By Hatoun Al Toukhi
How to entice your baby with healthy food.
I often hear mothers complaining that their toddlers refuse to eat the food prepared for them. Others complain that their children won’t eat vegetables and fruits; they would pick them out and throw them away. My daughter often says her famous word “Yucky!” and the struggle begins.
“What should I cook for them? My kid just won’t eat! My baby will starve to death!”
Let us talk about age groups; from 6 – 12 months. Babies are less picky, that is why once you start introducing solid food to your baby, start with vegetables, not fruits. Why? Fruits have a sugary flavor; once their taste buds like this flavor, your baby won’t accept the savory flavor in vegetables.
From the age of 12 – 24 months, assuming that your child has grown all their teeth, some toddlers start recognizing the flavors they like most, whether they prefer sweet or savory food.
Start with vegetable soup. The trick here is to cut the veggies into very small cubes and add small Vermicelli pasta in it, so it looks like your child is eating pasta.
The veggies would be hidden and mixed in tomato sauce to give it a nice flavor. Stay away from salt as much as you can (I prefer to use sea salt in all my cooking). This way your child can start feeding himself (it will be a little messy, but cute). If your baby isn’t allergic to eggs, add the veggies to his omelet or scrambled eggs, you can add either potatoes or zucchini.
Now introduce fruits in their food plan. real whole-pieced fruit, not the mashed fruit your child is used to eating.
There is one great device I found, Fresh Food Feeder; you can put a piece of banana or mango in it, and the child would hold it and mush into the fruit. I discovered that most children this age fall in love with bananas, so try with that first. You can also hide your fruit in home baked cake, like carrot cake or zucchini chocolate cake.
Feeding a child the right and healthy way isn’t an easy task. It requires patience and consistency. If it didn’t work out the first time, keep on trying, eventually your baby will surrender. Remember one thing, your child will eat what you eat at home, so eat healthy and you will be rewarded.