How to raise an adventurous eater
Starting your little one on solids can be a daunting process.
Between all the mixed advice that seems to come from every angle to the at-times picky palates of our little ones, it can be tough trying to raise a little one that is willing to try different foods.
But raising an adventurous eater doesn't have to be a chore. Here are some simple tips that can make a big difference to your little eater.
Eat a varied diet during pregnancy
Research shows a link between maternal diet in utero and a child’s appetite for certain foods. If you’re nauseous during the first trimester listen to your body and eat what you can stomach (literally). But, after the first trimester don’t hold back on anything. Eat what you would usually eat so baby gets a varied taste even while still in utero.
Breast milk reflects a mother’s diet. Research shows that the actual taste of breastmilk changes depending on the mother's diet. So, continue to eat the spices, garlic, onions etc and providing you little one shows no signs of not liking the taste or becoming gassy you will hopefully be widening their palate in the process.
Consider EVERY food kid-friendly
It is very easy to pre-dispose your child to likes and dislike of certain foods. We have all said “Oh no you wouldn’t like that” but who is to say your little one wouldn’t like smoked salmon just as much as an apple. Every food can be adapted for your little one, just keep an open mind.
Feed them what you eat as soon as they transition to the table
Giving your little one exactly what you are eating not only makes things 10 times easier for you it also normalizes all foods for them. If they have siblings that eat at the table, watching them will encourage your little newbie to eat what’s on their plate too. Monkey see, monkey do!!
Eat together as a family
Much like the above point, eating as a family is so important. It not only helps them to learn table manner, social skills and a sense of belonging, it also helps them to learn that meal times are a positive and fun time to connect as a family and enjoy food.
Don’t throw in the towel
If your little one refuses to try or eat a dish you have made, don’t give up. Try it again the following week and the one after that. Even a few mouthfuls each time may be enough to get their little head around trying something new.
Make one dinner only
Every one of my kids has protested at one time or another about dinner. They have all begged for cereal, or pasta, or toast. As tempting though it is to give in to their demands, I decided early on that tolerating a few tantrums is worth the long-term reward of kids who eat everything.
Written by Laura Doyle staff writer at FFHQ who also blogs at www.lovelifeandlittleones.com.