How to Establish Good Eating Habits for Your Baby

Helping your child to learn to eat healthy at an early age is essential.

The food that your child is given now will determine how they eat as an adult. A child who never develops a taste for bland or baked goods will never complain about healthy varieties.

The longer that you hold of on introducing your child to sweet foods the better it will be for them. Most babies who have will not only accept such healthy food, but they will also learn to love them.

You will want to limit the amount of fruit that is given.

Introducing Sweet Cookies

Make sure your baby has had something that is not sweet before giving them the sweeter variety. When you introduce your child to sweetened cookies, cake and other treats do it gradually.

If would actually be ok for you to ban sugar from your child’s diet for the first year or even the second year. This is what I did and my children now prefer to eat healthy foods over the junk.

So it really does work. If you allow your child to have sugar-sweetened snacks from the start it will be much harder to moderate the sugar intake later.

Using Wheat Germ

Did you know that by sprinkling wheat germ on your baby’s cereal or yogurts will add a large number of vitamins, minerals and proteins to their food?

It will also help them to be more versatile when selecting their foods when they are older.

When your doctor tells you it is ok to begin giving your baby cows milk, you should begin by only giving them small amounts, and make sure not to give them chocolate milk.

Chocolate milk has been known to cause an allergic reaction to some children. One thing that you want to keep in mind is to keep salt out of your baby’s food.

This is one thing that babies do not need in their diet. This would include avoiding salty snacks.

The fact that you are providing your child with a variety of food at a young age, does not mean that they won’t go through a phase.

Such as eating only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for about two months like my son did.

Most children go through some type of food phase. Of course, you do not want to totally deprive your child of having an occasional sweet treat every once in a while.

If you totally forbid your child to have any sweets this will only cause your child to crave it more. All of the efforts that I have mentioned above won’t work if you yourself do not practice what you are teaching.

If you eat healthily, your child will too. Remember also not to give into guilt.

The one thing that your little toddler will definitely do is make you feel guilty about not giving them sweets 24 hrs a day. Just try to hand in there and stand your ground.

What do you do when your baby becomes a toddler? 

Teaching Your Toddler to Eat Healthily

Once your baby goes from infancy to the toddler stage, he will start to show more and more independence. It is important to encourage your child, but set limits.
Unfortunately, one of the first places a child usually asserts his independence is at the dinner table.
Gone is the baby who ate everything, you now have a screaming toddler who refuses to eat anything healthy that you put in front of him.

Cutting Food into Fun Shapes

One of the easiest ways that I get my toddler to go ahead and eat his vegetables is to cut them into fun shapes. If you are creative enough, you can do this with a knife.

However, if you are like me, a cookie cutter through a cooked vegetable does a much better job. I also let my son pick out the shapes before we get started.

Then he is excited about it. This method works well for vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and just regular potatoes.

The mini cookie cutters are the perfect size for a regular carrot.

Vegetables aren’t the only thing we use cookie cutters for, though.

When my son is in a particularly picky mood, or for special occasions, we will use the larger cookie cutters for sandwiches or bread.

Fruits can also be done quite nicely. We just don’t do them at our house very often because my son rarely needs any encouragement to eat plenty of fruit.

Let Your Toddler Pick Part of the Meal

Another way you can try to get your toddler to eat healthy food is to let him pick part of the meal. For example, some days my son insists on a grilled cheese for lunch.

I tell him he can have a grilled cheese, but he also needs to eat some corn or green beans, or whatever two veggies I choose.

He gets to pick from the two, and then feels like he is picking his entire meal. That way I can usually get him to eat at least two bites of his vegetable before he insists that he is done.

We also have Elmo and Diego dishes that we use sometimes.

If I ask Elliott if he wants some peas for lunch and he says no, he will often times agree to it if I say Elmo is having some, too. He doesn’t use the dishes everyday, so they are a treat for him when he does.

He also has Spongebob Squarepants snack bowls that get filled with healthy snacks and go in the diaper bag.

My son will eat a few bites of about anything as long as he thinks that one of his favorite characters likes it, too.

Making his food appear pretty works sometimes, too. Some days we mix diced carrots, green beans, and peas all together.

I then tell him how pretty the orange square carrots look with the green long beans and small round peas. He enjoys hearing about it and examining each one before he eats it.

This also helps him learn more about shapes and colors.

Do it Yourself

One more way to encourage your child to eat healthy is to do so yourself. Your child watches and learns from what you do.

If you always finish your vegetables, he will be more likely to at least take a few bites of his own.

There will still probably be days when your toddler refuses to eat his vegetables. As long as there are not several of these days in a row your child will be fine.

Eating healthy is important, but if your toddler doesn’t for a day or two, it’s okay. Try one of these tricks and chances are your child will be eating normally again soon.

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