Helping Children Eat Healthy                                       By: Judith Dember-Paige, RDH BS COM

Having a good feeding strategy encourages better eating habits starting at an early age. Most families today have a very busy lifestyles, we may be feeding our families on the run without much planning in mind.  Trying to mentally plan a menu one day in advance is a good way to stay ahead. This will help to keep the meals nutritious, and the family from eating out at costly restaurants on the fly, which can be a budget buster.

Research shows that babies start to reach for their parents food about 6 months of age. That is a great time to begin to teach them about flavors and textures of different foods. At this age they are curious and less finicky and will try to eat anything put in front of them. Pureeing baby food is never a good idea. It teaches the baby that food should be smooth and makes all other food less palatable, this  may develop into a food texture sensitivity problem.

It is good idea to follow a program designed to integrate solid foods into a baby’s diet. A very excellent book is; Baby-Led Weaning, Helping your baby to love good food, by Gill Rapley & Tracey Murkett; website: This book is a great guide to begin to introduce solid foods after breastfeeding.
Introducing solid foods early to the young helps them have a heartier appetite, a better metabolism and expect more at meal time. Be sure to plan enough time to first prepare and then enjoy your meal.
Good eating habits requires thinking in advance each and every day. This trains a child for having good life long habits that can be passed on for generations.