before they’re sure they really want it.
At mealtimes let your baby explore their food on their own, even while you are spoon-feeding. Try offering your baby a finger food that includes a soft-cooked carrot stick or a slice of soft, peeled pear, to chew on. This will give them a chance to expose to different tastes. Feeding themselves is the best way that will help to boost their confidence at mealtimes and to engage with their meals.
Babies get to learn by example. It’s better to involve your baby in your mealtimes and let them sit at the table with you. Try to consume food when your baby eats so that they can learn how you are enjoying your food. You can also act as their role model by tucking into the same food they are enjoying, such as soft-boiled fingers of carrot. Once your baby is about nine months, they begin to eat more of the foods that you consume.
Encourage your baby to have a positive relationship with the meals they consume. Avoid not giving meals as a bribe or reward. Instead, try to give your baby plenty of hugs, kisses, and attention.
If you are offering fruit or vegetable juice to your baby dilute it well, using at least one part juice to 10 parts water. Try to serve diluted fruit juice at mealtimes only. This will shield their teeth from the acids and sugar in the juice.
It is good to introduce fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, plain yogurt, cheese, and soft meats into your baby’s diet. Try to make baby’s food creative or blend these foods for even better taste.
Let your toddlers be your guide when it comes to how much food you need to serve to your baby. Your baby will want to consume more food on some days than others because their starvation varies. They will stop consuming when they’ve had to fulfill their appetite. If you try giving them food more than they required they may put off trying other foods alternatives. And intaking more food when they’ve had enough can motivate them to overeat as they grow. Make sure that your baby’s foods are enriched with nutrients. As they require these nutrients for healthy growth and development.
Developing healthy eating habits as a baby will promote proper growth and stand them in good stead all their life. They will continue to eat healthily and avoid too much sugar, junk food, or aerated drinks as adults.
Mamy Poko Pants will remain your baby’s best friend in their early growing phase. You can check out this mealtime song for babies. We take special care in designing soft absorbent diapers and baby wipes that are gentle when they come in contact with your baby’s soft skin. A Mamy Poko Pants baby is a happy baby.