It is very important to pass on the right message to your children about healthy eating. The key to getting them into the right eating habits is to start them off at a very early age. This can be right from the weaning stage, when you can choose what they eat. By making the right choices for them at this stage, hopefully they will then go on to make the right choices for themselves when they get older.
Experiment with Fruit
Right from the weaning stage, you will be giving your child various fruits. Bananas are one of the most popular first meals, and from there a variety of pureed fruits will be given. This is great to give your baby a taste of fresh fruit, but once they have gone past the pureed stage and they are eating solids, branch out and experiment even further.
Try to introduce fruits they have never had before, things like grapes and kiwi are not often found in puree meals, but they are a great fresh fruit that your child can hold and eat as a solid. It is also important at this stage to try fruits they have previously not enjoyed, as eating them as a solid is completely new taste. My son didn’t enjoy eating puree pear when we were feeding him his first fruits, but when he moved onto solid fruit he loved eating pear. Don’t give up on something too early, persistence is the key.
Variety the Key with Vegetables
Convincing your child to eat vegetables can be much harder than it is with fruit. The sweetness of fruit is what appeals, but vegetables can often taste bland compared to other things on offer. For me, the key here is to keep vegetables varied, try as many as you can, and never give up on ones that your child will not eat.
I think it is important to offer vegetables with every meal, especially when your child is at the early solid stage. When we struggled to get our son to eat vegetables, we used to offer him them first, before adding anything else to his plate. This worked to a certain extent, but as soon as other foods were introduced he quickly lost interest in the vegetables.
The key to vegetables is variety, and trial and error. Try to keep things fresh and interesting by changing the vegetables offered and also look at how you cook them. It will all come down to how your child feels when the food is put in front of them, but eventually you will find a menu they enjoy.
Remember the Three Rules
– Start healthy eating with your children as early as possible
– Variety is the key, get them to try as many new things as possible
– Trial and error – keep trying, don’t give up and eventually you will find something that works
Follow these steps and you will get your child eating the right way, and picking up the right habits early in life.