This post is brought to you by Heinz Infant
Time is flying, my little girl is almost eight months old and introducing solids has been a completely different ballgame to that of Master E. I believe it’s the way I introduced solids this second time round that has been partly responsible for Miss M’s acceptance of foods.
By introducing new tastes and flavours, Miss M has taken to solids swimmingly and it’s quite evident that her relationship with food is a good one thus far. When I’m busy and haven’t had a chance to make any food, Heinz Infant food is a great go-to for interesting flavour combinations, or as an addition to some yummy homemade solid food ideas.
Where I went wrong with introducing solids
With Master E, I approached starting solids by seeing what he did like and what he didn’t like. It then turned out that I started offering more of the things he did like instead of persisting with those he didn’t. This is where I went wrong, but I didn’t realise it back then and can only learn from it.
In hindsight, I wish I had taught Master E how to like his food from a young age, and maybe could have avoided his fussiness now!
The approach I have taken with Miss M has been focused on teaching her how to like and enjoy her food, particularly if she doesn’t like it at first.
I’ve always dreamt of having a child that enjoys a variety of food, not even my husband does. The good news is that with Miss M, I think my dream may be close to being fulfilled!
But how can you make a child like a food?
I have been clueless when it comes to this question and have just gone with trial and error in the past. But after doing a bit of reading, here are some tips I learnt and methods I’ve been using with Miss M that I didn’t with Master E.
Give it time
At first Miss M didn’t eat a huge amount of foods she didn’t like, but I’ve been giving it time and offering the same food each day over a week and she’s come to tolerate it a lot better.
Ignore the faces
I always thought that when Master E pulled those hilarious faces of displeasure, it was because he didn’t like the food. But what I’ve learnt is that babies pull those faces no matter what, so this time, I’ve tried to ignore Miss M’s displeased faces and have continued with offering the food.
Make veggies one of their first foods
I must admit, I’ve heard this before, but I tend to like the idea of offering vegetables that are sweet and mild flavoured like squash or carrots as first vegetables. With Miss M I opted for avocado because of its baby-friendly texture and now she absolutely loves it.
Offer vegetables daily
I’m pretty sure I offered vegetables daily with Master E, but what I don’t think I did was offer the same vegetable enough times on various occasions for him to be accustomed to it.
Ban the bland!
I often stuck with ‘safe’ foods when feeding Master E in the early days. I think it was a mixture of not being aware that babies could actually enjoy foods that used herbs and spices and that I just stuck with what I knew.
But this time with Miss M I’ve definitely ‘banned the bland’. I like to include things like nutmeg to sweet potato and cinnamon and vanilla to apples when making homemade baby food. Miss M is also known to like a mild chicken curry!
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Improve the connection with food
One thing I’ve been trying to do a lot with Miss M is talking through everything I do. For example, if I’m in the kitchen turning on the tap, I’ll explain what I’m doing. If I’m opening the fridge to put the milk away, I’ll tell her exactly what I’m doing and use descriptive words.
I think the same idea should go with food. By showing Miss M foods, getting her to touch and play with her food, and telling her what different food is, I hope that she will learn to recognise them and enjoy them more when it comes time to eat them.
Keep your baby close
Expanding on the connection with food, having Miss M in the kitchen while I prepare meals is another way I hope to improve her relationship with food. When she can smell and see what’s going on, I hope it will build her familiarity with foods. Then, hopefully, by the time she is a toddler, she will be interested and curious enough to help with the cooking which will build the connection with food even further.
How did you get your children to enjoy their food right from the starting solids stage?
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