It can sometimes be a challenge to get your little one to enjoy healthy foods (or to simply try them). But there are some tips and tricks you can implement to make this process easier. Here are 5 effortless ways to feed your bub healthy food:
Fill your fridge and pantry with in-season, locally grown, organic fresh produce. This is a great way to ensure you are feeding them the very best, most nutritionally dense foods.
Only cook baby food in stainless steel or cast iron cookware and try not to overcook fruits and vegetables. Please don’t use non-stick pots - the risks associated with exposure to Teflon are magnified in babies’ tiny bodies. Also incorporate foods that your bub can eat when preparing your family’s meal. It might be that you can puree part of your meal for bub or offer finger foods from your own plate. Steamed or baked vegetables, slow cooked dishes or the avocado from a salad are great foods to share with your bub.
The freezer is a great asset. Making up batches of foods and freezing in small containers or ice block trays is certainly next best to fresh. Always freeze and store baby food in glass or silicon moulds.
It's important to set routines around food and make meal times a pleasurable and stress-free experience. Research has demonstrated time and time again that children who eat with their parents are more accepting of new foods and have healthier eating habits overall. So try to feed your baby whilst feeding yourself and offer foods from your own plate. You are their most influential role model so demonstrate how much you love eating healthy foods.
Make sure bub is hungry, not too tired and that there are no distractions (TV or technology) when it's meal time. Let them dictate what and how much they eat, encourage but never pressure bub to eat what you want them to eat. Their needs and tastes are constantly developing so expect erratic eating - it's all part of their development.
No matter their preferences make sure you always offer lots of variety and new foods. If they don't seem to enjoy a food, try cooking it a different way (for example baked rather than steamed) and continue to serve it over and over. It may be that you offer certain foods dozens of times before bub decides to enjoy it. Just as you wouldn't give up on them learning to toilet train or read and write (when the time comes), please don't give up on them learning to love a variety of healthy foods.
Introducing baby to real, whole foods from the very beginning will set a foundation for good health and an appreciation of whole foods for the years to come. What an amazing gift.
About the author: Georgia Harding
Georgia Harding is the heart, soul and mind behind Well Nourished, a blog which has evolved from a lifelong love of creating meals from delicious, whole foods, along with many years in clinical practice and lecturing. Georgia is a Naturopath, freestyle cook, mother of two divine children and wife to a fine food loving husband.
An easy snack when you're on the run...