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Practical tips to promote healthy eating for babies

In this video, Professor Karen Campbell assists a parent whose child is rejecting vegetables. Let's explore.

Having skills and strategies is important in all aspects of our parenting, and this is very true for feeding as well.

Developing good eating habits

Here, we continue this discussion by looking at a range of other options parents can use from the very start of feeding that will support the development of a ‘good eater’.

In this video, Karen talks with new parent Kylie, whose young baby is rejecting vegetables, and offers a number of practical tips to help her.

The key messages of this video are:

IN-2019_Step2.14a-EnjoyEatTogether-1011589376.jpeg Children tend to enjoy the foods you enjoy, so eat with them and model your own enjoyment of the foods you want them to enjoy. This is really important for foods like vegetables, which you may have to learn to like yourself if you want your child to enjoy them too.
IN-2019_Step2.14b-tendToAccept-471590731.jpeg Children also tend to better accept foods they either haven’t had before or haven’t liked previously if they’re served alongside a food they do enjoy.
IN-2019_Step2.14c-excellentAt-1073084980.jpeg Babies are excellent at knowing when they have had enough. Therefore, watch your baby’s facial expression and body language when feeding. Your baby will tell you when they have had enough.
IN-2019_Step2.14d-appetites-138710690.jpeg Children’s appetites change, mostly in response to how much they’re growing. This means that some days they will eat a lot, and other days not so much. Try to be relaxed about feeding and resist encouraging or pushing your child to eat as this overrides their innate ability to know when they’ve had enough.
IN-2019_Step2.14e-responsive-962627294.jpeg Be responsive to your child’s hunger – let your child decide what to eat and how much they’ll eat without you commenting. Remember, the more you fuss, the more they’ll fuss.
IN-2019_Step2.14f-offerOffer-911529706.jpeg Offer and offer again. We know that most children are likely to reject a new food. This is not a statement about their future enjoyment of the food but probably a biologically driven protective reaction to new, potentially dangerous things in their environment.
IN-2019_Step2.19-fear-928964270.jpeg This fear of the new (neophobia) diminishes as you offer the food again and again, and most children will learn to enjoy most foods if they are repeatedly offered to them. A food previously rejected is often eaten with delight after the fifth or fiftieth messy offering.

Remember that a child can’t learn to enjoy food if it’s not offered to them.

If you’d like to learn more about infant nutrition, check out the full online course from Deakin University, below.

This article is from the free online

Infant Nutrition: from Breastfeeding to Baby's First Solids

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