The first few years of your child’s life is an essential period in his or her growth and development. Many of the changes that occur during this time can impact his or her future health, including the eating habits that you introduce.
Focus on Your Own Nutrition
Throughout the pregnancy and for four to six months after birth, your baby’s nutrition comes directly from the food that you eat. Your child’s nutrition begins during these periods. To ensure that your child receives proper nutrition, you need to focus on your own nutrition.
Follow your doctors’ recommendations for foods that you should avoid during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. You should also attempt to limit the consumption of processed foods and eat plenty of produce.
Introduce a Variety of Vegetables
When you start feeding your child solid foods, start with vegetables. These foods offer the most nutrition while helping to introduce new foods and textures.
Choose a wide variety of vegetables to feed your child. Studies show that this variety increases the likelihood that he or she will accept new foods as he or she ages. However, your child may not enjoy every vegetable the first time it is given.
If your child responds negatively to a vegetable, do not give up. Try giving your child the same vegetable eight to ten times. Through this repeated exposure, he or she may develop a liking for the vegetable.
Introduce Food with Texture
After you introduce vegetables, you should begin introducing food with texture. Early introduction of textured food decreases the chances that he or she will refuse new foods. These tips may help you prevent your child from becoming a picky eater. Introducing new foods helps develop his or her palate and ensures that he or she receives proper nutrition.
Introduce textured food to your child before he or she reaches ten months and you should find it easier to continue experimenting with new foods. Studies show that the preferences that children develop during their first few years will remain through their early 20s.
Continue to Find Ways to Incorporate Healthy Habits
Developing healthier eating habits is an ongoing process. You should continue to find ways to improve your child’s nutrition. Danone Early Life Nutrition includes research and resources related to healthy eating. New research often leads to new recommendations for staying healthy.
The food choices that you make can have a lasting impact on the health of your child. This includes the foods you eat while pregnant and breastfeeding along with the solid foods that you introduce during your child’s first few years of life.
If you want your child to develop healthy eating habits that last into adulthood, remember these suggestions. Introduce a variety of vegetables and foods with different textures to his or her diet and continue paying attention to the latest nutrition research.