food 15Food, glorious food! For many adults, that is how we see it. A pleasure, a love affair with a bowl of your favorite food is probably your favorite time of day.

If only babies and toddlers could feel the same way!

I happen to think and believe that children and babies are fond of food, and introduced at the right time, in the proper way, they will come to enjoy many tastes and textures. It is a nightmare for many parents when they feel their baby or toddler is just not eating enough food, not taking in sufficient nutrients needed to grow.

Often the cause is not the baby, but the person who is trying so hard to get their little one to eat! We are all guilty of at least one time having a child say “done” and then we return with a “one more spoon?” Right there is where it starts, the pattern of something you will never be able to control, getting that one more spoon of food in! No amount of “here comes the airplane open up the runway will do!”

That is where the food war starts; you have just give ammunition to your child/baby for a war that is impossible for you to win!

  1. Relax: Start over with a gentle non-attentional introduction to food.  Have a “I don’t really mind if you don’t eat it” attitude.
  2. Don’t hover: Don’t hang around their chair, or engage in much chit-chat about the food that is on their plate. Always stay close by either potter around and direct your attention elsewhere or sit and eat with your child.
  3. Mimic: Children, babies and toddlers mimic what they see. Set an example and sit with your child and eat.
  4. Graze: Know there comes a time for grazing. As your child grows, they often prefer finger foods and may reject soft sloppy textures. This is their way of telling you they are ready for something more solid, more substantial.
  5. Refusal: Never take a food out of their daily diet. Chances are they don’t like it today or tomorrow, but quite possibly they will come back to it. If you stop serving it to your baby/child, you will never know!
  6. Introduction: Consider introducing the least favorable foods first, if your baby has nothing to compare it to then they will know no difference!  So introduce beans and other non-sweet vegetables – and then the sweet potatoes, carrots, and peas, all of which have a sweeter taste to baby’s pallet.