I recently wrote a couple of parenting articles for Modern Mama, the first of which was published yesterday. Whether you’re just starting to think about introducing solids to your baby, or are already well into the process, these seven tips can help put your child on the path to lifelong healthy eating habits.
Are good eaters born or made? While a baby’s individual personality plays a role in how well he accepts new foods, the evidence increasingly points to nurture over nature when it comes to your child’s future eating habits. Here are some ways to help give your baby the best possible start with solids:
- Let him eat steak! Health Canada’s most recent infant nutrition guidelines recommend offering iron-rich foods – such as meat and egg yolk – for baby’s first foods. Meat provides much greater nutritional “bang for your buck” than rice cereal, which is a bland, processed starch, whose limited nutritional value comes only from synthetic nutrients added during the fortification process.
- Introduce textures early. Exposing your infant to a variety of textures as early as possibly just might be the best insurance against future picky eating. A 2001 study of more than 9000 infants concluded that children who were introduced to textured foods after the age of 10 months were “more difficult to feed and had more definite likes and dislikes” than those who were introduced earlier. But is it safe? The BC Ministry of Health recommends offering fork-mashed foods (as opposed to purées) from the age of six months onward, and Health Canada recommends that infants be eating “family foods,” served in soft and age-appropriate pieces, by the age of 12 months.
- Don’t shy away from strong flavours. There exists a common misconception that infants prefer – or can only tolerate – bland foods. Read more here…