If youíre concerned about your babyís health, you want to be certain to start healthy eating habits early. The first year of solid foods is a very important time for establishing your childís eating habits. What your child eats, and more importantly, does not eat, during this time can impact their habits for life. Here are some tips for starting out right with your childís first menu.
Watch the sugar
This is a biggie. Eliminating refined sugar from your childís diet in the early days can help the child develop a taste for savory flavors, which in the long run, can help them enjoy a wider variety of foods, without having such a sweet tooth. In addition, a low sugar diet can help ensure that your child maintains a proper weight. So, keep the cookies and candies away. Use fruit and yogurt as dessert. Remember, if your child has not been exposed to sugar, she wonít miss it.
Feed whole grains
Stay away from white flour. Most American diets are painfully low in whole grains because we are a ìwhite breadî society. Try using wheat bread, oats and other whole grains instead.
Keep the beverages simple
Milk, water and juice are enough. Soda and sweetened drinks will work their way in eventually but put it off as long as you can. In addition, watering the juice down a bit can help reduce the calories and sugar content. Plus, it minimizes the risk of your child having a stomach ache from too much juice.
If at first, you don't succeed, try again
Keep reintroducing healthy foods, even if they are not met with applause the first time around. The rule in our house is that you have to try any food you donít like every six months. Children's tastes change, and what they didnít like a few months ago might just taste better, so keep trying.
Evaluate the family eating habits
As your child grows, she will be spending more time eating what the rest of the family eats, so it's important that your eating habits be good, too. Are you serving a wide variety of foods? Think color ñ too much white food has a lot of calories, and not a lot of nutrition. Green, yellow, red and orange foods should be on your table on a regular basis.
Establishing good eating habits for your child is one of the best gifts you can give her. It will set her off on a lifetime of health and well being. Remember, the best way to get your children to eat well is to be a role model. They will eat the way you eat, so set a good example.