It’s important to establish healthy eating habits early on in your baby’s life. By doing so, you’re enabling them to be more likely to maintain healthy eating habits as they grow up. This article is going to look at how to establish healthy eating habits for your baby.
Not just red meat
It’s important that your baby knows there are meats other than red meat. There are plenty of places they can pick up their protein, including skinless chicken and fish, so be sure to include it in their diet.
Healthy eating habits for your baby start at food exploration. The texture and taste of foods can often be surprising to your baby and so it’s important to allow them to play with their food and get a feel of what it’s really like. Finger food, such as soft-cooked carrot, is a great example of how they can get a real feel for their food.
Encourage fish eating
Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 and has all the right nutrients to help with their development. Although there’s a whole school of fish to choose from, start with something that is mild in taste to help ease them into it. Make sure you check for bones before you serve the fish and also be careful of fish that can be contaminated with toxins, such as shark or swordfish.
Rejection isn’t the end
Your baby is going to pull a whole host of faces when they’re trying something new, but this doesn’t mean they don’t like it, just that it’s new and surprising. If you find they do reject a food, then don’t be disheartened. Try again the following day. It could take as many as 8 attempts for your baby to accept the food you’re offering so remain patient and positive.
The daily dairy fix
Maintain a daily dairy fix to encourage healthy eating habits for your baby. Breast milk or formula are fine up until the end of the first year, and then you can begin introducing things like yoghurt and cheese that has been made with whole milk. Once they’re two years old, you should speak with your doctor about whether it’s okay to move them to a lower-fat version.
Avoid putting sugar or honey in their food. Adding additional sweeteners is likely to encourage bad eating habits, so avoiding them altogether is best. Likewise with salt, you should avoid adding additional salt to any of your baby’s food, especially as their kidneys won’t be able to cope with much.
If in doubt, read the labels. If you’re looking to encourage healthy eating habits for your baby, then avoid giving them foods that are full of fat, cholesterol and artificial ingredients. Read the labels on everything you give your baby, before you give it to them. Instilling good behaviours this way from an early age will help you as a parent later on as well as encourage healthier habits when they’re older.