First of all, do not blame yourself! It’s entirely normal to make mistakes when we’re just trying to feed our children the best we can. Just focus on correcting some behaviors but don’t beat yourself up if not everything goes according to plan.
- Offering only baby food and creamy soup is not a good idea. You want your little one to be able to identify what each food tastes like individually. Suppose you’re only offering mashed and pureed meals. In that case, the baby will not be familiar with the texture of different food and might become picky, not wanting to try anything that isn’t mashed.
- No juices during the weaning process, ok? Drinking a lot of fruit juice instead of having a fruit makes the child miss out on the fruit fibers, which are essential to slow down sugar absorption. Fruit juices also carry a high dose of fructose, which could put them at risk for diabetes and make it hard for kids to understand they’re not hungry anymore.
- Feeding while the TV is on or when kids have a phone in their hands takes away the child’s attention from the food and what they are eating and how much of it. Yes, sometimes it’s impossible to do anything without distracting them, so be forgiving towards yourself.
- Leaving your phone on the table. If the rules are no TV, toy, or telephone, it should also apply to grownups. Set an example.
- Try eating together: it is healthy for kids to understand mealtime and see adults eating a good variety of foods.
- Not having a set time for meals – it’s ok to change up the routine now and again, but it’s necessary to have one! This also helps regulate the child’s appetite.
- Not offering a specific food if the child rejects it. Experts say an item should be introduced at least 10 times before being tossed from the menu. Try cooking it in different ways: boiled, baked, pureed, in chunks, etc.
- Substituting the meal for milk. After six months, milk and food are already complementary. It should not replace lunch or dinner, even if the child has barely eaten anything. When this happens, it is best to shorten the intervals between the next meal or snack, but not substitute one for the other.
- Offering candy before the age of two. Premature exposure to sugar can predispose your child to diabetes, obesity, fat in the liver, and cavities.
- Don’t force a healthy child to eat. Eating shouldn’t feel like an obligation. You want your kid to have a healthy relationship with food.
- If you snack before dinner, you won’t be hungry. Even if it’s just one or two cookies, remember that your child’s stomach is tiny. A one-year-old child has a stomach the size of their closed fist or an apple.
- Rewards and food don’t mix. Do not make this type of association. Do not promise your child something if they eat their whole dinner – even if the reward is dessert.
- This one is a little controversial amongst mamas and papas – do not use the airplane gimmick. The child should not think of mealtime as playtime.
- Finally, a modern-day mistake: opening packages more than peeling. If the child’s diet has more packaging than peels, it’s a sign. It might not be the healthiest option. Is it more work? Absolutely! But, the real reward is ensuring your family’s health.
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