You’re determined to up your mini-muncher’s chances of embracing healthy food and eating enthusiastically well into adulthood. Lay the proper groundwork ― here’s what to do…
* Eat as a family at the table whenever possible
Eat together, if you can. If your baby or toddler sees you eating, they’re more likely to give the food a go because they’re getting the message that it’s safe.
* Transition to “proper” meals at age 1
Aim to serve everyone the same family meal by the time your tot reaches their first birthday. Be mindful of adjustments you might need to make, such as reducing salt and skipping the chilli.
* The “eat everything on your plate” rule is out
This is a rule favoured by previous generations, when food was more scarce. Help your little one learn to stop eating when they’re full.
* Accept that your toddler might have real dislikes
Nobody loves every type of food. Accepting this can take the pressure off your child and reduce any fussiness.
* Give limited options
Ask your child to choose between two options that you’re happy with, rather than a free choice. This way, they’re involved in the decision but you remain in charge of the kitchen and what’s dished up.
* Don’t lower your expectations (we mean it!)
We’ve been conditioned to assume children hate all veg and are fussy. This isn’t always true. Keep an open mind and don’t assume your child won’t accept a stronger flavour — they might well surprise you!