Helping your Baby Develop Healthy Eating Habits
Establishing healthy eating habits in infancy is key to fostering healthy eating habits in your baby as they grow. The following are tips to help your baby learn to enjoy healthy, nutrient-rich foods as they get older.
Offer your baby a wide variety of foods from all the major food groups. This will help them to get used to different textures, flavors, and colors. Try to include foods of different colours and textures like crunchy, soft, smooth and creamy.
Introduce New Foods Slowly
Babies can be hesitant to try new foods. Introduce one new food at a time, so they can become familiar with it before adding a second food. Offer the same food 2-3 days in a row, and if your baby doesn’t like it, don’t force them to eat, just move on to another food.
Introducing babies to solid foods as soon as 4-6 months old can help them develop good eating habits. When introducing new foods, offer softer foods that don’t require much chewing, such as pureed fruits, veggies, and meats.
Make Meal Time Enjoyable
Meal time should be a positive experience for your baby. Encourage them to explore different foods and eat at their own pace. Don’t be afraid to make meal time fun, use colorful dishes and let your baby play around with the food.
Set an Example
It’s important to lead by example when teaching your baby how to eat. Eat the same healthy foods you want your baby to eat and show them how much you enjoy them. If your baby sees you enjoying healthy foods, they’ll be more likely to try them.
Limit Sweets and Junk Food
Limit treats and sweets and be sure to offer them only in moderation. If you do choose to give your baby treats, make sure they’re made with natural ingredients and low in added sugar.
Don’t Force Feed
It’s important to remember not to force feed your baby. Let them decide how much they want to eat. If they don’t finish a meal it’s okay, just offer it again at the next meal.
Setting healthy eating habits in your baby early on helps foster an environment of healthy eating. Using the tips above, you can help your baby learn to love healthy, nutrient-rich foods to form good eating habits as they grow.